Team Malizia finds a crack at the top of their mast during leg 3 of The Ocean Race

Team Malizia’s sailing crew noticed a crack to the top part of their mast. The sailing crew were safe and immediately notified the shore team of the issue as co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper climbed up the mast to take photos of the damage in order to assess the situation.

Southern Ocean, 1 March 2023 - Today at approximately 12:00 pm UTC, as the boat was sailing in Leg 3 of The Ocean Race, Team Malizia’s sailing crew noticed a crack to the top part of their mast. The crack is 30 cm long and has ripped a vertical line in the top of the mast just above the first reef and where the fractional head sail would sit. 

The technical team have discussed the issue with their external designers and engineers and have elaborated a plan for the mast repair. The repair involves preparing the area and then laminating large patches to the top of the mast to cover the ripped area. The repair should give the mast the same strength as before and allow the team to continue sailing with full use of all sails. If the crew are not fully satisfied with the repair then they could still continue but with reduced sails. As the team needs many hours to do this they will wait until first light to start and continue under reduced sail until then.

Photo: Image of damage to the mast and Rosie climbing up (c) Team Malizia

This is not an easy repair to execute at sea, clipped on to the top of a 28 meter mast which will be swaying at huge degrees in the large Southern Ocean swell. The repair will take hours and will involve sanding the area, preparing the lamination and then laminating it. The team will be fully briefed by the tech team but the strength and endurance to do the repair in these conditions should not be underestimated. It should be clear by lunchtime tomorrow if it has been possible. 

Boris Herrmann sent a video to the team saying “we have discussed how to deal with it. So we are trying to repair it tomorrow then the water should be a little quieter. This is of course a strong setback for us but still we have to keep going. The sun's rays are shining through the clouds as if they wanted to show us that maybe there is more to it than just winning or not winning!”

The crew onboard is very focussed on repairing the damage to their Malizia - Seaexplorer. More information to follow. Let’s not forget there is still a long way to go!

Youtube Link to German skipper Boris Herrmann interview in German on the issue here: