lost their groove
Both Groovederci and Courrier Dunkerque were dismasted Friday in the offshore leg from Marseille to La Seyne-sur-Mer. The highly anticipated Mistral conditions brought the breeze we had been looking for all month long! Breeze at the start was in the 20 knot range and a large swell spoke of more breeze to come. We were sitting in fourth at the time we dropped our rig, about 18 miles from the rounding mark. The wind was in the low 30’s, masthead up, we were hurling down waves then skipping across the windblown surface of the sea. I was having the time of my life, grinning from ear to ear, loving every minute of this downwind blast and then BANG! The backstay had parted…and so then the rig.
Interestingly enough, I think that Dunkerque and Groove were the only two team carrying around spare rigs! Both teams set to work immediately upon arrival and within two hours, the new mast was built and installed. Special thanks to the French Navy who assisted in the operation with a crane on one of their ships. – Deneen Demourkas.