After storming to the front of the Transat Quebec-St. Malo fleet, last night Jorg Riecher’s “MARE” drifted back to ninth place. Ryan Breymaier checked in from the nav station to tell us why.
Just as night fell yesterday, we heard a funny pop; we bore away and looked around, only to find nothing. Unfortunately when we came back up and the bowsprit broke, it became quickly apparent that nothing was actually quite important! Two little pieces came unglued, alllowing the ropes attached to the sprit to move, and the uneven tension led to a failure.
We managed to get the gennaker down without rolling over it or causing more damage, and then set about getting the sprit off the front of the boat. A half hour of untying knots later by the light of a headlamp, we got the broken pieces under the roof. Did I mention that it had just started pissing rain, just in time to do all the grinding and sanding in the cockpit?
Donning my Mu$$$$$to HPX whitesuit to keep the carbon off, I set to work, cutting the damaged section off the nose piece and off the body of the sprit. We glued two pieces of glass plate in place, top and bottom.
A spectator would probably have trouble not laughing at me as I fell asleep repeatedly while holding the newly glued pieces over the jetboil to speed up the bonding. Maybe it was carbon monoxide. Yeah, that’s it.
In any case, no one was burned (badly) and the boat did not catch on fire; a final wrapping of carbon cloth, peel ply and tape, and we got some sleep while the epoxy cured.
This morning, we respliced the bobstay and tack lines to account for the now 1 foot shorter bowsprit. Success, and with the fleet having a slow night, we didn’t lose too much.
Maybe we can avoid more repairs for a while and just go sailing!