At 3:15 local time, off the west coast of St. Barts, Dragon lost her rig in the Caribean 600. I was on deck, Cole was just headed off watch.
We are both fine, other than the fact that we are going to have to deliver the boat back down here again to be able to actually complete this race.
A rigging element failed and the mast fell aft, right on the centerline. It was all pretty gentle, and the rig appeared to be un-damaged other than the forward end of the boom that got crushed as it folded into the mast.
The Solent was in the water, starboard side as was the aft half of the main. We secured the mast with some sheets and spent some time figuring out if we could salvage her, like the team on Ocean Rescue did in this past Fastnet.
Unfortunately, with just two of us, it was just not going to be possible without putting one or both of us in harm’s way. The best we could do was salvage what bits and bobs we could before the mast caused more damage to the boat.
So…. after a bunch of cutting and clipping and cursing, we detached the whole thing and flipped it over the side, watching as it sank in thousands of feet of water. I am sure she will be regaling Davy Jones with tall tales as soon as she gets settled. I feel bad about the pollution, but happy that she won’t be a hazard to anyone else.
We are under power. Other than being shorn of her adornment, Dragon has some broken stanchions and some limi6ed damage to the dodger grab rail. She is cleaned up, and we are under motor for the 85 mile trip to Jolly Harbor.
The Race Committee has been informed, and we have already reserved a spot for Dragon to be shipped back to Newport this spring.
At the end of the day, this is a passion and a hobby, but it’s just a boat. There are far more serious and tragic things happening in the world right now. – Michael Hennessy