German duo staves off dismasting in Portimao raceJun 9, 2009 Beluga Racer, the German entry in the Portimao Global Ocean Race, has been second from the lead on the final leg of the race, between Charleston and Portimao, Portugal. But that success seems doomed by a fractured spreader. The two co-skippers are proceeding under double-reefed mainsail to the Azores, where they hope to make repairs.
Rushing below to wake his co-skipper, Herrmann was already imagining the prospect of a mastless Class 40 in mid-North Atlantic. "Felix pulled me up the mast and it all became undeniably clear," he continues. "The substantial, approximately 3cm thick, aluminum connection between the spreader and the mast had broken." Having assessed the damage, a quick fix was vital. "On the second ascent, I carried a hammer and cordage," reports Herrmann. "I tried to get the spreader back in position again by wiggling it, pulling and hammering, unfortunately without success. Thus, the rig is in serious danger."