ICAP Leopard’s captain, Chris Sherlock, has announced that their bowsprit broke at 20.20 UT on Monday 04 July, just over a day after leaving Newport, R.I. The damage happened in flat water after passing the George’s Bank with a fractional sail flying off the sprit. No one was hurt in the incident and both the sail and the sprit were recovered safely.
The unfortunate mishap has not threatened the integrity of the hull or the strength of the bow so that sails can still be flown from the stem. This has meant that Leopard’s performance on the long beam reach of the first three days from Newport has not been much compromised except that the yacht has had to sail slightly higher than optimum, which is why it is to the south side of its main competition. However, as the high pressure system is approached, there are very few options for sailing downwind without the sprit.
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