Malizia skipper Boris Hermann admitted that he had worried his crew may have to abandon The Ocean Race after suffering a broken mast.
The captain was concerned that a repair on the mast would not have been possible, and had considered returning to port as a result of the problem they faced.
With the team on the third leg from Cape Town, after some harsh conditions, it is perhaps no surprise that the boat had been damaged, but such a critical part being irreparable might have put paid to even staying involved in the rest of the action.
Hermann was speaking to the press and was asked several questions about the mast and how it had affected the team, and he revealed the depth of his concerns and also the measure of relief felt by him and his crew members.
“Now the spirits are high and everything is good on board,” he began. “We take it for granted now that we have a mast which is reliable and that was a huge shock.
“I really questioned if we could continue the race or if we had to go back.
“I was not actually sure if a repair was possible and none of us were sure on board and we were really pleased, we celebrated so we could do that so we were very happy that we can actually do the race and be here.”
Hermann was asked about the state of the mast following the repair, and he reported back that he thinks it should hold.
“They think the repair is 100 percent,” he added. “They went up yesterday, did a test and the mast is still in a good quality. Gives the team good confidence.
“They can push 100 percent.”
He also suggested that repairing the mast is a major achievement in and of itself, given the severity of the problem.
“I wouldn’t have been able to fix the mast alone. In some ways we have already won because of the fantastic job they did,” he said.
Asked if he would use the mast for the rest of the race, he continued: “Not sure yet, maybe they will leave it as it is.”
On Thursday morning, Team Malizia were in third place, 234.8 nautical miles behind leaders Holcim-PRB, who at one point had held a lead of more than 500nm.
Biotherm were second, 226.1nm behind.
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