Thursday, 16 April 2009
Ericsson 3, skippered by Magnus Olsson (SWE), at the start of leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Rio de Janeiro to Boston. Image copyright Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race.
by Gustav Morin
It is last night, darkness, 12 knots of wind. Suddenly a very loud bang goes through the boat. I’m sitting in the media station fixing the electricity and have just restarted the media desk. I instantly swear that I can’t press the crash button, this seems to be dramatic.
It almost felt like the mast was about to come down. When we came up on deck it turns out that it was not far from it. The topmast runner had snapped.
Magnus Woxén was standing by the helm at the time and it almost landed on his head, but he and everyone were ok and since Martin Strömberg, who was trimming at the time, instantly eased the sheets, the mast was ok. Seconds after that we dropped the masthead zero and hoisted a genoa.
Bowman Martin Krite directly started to think about looking for the spare topmast runner and figure out the best way to fix it.
After some preparation he climbed up the mast and attached the new topmast and we were good to go again. We could all the time sail at almost 100 per cent with the genoa and we didn't lose much due to this.
The bang that came from the breakage was the loudest I have experienced since I stepped on this boat. Even so it was not enough to wake up our skipper Magnus Olsson, boat captain Jens Dolmer and helmsman Thomas Johansson...
Volvo Ocean Race