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Pindar dismasted whilst leading debut race at Skandia Cowes Week

August 08, 2007 18:44 0 comments

Pindar, the brand new Open 60, was dismasted whilst leading her debut race today, sailing round the Isle of Wight. The rotating wing mast snapped approximately half way along its length, at 11.30 this morning, one and a half hours into the inaugural Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week race. Due to the point of sail Pindar was on at the time, sailing across the wind, the mast fell backwards, onto the boat, however the crew were uninjured. Pindar was leading the fleet when the incident occurred. The mast was recovered and secured, whilst the boat was towed back to her base in Gosport, Hampshire. The cause of the breakage is not yet known. The dismasting will force Pindar to pull out of the historic Rolex Fastnet Race this Sunday.

The boat, the first new build yacht commissioned by leading British print and electronic media company Pindar (www.pindar.com), prolific supporters of British sailing, was built in New Zealand, and launched one month ago. The boat was skippered by ISAF World Sailor of the Year Mike Sanderson, with Volvo Ocean Race winning crew Brad Jackson onboard, as well as solo round the world sailor Emma Sanderson (née Richards), Boat Captain Nick Black, Team Director Nick Crabtree, Build Manager Tom Faire and owner Andrew Pindar, Chairman of the Pindar Group.

Pindar was one of seven boats racing in the Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week, a warm up for the Rolex Fastnet Race. The race victor won the right to donate £10,000 from Artemis to the charity of their choice. At the prize giving, Andrew Pindar announced that despite not being able to finish the race, and win the prize donation, he would make a £10,000 personal donation to Pindar’s charity of choice, Earthwatch. Earthwatch is an international environmental charity committed to conserving the diversity and integrity of life on earth to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Mike Sanderson commented: “Today was a very disappointing day. We don’t currently know how it happened, it’s a really clean break to the mast, nothing else is damaged. Once we are back at base we will try to get to the bottom of it, but it’s a real disappointment. I think the mast is repairable, but we won’t be able to make the Fastnet this weekend. Prior to the break, Pindar was going really well, we hit 18 knots at one point round by the Needles, which in the light winds we were experiencing was great stuff.”

Andrew Pindar, Chairman of the Pindar Group commented: “To break the mast on Pindar’s first outing was terribly frustrating for everyone involved. I was onboard the boat today when the incident occurred, and was utterly impressed by the way that Mike and the crew handled the situation with incredible calm professionalism. Due to the fact that we were unable to finish the race, and compete for the donation from Artemis to our chosen charity, Earthwatch, I will be making a personal donation towards their fantastic work.”

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