700 MILES TO GO
While eight IMOCAs have already crossed the finish line, seven still continue racing towards Guadeloupe. Ari Huusela and Ariel2 have around 700 miles to go. Ari is in a good positive mood despite all the setbacks they’ve had.
No wind data and broken main sail batten make sailing slower but happily the energy back up systems now work fine after repairing.
The vertical wand at the top of the mast has broken and the back up forward facing wand has also been damaged. This means Ari can only use the autopilot in compass mode which has meant he has had to make sure he doesnt have to much sail up as the boat can not follow wind shifts in Compass mode. Also batten 6 has broken 100cm from the leech of the mainsail. This is the bottom batten and is roughly in the same area as reef 2. The lack of a working batten means the mainsail is lacking strength and can put extra pressue on the batten car which slides up and down the mast.
We have a spare batten onboard to replace this but it is a major job to try to replace on your own. Also we have a spare wand onboard but again it means a mast climb to the very top (30meters) which is now safe due the sea state. The wands got broken and damaged only a few days into the race in one of the storms so Compass mode has been used for most of this race for Ari, says Mikey Ferguson.
The goal of finishing the race in two weeks has already expired. The current goal is to finish the race. Right now Ari is sailing in the 11th place of twenty IMOCA’s started.