The recent gales that swept The Transatlantic Race 2015 broke gear on several boats. One of those was Amhas, a Lombard/MC-Tec Class 40, skippered by Mackenzie Davis with Brian Harris, director of Maine Yacht Center and an ocean race boat expert. Amhas was damaged during a period of high winds and was forced to retire from the race and head for the Azores. Here is Brian Harris' report a few hours after the damage occurred.
"We were pushing hard Sunday night to leverage our northerly position when clearing the last ice gate
Monday morning when running down wind in 30 to 35 kts of breeze with a fractional spinnaker up and consistent surfing of 20 to 27 knots of boat speed. The mast winch shot off the mast with an explosion that sounded like a howitzer shell being shot out of a cannon……. The mast tube is damaged.
"Our race is over and we are focused now on keeping the rig up.
"We have jury rigged a repair around the mast winch area using batten stock and multiple spanish windlasses. There are some very bad creaking and cracking noises coming from this area. I am not sure how long the mast will stay up……….
"We are headed for the Azores, the closest port but still 650 miles away and will be entering the high shortly so unsure how long it will take to get there.
"We are safe and the boat is ok."