"We Are Still Racing"
Chris Museler Reports from Class 40 Dragon
We spent most of the night reaching under the Code 5 with the wind in the teens. We were exceeding polars and moving well. By 0900 today we were in the Stream, getting 2 knots of push in 75-76 deg. water temps. The wind picked up to the high teens, gusting to 23. Boat speed exceeded 16 knots. SOG was 17-19 with the boat surfing in quartering 6-foot swells.
Michael and Chris aboard Dragon
As we ended a surf around 1030, the bow buried into the back of a wave, and the sprit snapped clean off. The Code 5 was attached at three points, and the sprit was attached to the boat with the bob stay, banging against the topsides, forestay, and life lines.
We luffed the main, dumped the Code sheet, and went bow downuntil we were running. We then dumped the halyard until the head of the Code was in the water. Then it was a matter of getting all the kit back onto the boat. That took about 30 minutes of struggle.
Now the Solent jib is up and were reaching down the Stream making speeds over 14 knots. Given the forecast, our breakage has probably added a day to the passage. Both Chris and Mike are fine, and the only things damaged are some gear and some speed potential.
We are still racing, because that is what we came out here to do.