Mast breaks on Orange
While sailing under gennaker and single reefed main, the catamaran Orange had the tip of her mast snap about 1 metre from the top, half an hour after crossing the starting line of the Jules Verne Trophy off the island of Ushant (Brittany).
Thursday 14th February 2002 / 1300 GMT
From the conversation between the French skipper of the maxi catamaran Bruno Peyron and Yann Penfornis, member of the Gilles Ollier Design Team and the Multiplast yard that designed and built Orange, there is nothing that can for the moment really explain the failure. Even more so, because before setting the gennaker..
"the crew checked the mast to make sure that everything was properly in place", stated Bruno Peyron. In effect, Orange had her mast unstepped in Brest last week and the standing rigging was changed in order to ensure maximum safety for this new round-the-world for the former Innovation Explorer (2nd in The Race). Orange is expected at Multiplast tomorrow morning Friday 15th around 0900 GMT. The Multiplast team are making way on the dock to welcome Orange and are getting set to unstep the mast by about 1100 GMT. In the workshops, they are getting ready to take the mast in to assess the damage.
Whilst Orange's failure would seem on first sight to be similar to that which occurred to Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo, no connection can be made. Indeed, Géronimo's mast broke 6 metres from the top, above the shroud hounds. Moreover, the types of carbon used for making the two wing masts were different.