Phil's Battle of The Atlantic

Phil Sharp is facing significant problems in The Transat bakerly as he tries to complete the single handed race across the Atlantic.

His mainsail ripped this morning. This has happened to a few other skippers, but sadly for Phil the damage is at the top of the sail so he is unable to reef it (i.e. make it smaller). Currently the damage is too bad to fix on board with the resources he has. If he continues with the whole sail up he risks destroying it completely. Currently Phil is sailing with his storm jib, and the very top of the main up only. After spending the day trying to fix the sail today, he will speak to the sail maker tomorrow to get advice on consequences of keeping the sail up.

The sail is an older design, but he was advised it would be almost better than the newer models due to its structure and apparent durability. At the time of the rip, Phil was actually trying to depower the boat, aiming to conserve it.

This will cause significant delays and Phil Sharp Racing are no longer to provide an estimate of his arrival date in New York.  It is now likely that the yacht will have to sail south and along the coast to avoid any headwinds.  He will not be able to sail close to the wind (ie tack upwind) without a mainsail.

Other consequential problems on board now are that he will run out of food, fuel (to power the electronics), and water. His desalinator (which converts salt water to fresh) has not worked for about a week.

Conditions aboard will be difficult and very uncomfortable.  The boat has been taking on water but the winds are easing slightly. At least he has a large spinnaker…  Retiring from the race is not something Phil will consider and the boat has to get to land anyway.

Our thoughts are with him…

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