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.