Boris Herrmann…happy to have his mainsail back

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Boris Herrmann…happy to have his mainsail back

Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) reported this afternoon, “I am happy to have got around the Horn but I hardly noticed it. I was just fully focused on repairing my mainsail.

South of Cape Horn at 140 miles something like that I knew there was quite a bit of wind coming, 45-50 and I was going down through the sequence J3 and two reefs and was about to take the third reef and the leech of the sail caught the shrouds which is a common problem which we know to happen all the time. And so my battens caught inside the shroud and the only way to get them out is to come close to the wind, to luff and let the battens escape from behind the shroud. And I did that while taking reef 3. And during that time the smaller intermediate batten further up the sail flapped a couple of times past the shrouds and it tore a bit there. So two things I was not executing my manoeuvre perfectly which was quite tricky. And also the sail is too light in my opinion as that is the third hole. It is a bit too light. It is not just about the sail, I don’t blame it, I made a mistake with the manoeuvre. I need to think about how we design the head of the main. All the new foilers made them smaller, Apivia and Thomas Ruyant and Charal making the square head smaller but then you have this shroud problem. I hope from now to the finish no more Reef 3! If so I make sure I have a bigger headsail pulling the boat and then not so much load on the mainsail or be fully upwind.
But it is very annoying. A small mistake, a split second and clack, clack, clack – three times the sail probably flapped – and it is torn – I am already so, so cautious to avoid this type of thing – and then it happens and I lose I don’t know how many miles.
Luckily I was able to repair it. And that makes me really happy. It was complicated because it was structural, I had to dry and clean two layers up there in 45 knots of wind, it was pretty hairy on deck and I suppose it was well intentioned, but I finished today in the sunshine in the Atlantic. And now it is finally great to be in the Atlantic, sunshine, lighter winds and blue skies. And I have a mainsail up and that is just great. I fiddled around with making a little batten for two or three hours to be able to tension it, but now fingers crossed for no more problems, back to racing.”

Boris Herrmann / Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco