Alinghi Red Bull Racing suffered a catastrophic failure of their mast today in Barcelona just after 2pm with the afternoon sea-breeze well and truly in, with what the locals call a ‘strong Garbi’ from 210-220 degrees atop a 0.5-0.8 metres, three-second period swell from 230 degrees.

It was a bear-away at top pace, with mast bend evident before the forestay went slack as the lower section in the bottom third of the mast gave way under pressure forward, causing the rig to collapse into the water to leeward.

Immediately we saw the superb crew work of the Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailing and support teams, swing into action with a composure and professionalism of the highest order. Make no mistake, this was outstanding team-work with divers in the water and all hands on deck to rescue the situation – all credit to the team. Safety of the crew was paramount and the first priority, and thankfully no injuries were reported. The integrity of the boat was the next priority, and this was secured quickly with only minor scratches observed initially around the bow area. All round a first-class effort from everyone on the water.