Dogged determination
The bad luck keeps on coming aboard Gitana 12 but Thierry Duprey du Vorsent keeps on keeping on. As if having his bow ripped by a whale wasn't bad enough, his mainsail sustained a serious tear above the third reef during Wednesday night …

Despite the tribulations raining down on Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, the skipper has recovered his morale after the repair of his mainsail that took ten hours. This Thursday morning, Gitana 12 was again able to travel at reasonable speeds towards Guadeloupe. Seriously handicapped by these successive incidents, the trimaran should reach the “Butterfly” island on Friday afternoon (local time). Determined to bring this first solo experience to a successful conclusion, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent can be proud of his numerous acts of DIY improvisation. Gitana 12 may have had her wings clipped, but her skipper is not entertaining the thought of throwing in the towel, to the point of considering diving to install a new bobstay in order to try to hoist his gennaker!

Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (Gitana 12) 13:30 UT:

“The mainsail has torn (I've got absolutely no idea why) above the third reef… It happened at 22:00 on Wednesday and I finished my repairs at 08:00 Thursday. I'm quite proud of what I've done, actually: I've bodged it up “junk” –style by binding the mainsail battens together and reducing the surface area. This is allowing me to hoist roughly two reefs for the moment, but if the breeze dies down, I could have roughly the surface area of one reef. I can't pull too hard on it because it's not quite up to the standard of a master sailmaker! What's more, I can't use the hook (which blocks the halyard) and so the sail is not that tight when sailing.
For the moment, I've got 14-18 knots of south-easterly wind and I'm advancing at between twelve and twenty knots ten degrees beneath the direct route to the finish. The wind should ease off below 20° North on Friday while turning north-eastwards. The end of the course, and especially the rounding of Guadeloupe, is going to be very difficult. If the wind well and truly dies down and the sea flattens out, I'm already planning to dive in to install a new bobstay to hold the whisker pole: at least I'll then be able to hoist the gennaker… and proceed more or less normally. In any case, my spirits are high again, but it's continually a case of fine one day, disaster the next! Yesterday, when I saw the tear right along the length, I had to fight back the tears... But I'm over that now: after all, I don't want it to end up like The Raft of the Medusa!”

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