Ocean Globe Race IRC leader Translated 9 has been forced to divert to the Falkland Islands after the Swan 65 suffered hull damage

Since the start, Ocean Globe Race leader, Translated 9 has successfully kept their spot at the top of the IRC rankings, but this could be all about to change, after the Swan 65 suffered hull damage overnight.

Two cracks have appeared in the stern section of the boat’s hull, with water ingress.

The Italian team says one crack is minor, while the other – close to the rudder skeg in the aft cabin is “vulnerable to serious damage”. The hull laminate is torn and flexing.

Repairs have previously been carried out to a crack in the hull during the layover in Auckland, ahead of the start of Leg 3.

The crew have been working with onshore engineers to try and make temporary repairs. The co-skippers have not requested any assistance; Ocean Globe Race HQ has declared it a Code Orange incident.

Two people on a boat looking at a map

Although the crew of Translated 9 are 80% amateur sailors, it does include seasoned racers, like Simon Curwen and Nico Malingri. Credit: Translated 9

The local Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) has also been informed of the situation.

To avoid heavy weather and to make repairs, the yacht and crew are now slowly sailing to the Falkland Islands, around 160nm away. The team is expected to arrive late tomorrow.

All the crew’s next of kin have been updated.

This is a severe blow to the Italian team. They were hours behind the French crew of Pen Duick VI, who are expected to take line honours on Leg 3.

The two teams have been rivals since leaving Auckland for Punta del Este, with Pen Duick VI‘s skipper, Marie Tabarly, describing their rivalry as “Friends on land, best enemies at sea”, and Translated 9‘s navigation tactics as “aggressive”.

“We tease each other. Waypoint n°3: at nightfall, I see their masthead lights in the distance. Impossible to resist playing the music of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on the VHF without warning, just to put a little pressure on them that will make them smile,’ Tabarly told Peter Mott of Passage Guardian, who provides weather updates for the fleet via SSB radio, allowed under race rules.

Designed by Sparkman and Stephens, Translated 9 is skippered by mainly amateur sailors. The team has won both Leg 1 (IRC rating) and Leg 2 (line honours and IRC rating)

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Initially, the navigator was British sailor Simon Curwen, who took line honours in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, despite having to divert to Chile to make repairs to the windvane self-steering of his Biscay 36.

Curwen was later appointed co-skipper following the sudden resignation of Vittrorio Malingri ahead of the start of Leg 3 after the Italian sailor breached the notice of race over sail repair, landing the team with a 72 hour time penalty.

Translated 9 was the second of the Ocean Globe Race fleet to round Cape Horn, just 5.5 hours behind Pen Duick VI.

The team later said: “We’ve had three days of fire; we sailed through the storm with winds at 55 knots, gusts, and formed waves. Only as we approached Cape Horn, about 60 miles away, did the weather situation improve, and we had a great rounding of the Cape.”

Translated 9 was originally raced in the 1977 Whitbread Round the World Race as ADC Accutrac, skippered to fifth place by British sailor, Clare Francis.

Positions of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race fleet – Leg 3: Auckland to Punta del Este at 1000 UTC on 09 February 2024. These positions will change under the IRC rating. Line honours are shown below. 

Pen Duick VI (France)
Translated 9 (Italy)
Maiden (UK)
Spirit of Helsinki (Finland)
Neptune (France)
Triana (France)
L’Esprit d’Equipe (France)
White Shadow (Spain)
Galiana with Secure (Finland)
Outlaw (Australia)
Evrika (France)
Sterna (South Africa)
Explorer (Australia)

Godspeed (USA)

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