Brazil to Grenada - Day 3 (Ripped mainsail)

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Mon 11 Mar 2013 14:46
03:04N 047:16W  680 miles covered
Today’s sad news is of the demise of our mainsail.  Last night the wind died away and veered to the south east, forcing us to turn dead downwind and goosewing the sails.  With the low wind, plus a current from behind, this meant that the mainsail would flog occasionally on the bigger waves.  It seemed quite gentle flogging at the time, but I guess with over a year of continual use the mainsail was in no condition to take the punishment and it ripped just below the second reefing point. 
The good news is that we can still continue reasonably well on reef 2, just a knot or two slower then before.  The bad news obviously that we are out of the race to arrive first (and probably not second either) and also it is unlikely we can win the catamaran division because with our handicap we were only ahead by a few hours before the sail ripped.  Even if we get 30 knots of wind (the point where we would normally be using reef 2 anyway) we will have to switch to reef 3 because I would not trust the remaining part of the sail to take that much tension on the outhaul. 
C’est la vie.  We can probably get it patched up in Grenada for cruising the Caribbean to St Lucia.  Sailmakers must really love it when World ARC comes to town.  Longer term it looks like we need a new mainsail.
The sad sight of a mutilated mainsail
Trompeta crossing the start line