Back in 2 weeks


MAPFRE will be back sailing in just over two weeks, with a new rig already on its way and the team eager to get back in training following the dismasting of their Volvo Ocean 65 on Thursday.

The crew have been meeting with Volvo Ocean Race’s Chief Technical Development Officer, Nick Bice, and Head of the Boatyard, Neil Cox, in Sanxenxo to investigate the incident and make a plan to get the team back on the water as soon as possible.

That will be in remarkably quick time, with the new mast due to arrive in Lisbon as early as Thursday, 6 April. The boat should be relaunched by 14 April and the team should be sailing again by Monday, 17 April.

“We’re keen to identify what exactly happened during the incident, and that process is ongoing, but the vibe around the team base is very positive,” explained Bice. “The guys know that their next sailing session which was planned for the 17th is still scheduled.”

The guys know that their next sailing session which was planned for the 17th is still scheduled.

Nick Bice

Bice confirmed that the rigging had undergone stringent testing before leaving The Boatyard in Lisbon. “We conducted non-destructive testing on the mast, which was from last edition and had sailed approximately 70,000 miles, including taking an ultrasound of the mast to ensure no anomalies, and testing the rigging,” he continued.

© Ugo Fonolla/MAPFRE/Volvo Ocean R

Watch captain Rob Greenhalgh added: “As soon as we get the new mast in the boat, we’ll be out sailing again. Hopefully this has only cost us seven or 10 days of actual sailing time – we’ll have to wait to see the exact impact of it.”

© Ugo Fonolla/MAPFRE/Volvo Ocean R

And youngster Willy Altadill, the newest member of the MAPFRE squad after being announced on Wednesday, is looking on the bright side of the situation, which took place just 8nm from land. “We could have been in the middle of a race, far from shore,” he reasoned.

© Ugo Fonolla/MAPFRE/Volvo Ocean R

So what’s next for the Spanish team’s Volvo Ocean 65? “The boat will be delivered under motor to Lisbon, which will take around two days,” added Bice. “Meanwhile, we’ll continue to conduct the necessary due diligence, debriefing to ensure we’re doing everything we can. We already have extremely stringent processes in place, and there’s no reason to change them at this moment in time.”

Timeline for MAPFRE’s new rig:

Sunday 2 April – MAPFRE’s boat delivered to Lisbon

Thursday 6/Friday 7 April – New rig arrives in Lisbon

Friday 14 April – New rig stepped/boat re-launched

Monday 17 April – MAPFRE begins sailing again 

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