Problems for Malbon as he asks for deadline extension
Friday 13 June 2008
Fighting to put a €5m singlehanded ocean racing campaign back on track, Johnny Malbon was yesterday on a training run in the Atlantic aboard his new Open 60, Artemis.
As female competitors Samantha Davies in Roxy and Dee Caffari in Aviva have seen their projects to compete in the Vendee Globe non-stop round the world race develop steadily, Malbon is one of three British male counterparts who have had to cope with difficulties along the way.
A fourth, Alex Thomson has completed a refit to his Hugo Boss in Portugal and is now sailing again.
Brian Thompson is also in the Atlantic, half way through a 4,500-mile solo voyage which will be the last stage of qualification after fitting a new mast in Pindar.
Mike Golding, who has a new keel and bulb fitted, needs only to test everything on a lighter, more powerful Ecover in a 1,450-mile stint to confirm his place. He plans to do a lot more than that, starting at the weekend with a race from St. Nazaire to St. Malo and back. "I need to have a good bash upwind and try to break the boat," he said.
But Malbon is under a lot more pressure. His Simon Rogers-designed boat was, he explains, three months behind schedule out of the Neville Hutton yard in Lymington. That meant he missed the singlehanded Artemis Transat from Plymouth to Boston last month.
He then found that the mast for his boat was overweight and so would not be given a valid measurement certificate.
A new one is being built, 125kgs lighter, but is not expected to be delivered until 1 August. The normal qualification deadline for the Vendee is 1 July, but Malbon has asked for a delay until 1 September. Even so, it takes a few days to fit a new mast and then needs to be tested before going out to complete his 4,500-mile qualifier.
The timetable is tight and any further slippage in equipment delivery or delay caused by gear problems or weather could see the whole effort run into the sand.
Latest in Sport
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up