Sailing: Jourdain heads for land after mast is smashed

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The Independent Online

Roland Jourdain and Jean-Luc Nelias have become the third pair in the Barcelona non-stop round the world race to suffer severe damage. Their yacht Veolia was dismasted about 1,600 miles south-east of Australia when it ploughed into a wave. Neither man was hurt, the mast was cut away but the boom and an outrigger were saved to make a jury rig to carry sail. The pair, who had already stopped for engine repairs in the Kerguelen Islands, were making good progress to land.

Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret, who moved into third place, have already announced that they will divert to New Zealand, where their yacht Temenos was built, to investigate keel damage.

Although there are five other entries, that made it virtually a two-horse race between the leaders, Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall, with Britain's Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape hunting them down, less than 50 miles behind.

Ben Ainslie swept to gold at the Sydney International Regatta yesterday, swatting aside all opposition in the Finn singlehander, including the man who is challenging him for the Olympic place in the event next year, Ed Wright. The British selectors can call for more trials, including at Melbourne next month, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to prolong the process, especially as Ainslie won the pre-Olympic events in China both this year and last.

While Ainslie the Olympian has been at full stretch, Ainslie the America's Cup skipper has been part of a decision to put Britain's Origin team on hold while the deliberations of the New York court over the fight between the Swiss holder Alinghi and the American challenger BMW Oracle is resolved.

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