British skipper Pip Hare has reported that she has discovered a crack in her port rudder.
In a message this morning, Pip reported that Wednesday lunchtime, while doing routine checks onboard Medallia she discovered that her port rudder stock was cracked and so had to suspend racing.
The crack is in the stock between the deck and the hull (Ed note…level, close to the lower bearing), just underneath where the quadrant attaches and every time the pilot was going to move the rudder the crack was getting a little bit worse.
She has no choice but to change the port rudder before it fails under load in a matter of hours.
She has a spare rudder onboard and so can fix this problem.
Fortunately the failure was spotted while on a port tack, so the rudder was not the one under load which allowed Pip to disconnect all of the steering linkage, but keep control of the boat with the stbd rudder.
This has prevented any further damage to both the stock or the steering gear.
Luckily it was spotted before she gybed back onto Stbd to sail hard in 30 knots of wind for the next three hours, with the boat under full sail and fully loaded up.
Pip is now sailing very slowly East, with just a small jib up, making way but under minimal load.
Her main objective now is to find suitable conditions to make the switch.