Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

24 Hour Race Set Back for Enda O'Coineen

7th December 2015
3073 Views

More than 24 hours after the IMOCA 60 masters fleet departed St. Barts in the Caribbean, Enda O'Coineen has started the Transatlantic race and lies some 300 miles behind the race leader.

O'Coineen had to repair a faulty sail drive delaying departure of the Irish yacht, Kilcullen Voyager. Under rules of the race O'Coineen availed of a race condition that permits entrants to start within five-days of the official start time.

The solo Irish sailor will race from St. Barts to Port La Forêt, a distance of 3,400 miles across the Atlantic. Race tracker here

The Galway sailor was not the only boat battling setbacks. Forced to abandon the idea of participating at all is Frenchman Yann Eliès who will now deliver his boat back to his home port of Lorient instead of racing across the Atlantic.

Press release from Enda O'Coineen below:

We can do the Impossible, but Miracles take a little longer

Monday 7th, 0830 hrs Currency House Kilcullen departed St Maarten for St Barths and successfully joined the race. This is in accordance with the rules that allow entrants to start within 5-days to allow for unforeseen events such as the one Currency House Kilcullen encountered.

On Wednesday 2nd December the team left St Maarten for St Barths. While hoisting the mainsail the Sail Drive unit ceased working.

Later it transpired that the sail drive was not serviced and reassembled properly. It had hardly been used since departing Gosport in October.

With Mike Stark, CEO of Currency House Bank on board, his first voyage on the vessel, it was disappointing but he was philosophical. And in the spirit of the event, under sail only, the yacht made it to St Barths and completed the pre-race scrutinising. There were few outstanding requirements requested, including propulsion...

The Sail Drive on these yachts is a custom built part so fixing it was not going to be easy. In fact some said it was impossible.

Parts suppliers in Croydon were mobilized, traffic congestion on London’s M25, was overcome, and transatlantic flights caught. Jay Vahey an English-Irishman dropped everything and flew from Portsmouth, Pete Durkan aeronautical engineer and skilled fabricator made a custom part. Merf Owen the original designer of the yacht was involved and an amazing West Indian mechanic (Carl), a crane company owner (Percy) IYS and an electronics specialists (Andrew Rapley) all supported the team at marinas led by Brian Dehler with a positive ‘can do’ nothing is impossible approach. Teamwork and problem solving at its best.

Having completed emergency repairs, the Skipper has declared his confidence in the yacht and preparations and is very appreciative to everyone for their massive support. Speaking about the last week Enda O’Coinnen said:

“While I am on my own at sea, its a massive team effort and I am really appreciative of the support of Currency House Bank and everybody who has pitched in. Murphy’s Law was in action where ‘What Can Go Wrong - Will Go Wrong’, - and Murphy was an optimist - seemed to be to rule since arriving in St Maarten.”

Now Enda must focus on the race, a simple sail across the Atlantic during December.

 

Published in Solo Sailing
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating