Irishman Gregor McGuckin’s yacht has just been dramatically rolled 360 degrees in the middle of the Indian Ocean during an extreme storm. The violent roll broke his main mast and will now force him out of the solo round the world race he is competing in.
The 32-year-old from Dublin set sail on 1 July 2018 from Les Sables d’Olonne in France in an attempt to sail non-stop around the world. On his 82nd day at sea and in an extremely calm and professional manner, McGuckin called the race office to report “I’ve got rolled the main mast is gone.” Rolled means a wave rolled the boat 360 degrees putting the mast vertically into the water and when the boat returned upright the mast was broken.
As Afloat.ie reported just a few hours earlier, McGuckin was ‘knocked down’ meaning the boat was knocked on its side and in the process he broke the Mizzen mast on his boat, the smaller of the two masts.
At the time McGuckin was sailing “Downwind on bare poles with warps out the back,” meaning he had no sails up and was trailing ropes in an attempt to keep the boat moving in the direction of the waves.
When asked how the terrifying incident occurred McGuckin said, “The sea is just savage. I was going down a swell and a monster (wave) came in from the other side, there was nothing I could have done. I was lying on the roof but it came back up. I’m a bit bruised but ok.” He estimated “The gusts must have been 70 knots.”
McGuckin is now the second competitor in the Golden Globe Race to be rolled over. Many others have been forced to retire due to gear failure and personal reasons.
Speaking about his extremely remote location in the middle of the Indian Ocean McGuckin said, “Typical, I’m at the furthest point from land in the Indian Ocean.” The lone skipper has a number of options. Firstly, he could call on a fellow competitor to pick him up and abandon his own boat. Secondly, he could ask to be rescued by a passing ship. And finally, he could build a jury rig and sail the 2,000 miles to Australia which could take up to 50 days. When asked what he will do next, McGuckin said, “I will sleep on it for now.”
In the latest update from the race (2000hrs) dismasted McGuckin may be required to lend a hand to a fellow stricken competitor here.