Two weeks after a dramatic dismasting, MAPFRE are back on the water – and have already completed a first sailing session in Lisbon.
With just 189 days to go until the start of the 2017-18 edition, the Spanish team sparked a global effort when they dropped their rig in training a fortnight ago, with Southern Spars shipping a brand new mast from New Zealand.
The new rig was fitted and stepped at the Boatyard in Lisbon this week, and the team, led by stand-in skipper Pablo Arrarte, took their boat out for a spin against a picturesque Portuguese backdrop.
“We broke the mast 16 days ago and after evaluating the damage we haven’t stopped until getting the boat ready to sail again," said Pablo.
"We were able to sail today and as well as our shore team, who have worked without stopping, we have to thank Volvo and the Boatyard who have worked very hard and made it possible to sail.”
Neil Cox, Head of the Boatyard, added: "For any yacht, let alone a professional racing team, losing your mast is a catastrophic event.
"From the point two weeks ago when we heard that MAPFRE had dropped their rig, we wanted to do everything we can, and the combined effort from the MAPFRE team and the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard to turn this around and get them back sailing has been epic."