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The bid by British sailor Samantha Davies to complete the Vendee Globe non-stop round-the-world yacht race appears to be at an end after her boat's mast was damaged.
The 38-year-old from Hayling Island reported the broken mast to the race office yesterday evening.
The damage was caused as the sailor faced 35-knot winds while 130 nautical miles north west of Madeira.
A team spokesman said:
''While she was preparing to go out on deck to take in a third reef, she heard a noise and felt the mast come down on port.
''In the conditions, she could not respond immediately and cut the rigging, so she made herself safe inside the boat in her survival suit and waited for a drop in the wind.
''Around 0130hrs, Davies began to release Saveol's rig by cutting the wires, sheets and halyards.
''It was a successful operation. At dawn, Davies will carry out a check of the boat before starting the engine and heading to Madeira.
''Currently, conditions are calmer at around 20 knots. Davies has been resting and is doing well.''
The incident happened during the sixth day of the race which started at Les Sables d'Olonne in France on Saturday.