18:20 – Phil calls in to report on the incident.

“I was trying to take off pressure on the mainsail, to conserve the boat as the wind was increasing. Before I knew it, the sail just ripped. I can’t believe it.  The damage is at the top, so I can’t even reef the sail. If I leave it, the rip will continue down the sail and the whole thing will be destroyed. So I am going to try and repair it now, but I am really worried that there isn’t enough material on board. I’ve used so much repairing the other sails…”

More updates to follow once Phil attempts the repair.