Vendée Globe: A Time For Prudence

Vendée Globe: A Time For Prudence

(December 7, 2016; Day 32) – The Vendée Globe leading duo Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire VIII) and Briton Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) are leaving a trail of heartbreak in their wake, with the latest retirement being third placed Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) announced this morning.

Josse’s withdrawal was the second to be announced within 18 hours and came immediately after news of the successful evacuation of French skipper Kito de Pavant by the crew of the French research and supply ship the Marion Dufresne 2.

Josse was one of the pre-race favourites had been lying in third place since November 23rd and the approach to the Cape of Good Hope and had sailed a mature, composed race to date, regulating his speed and managing his risks prudently but still showing periods of great speed on Edmond de Rothschild. But his race was effectively terminated in a few seconds on Monday when he sustained damage to his port foil and support mechanism ploughing to a standstill in the trough of a big wave.

As for De Pavant, he lost the structure which supports the canting keel on his Bastide-Otio after striking an object in the water, some 130 miles north of the Crozet Islands. His boat was suffering a constant ingress of water and the keel was suspended beneath the boat only by a hydraulic ram. Around 0130hrs TU this morning he was taken by RIB from his stricken yacht and landed aboard the 120m long ship which very fortunately had been on passage some 110 miles north of de Pavant’s position.

The retirements of de Pavant and Josse bring to seven the number of skippers who have been forced out of the solo race which started from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 6 with 29 boats on the line. – Read on

Ranking (Top 5 of 29 as of 22:00 UTC)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), 12492 nm to finish
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), 133.44 nm to leader
3. SMA, Paul Meilhat (FRA), 1265.58 nm
4. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), 1413.05 nm
5. Quéguiner – Leucémie Espoir, Yann Eliès (FRA), 1645.39 nm

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