Sunday, November 23, 2008

Delta Dore to make a pit stop to fix spreaders

[Source: Vendée Globe] Jérémie Beyou has been heading towards Brazil since 0800hrs GMT this morning, probably aiming for Recife, in order to make an unaided pit stop to inspect the damage to two spreaders on the starboard side (his leeward side). The skipper of Delta Dore is not retiring and hopes to carry out repairs by himself.

At 9h12 this morning 10th placed Jérémie Beyou phoned the Race Directors to inform them of the damage. At around 7H UTC, Jérémie noticed that two top spreaders on the leeward side (starboard) were no longer attached to the mast, damage which would ultimately prevent him from changing tack. The sailor is in no danger and is sailing at reduced speed towards the nearest land, Brazil. He is currently heading for the city of Recife some 430 mile away (on a bearing of 240°) which he would expect to reach in 2-3 days.

Jérémie Beyou talks about and shows the damaged spreaders. 23 November 2008. Video copyright Vendée Globe

"I was inside the boat and I heard a noise. I went outside and I saw the spreaders hanging on the leeward side with the rigging swinging around. I hove too. I'm going to make sure the rig is as secure as possible by taking the strain off the sails by bearing away. I currently have the wind from astern," Jérémie told his shore team

There was no impact to explain the damage. Only the repeated slamming in the choppy seas might explain why the spreader broke away from the mast. Vendée Globe race rules only allow external help in Les Sables d’Olonne. Each competitor must carry out repairs alone, according to the rules to stay in the race. Delta Dore cannot moor up in a harbour, but can only shelter off the coast. This is what Yves Parlier did in the 2000-2001 Vendée Globe, when he repaired his mast while sheltering off New Zealand.



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