Tough first night for the Vendée Globe
[Source: Vendée Globe] It’s been a tough first night in the sixth Vendée Globe, with the fleet facing headwinds of 20-30 knots and 4-6 metre seas, and two boats already returning to port — Dominque Wavre on Temenos returned soon after the start with electrical problems, but was able to fix them and rejoin the race shortly after 11pm, whilst Bernard Stamm has also been forced to turn back after a collision with a fishing boat damaged his bowsprit.
This morning’s position update shows Marc Guillemot (Safran) still the leader. Most of the fleet are heading directly west as fast as possible, except three — leader Guillemot, and British contenders Mike Golding (Ecover) and Sam Davies (Roxy), who have each put in two tacks to stay on a more direct south-westerly course. Of the main north-westerly group, Loick Peyron (Gitana Eighty) is currently in second place, with Roland Jourdain and Kito de Pavant very close by. Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) is the most westerly. On the rankings Dee Caffari (Aviva) is still showing as first Brit in eleventh, while Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) one place behind.
Cheminées Poujoulat's broken bowsprit following a collision with a fishing boat. Sables d'Olonne, 10 November 2008. Photo copyright Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe
Bernard Stamm describes the collision which has forced him to return to port: “There were a whole group of us racing upwind. There was a fishing boat in the area that I saw some way off and didn't seem to be a problem. I went down to do some nav work and a few minutes later… boom! I reckon he must have changed direction. By the time it took me to go inside, I'd hit him. I couldn't raise him on the radio. I don't know whether he saw me. It was more or less a direct hit, a little bit to one side. A huge collision. We'll be trying to repair it. I decided immediately to head back, as I can't hoist any headsails. For a downwind race, that isn't much good! It appears that only the bowsprit is broken. I'll be setting off again. There's no reason not to. The others won't be waiting for me, but it's around the world race, so isn't over yet.”
Labels: Vendée Globe