Jesus Renedo / Acciona

Another Vendee Globe keel loss

As Javier Sanso is forced to abandon Acciona 100% EcoPowered

Sunday February 3rd 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

This morning at around 1049 UTC the two distress beacons registered to Acciona 100% EcoPowered, skippered by Spanish sailor Javier Sanso, racing in the Vendée Globe were triggered. The alarms were received at 1052 UTC.  

At 1049 UTC the boat was positioned at 31° 59.00 N 27° 26.24 W, or 500 miles west of Madeira and 360 miles south of the Azores island of Sao Miguel.

At the time of the incident, Sanso was sailing in a 15 knot northeasterly, upwind in a moderate trade winds swell. Prior to the incident all was reported to be well on board. Only minutes beforehand Sanso had e-mailed a daily report to Race HQ.

At 1110 UTC, the Vendée Globe Race committee was alerted by Ricardo Maldonado, the manager of  Acciona Sailing Team, informing them that the MRCC Madrid had received the distress signal from two EPIRBs.

Immediately Race committee in Les Sables d’Olonne, the MRCC Ponta Delgada (Azores) and CROSS Griz Nez tried to contact the Acciona, but received no reply.

MRCC Ponta Delgada then requested an aerial reconnaissance of the area by plane. A C295 plane was on station at 1630 UTC. On arrival they found Javier Sanso in his liferaft. Sanso made hand signals and smoke signals (smoke hand flare) next to his capsized yacht.

At 1650 UTC this information was confirmed to the Race Committee by MRCC Ponta Delgada.

At 1750 UTC an EH101 helicopter was dispatched from the Azores island of Terceira heading to the zone to effect the rescue of Javier Sanso. The chopper is expected to be in the area by 2300 UTC. 

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