Thierry Martinez / www.thmartinez

IMOCA 60s turn home as maxi tri capsizes

Big conditions take their toll in the Transat Jacques Vabre

Tuesday October 27th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

As forecast for days, the second night of the Transat Jacques Vabre was always going to be a big one for those boats that chose to tackle the static depression and its associated fronts that have been lurking to the west of Ireland since the end of last week.

Yesterday evening two of the new generation 'foil born' IMOCA 60s fell by the wayside. Seb Josse and Charles Caudrelier on board Edmond de Rothschild were the first to turn their bows back to France.

At 18:00 GMT, the crew contacted Cyril Dardashti, Director of the Gitana Team, to inform him of their desire to retire from the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015. Josse explains his reasoning: “Since this afternoon, we’ve been experiencing a series of incidents aboard Edmond de Rothschild. Endured separately, these problems would remain minor and might be resolved if we had milder weather to effect repairs. However, all combined and given the weather conditions forecast, we know that these incidents could cause the boat to suffer major damage and this could put both ourselves and the boat into a dangerous situation.

"The GRIB files are indicating 40+ knots of breeze and violent seas with waves in excess of 7m. This evening, after much deliberation by Charles and I, we’ve decided that it would be irresponsible to continue racing the boat in these conditions.

"The boat was launched two and a half months ago and despite all the work by the members of the Gitana team to optimise her in a short space of time, she is suffering teething issues. This retirement has been a very tough decision to take, but it’s out of the question to put the project in danger. The construction of the IMOCA60 Edmond de Rothschild has called for over a year’s work and this boat has been devised and designed for the Vendée Globe, which remains the team’s primary objective with this craft. It’s hard to have to abandon the race, but we must not lose sight of our end goal.”

Following Edmond de Rothschild's retirement, so at 2020 CET it was the turn of another new generation IMOCA 60 Safran. Skipper Morgan Lagravière, contacted the Transat Jacques Vabre Race Director to inform them there had been some undisclosed damage aboard and they are heaidng for Brest.

The giant multihulls in the Ultime class did not get away unscathed with the Multi80, Prince de Bretagne of Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain capsizing while they were 140 miles NNW of La Coruna. The two co-skippers are safe and have taken shelter inside the upturned hull of their trimaran. They have not requested assistance and their technical team is making every effort to organise their rescue. At the time of the incident the boat was upwind in 20 to 25 kts of SSWerly wind.

Finally in the early hours of this morning Jack Bouttell and Gildas Mahé on the Ker-designed Class 40 Concise 8 reported that they have sustained damage and are heading for Cork 120 miles to their northeast. They are in regular contact with their team and the Transat Jacques Vabre Race Director and are expect to reach the Irish haven by mid morning Tuesday. A full assessment of the extent of the damage will be made on arrival.



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