Marc Guillemot, the skipper of Safran, was on his way back to Les Sables d’Olonne on Saturday night after a suspected collision.
Guillemot was near the front of the fleet, having covered almost 50 miles after the start at 1302hrs when he heard a ‘loud bang’.
On Saturday night he was sailing back at four knots under reduced sail and is not expected to reach Les Sables until the early hours of Sunday morning.
“At approximately 1745hrs local French time, Marc Guillemot heard a loud bang, (most) likely from a collision,” his team said in a statement.” At the time he was sailing under a main and headsail. He has decided to head back to Les Sables in order check on how serious the situation is.”
“He has reduced the sail area and is currently sailing at four knots and is some 50 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne.”
“Further information will be provided once the boat has been checked upon arrival into Les Sables d’Olonne.”
Guillemot became the second of the 20 skippers to head back to port. Bertrand de Broc (Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projects) returned 25 minutes before the start with a hole in his hull from a collision with his rigid inflatable support boat.