Groupe Bel heading for Cascais after being struck by trawler

Groupe Bel IMOCA Open 60 of Kito de Pavant  has been hit by a trawler this Monday morning around 1000hrs CET (0900hrs UTC) while sailing off the Portuguese coast. The damage to Groupe Bel is significant but the solo skipper De Pavant is safe. He is now sailing to Cascais close to Lisbon.

Groupe Bel in Les Sables d'Olonne
© Julien/Windreport

According to Kito de Pavant and his team, the port outrigger, the bowsprit, the deck and the upper side of his hull were damaged in the collision.

De Pavant has managed to secure his rig is reported to be safe and uninjured. According to the skipper from Port-Camargue in the Mediterranean, the trawler which collided with Groupe Bel boat did not have AIS (Automatic Identification System) activated.

“Kito has a huge experience. He has secured his rig and is safe”, said Denis Horeau race director of the Vendée Globe during the daily radio interviews. “He should be able to sail safely to Cascais.” 

Groupe Bel is making around 9kts, sailing with a double reefed mainsail in a north westerly wind in 20knots with a swell of 2.5 meters.

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