The Initiatives Coeur skipper had hoped to be able to complete his second Vendee Globe but damage to the top of his mast early on in the race forced him to turn back five days ago. Although he is heading north to Les Sables the French skipper has not officially retired from the race so that he can raise as much awareness and money for charity Initiatives Coeur. De Lamotte has so far made almost 1,000 nm north under reduced sail since making the decision to head back to Les Sables after assessing the damage in the Cape Verde islands.
Speaking tonight from his position 300nm dead south of the Azores, De Lamotte said he was pleased to be counting down the miles despite it meaning the end of his Vendee Globe. “I’m 1200 mils from Les Sables, and I’m going to have a lot of wind in the coming days,” he said. “The weather situation remains uncertain for my arrival, but it’s OK to Cape Finisterre. It’s odd seeing a racing boat at this speed and not having to worry about the race, but I’m pleased to be getting closer to Les Sables even if I haven’t completed the round the world race as at least I’m bringing the boat back home.
“I’m more or less down under the Azores to the west of Madeira and expect to arrive in five or six days. Before that there will be a long upwind sail on the port tack, so I’ll be keeping an eye on how much sail I have up, as I don’t want to damage the boat and the weather in the Bay of Biscay isn’t looking too bad. I haven’t been looking at the rankings so often, but I am aware of what has happened to Bertrand and Alex. It’s really sad to see that happen to [Alex], as he’s had such a great race so far. Apart from the mast, everything is fine aboard the boat. I am getting things straight for the coming days to face the strong winds. This morning I took some time off to get some rest, eat and change, as the wind had eased off. Usually we’re kept extremely busy all the time, but now I’m in solo cruising mode, but the goal is still to get to Les Sables d’Olonne by next weekend.”