This afternoon at 1415 UTC, Paul Meilhat contacted his team to inform them of a problem with his keel ram. The ram has a 40 cm (16 inch) crack and this has led to the keel canting leeward of the boat. Paul is in the process of blocking the system to try to get the keel in the middle. To carry out this operation, he bore away and is heading towards the north.
It was after hearing an unusual noise early this afternoon that the skipper of SMA went to inspect his keel housing. He immediately realised that oil from the hydraulic circuit had flooded the ram compartment. He thought first of all that it was a pipe that had burst in the hydraulic circuit, but then noticed a 40 cm crack in the ram itself.
SMA is currently in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2000 miles east of New Zealand.
More information to follow...