“Before daybreak I was below when I heard a loud noise I rushed out and there was no mast left. And that is the end of the Vendée Globe 2020 adventure. We will have to come back, we will review everything " said the skipper of CORUM L’Epargne in an audio sent from the boat this afternoon.
It is desperately disappointing for Troussel who had been in the match with his new IMOCA since the start of the race, the most recent of the 33 boat fleet was only launched in May this year. On this morning’s 0500hrs radio call he sounded upbeat, happy that he was going fast in the speed race to get to the Doldrums, making more than 20kts in gusty conditions.
After having cut the rigging off the boat so as not to damage the hull, the skipper from the bay of Morlaix is now heading under engine towards the port of Mindelo in the Cape Verde islands which he should reach in 4 days.
Full gas towards the ITCZ
500 miles in 24 hours is the distance record so far for this race and it has been set by Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut who is charging towards the Doldrums at 117 miles behind Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS). Ruyant has been quickest in the fleet for the last 24 hours and has averaged over 20 knots of speed. IMOCAs with foils are now averaging 3 knots faster than the daggerboard boats. It is certain that Alex Thomson’s 24 hours record of 536.81 nautical miles set on the 2017 race will fall. The question is will it tumble before the Equator?
Between the Canaries and Madeira, 11 IMOCAs are struggling in a high pressure ridge, an area of light winds. From Arnaud Boissières, 23rd, to Clément Giraud, 31st, it is slow and frustrating “I stopped looking at the rankings four days ago because it was really killing my morale. I don't want to know where I am, I'll check again later ” confided Clément Giraud late this morning.
870 miles from leader Alex Thomson, who is flying in the trade winds, this small group is trying to find their way onto the southbound highway. Spaniard Didac Costa has only covered 108 miles in the last 24 hours.