The team at ARKEA PAPREC and French skipper Sébastien Simon have confirmed he has abandoned his Vendée Globe. Last Wednesday morning at 0820hrs UTC his IMOCA hit a floating object and badly damaged his starboard foil and its housing.
The boat has had a steady ingress of water which Simon has largely dealt with. But with repairs seeming to be extremely complicated and probably requiring the foil to be cut into pieces, Simon and his team made the tough decision that he will give up.
Simon is on his way to Cape Town. He should reach the South African bay overnight from Saturday to Sunday.
He said this morning
“It became time for me to make the decision. Together with the team, we thought a lot about possible repairs. But to consider them, I had to sacrifice my foil, cut it. It’s a massive 300 kilogram piece. Then it would have been necessary to repair the hull from the outside and on the deck to seal the foil well. For that, I had no choice but to divert to Cape Town. These repairs were going to be very complicated. Probably, four to five days of work without counting the repair to the bulkhead and there was a secondary water leak from the rudder system. The weather for my arrival in Cape Town was very unfavorable, I wouldn't have been able to tackle the repairs for two or three days after my arrival. And more than anything there was no guarantee that the repairs would hold for the rest of the race. I can not continue. I never thought I would be stopping here. I was 4th in the Vendée Globe. I thought I would succeed on this Vendée! I gave everything I had. I put a lot of passion and energy into it, I wanted to get to the finish. The adventure ends here. I am sorry for everyone. All of my partners supported me until the end. All this gives me only one desire: to leav here but to be back again four years. It was a great experience, a unique opportunity. Thank you very much to all for allowing me to carry out this beautiful project with this beautiful boat. "