After his collision with a fishing boat off Portugal Wednesday morning, Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée) was heading to Les Sables d'Olonne to repair and cross the start line before Tuesday, 1302hrs. For his return Bureau Vallée could only sail on a starboard tack because of the damage to the port shroud, sustained in the collision with the fishing boat on Wednesday at 0300hrs (French time). The weather conditions put an end to his hopes and forced him to divert and sail to La Coruña.
Not returning to Les Sables
Burton was determined to stay in the Vendée Globe. But after doing the routing according to the latest weather forecast, Burton, then lying off the coast of Cape Finisterre, decided to head to the Coruña to save Bureau Vallée’s mast.
The small weather window that was open was closed suddenly. All the scenarios were considered by Louis and the Bureau Vallée team (including towing and starting the engine). But the arrival of stronger wind in the northern part of the Bay of Biscay (20 to 25 knots) forced him onto a port tack, making the return to Les Sables d'Olonne dangerous. With the damage to the port shroud there would have been a real risk of dismasting.
So, with great sadness Burton officially declares his abandonment of the Vendée Globe 2012.
Arrived in La Coruña
Burton and Bureau Vallée have arrived in La Coruña on Friday morning without assistance. Burton’s team will arrive there on Friday night. He is fine and his mast is still in tact. He says he will be back in four years.