Roland Jourdain admitted defeat in the Vendée Globe round-the-world race yesterday after reporting "catastrophic" damage to his keel.
Jourdain, who was lying third and catching the leaders, was forced to accept he would have to retire about 900 miles south of Melbourne, Australia.
First on the Frenchman's list, after consulting the Lombard design office in France, was to contact his fellow-competitor Jean le Cam, lying second just over 130 miles ahead, to warn him to check the keel of the sister ship to ensure that it was not showing signs of the same problems.
Jourdain had suffered problems in the last Vendée with the mast track for his mainsail. That was the boat bought by Alex Thomson, who has also had to retire from the race. Jourdain finished third in 2001, but had already experienced keel problems with his new boat this summer.
Ellen MacArthur crossed the line south of the Cape of Good Hope in a world-record solo time from Ushant of 19 days nine hours, 46 min 10 hours and 45 min faster than the previous best set by Francis Joyon two months ago. She is more than 16 hours ahead of schedule in her quest for the round-the-world solo record, set by Joyon at 72 days and 22 hours.
Six syndicates have been accepted to challenge the holders Alinghi for the America's Cup when the event is held in Valencia in 2007.
Switzerland's Alinghi will face Team New Zealand, whom they beat to take the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2003, the San Francisco-based BMW Oracle Racing, +39 Challenge and Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy, France's K-Challenge and South Africa's Team Shosholoza.Reuse content