Arkema team await rescue in Transat Jacques Vabre race after 50-foot catamaran overturns

Lalou Roucayrol and Mayeul Riffel are just short of Lisbson

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The Independent Online

Lalou Roucayrol and Mayeul Riffel were sheltering in their survival suits under their upturned 50-foot catamaran Arkema waiting for a rescue boat to tow them the 22 miles to Lisbon in the doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre.

The French pair had capsized and then had to dive underneath the yacht to cut away the badly damaged mast. They were hoping to for a rendezvous overnight Tuesday.

Another 50-footer, Actual, the leading Open 60, Macif, and three Class 40s are also taking cover to try and effect repairs, leaving the British duo of Caterham F1 boss Mike Gascoyne and co-skipper Brian Thompson chasing a top six place in the 40-foot fleet.

The two MOD 70 trimarans, Gitana and Oman Sail-Musandam, continue to make fast progress with Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier holding a near 90-mile lead over Sidney Gavignet and Damian Foxall. They expect to finish in about another week.

The 70-plus remaining entries in the Mini-Transat have been delayed yet one more day for their rescheduled start from Sada, their shelter in north-west Spain, for Pointe-â-Pitre, Guadeloupe. They now start at 08.00 GMT on Wednesday and will race direct, cutting out a planned stopover in Lanzarote, but going past a turning mark off the Canary island.

Organisers are still worried about both high winds and poor visibility but need to start a race which has been held up for nearly a month since its original start date in Douarnenez.