Thomson's Vendee Globe bid hits trouble
Tuesday 11 November 2008
Down but not out, a dejected Alex Thomson was nursing his 60-foot Hugo Boss back to the French Atlantic coast port of Les Sables d'Olonne yesterday, not knowing if he had a chance of rejoining the Vendee Globe singlehanded round the world race.
He had left on Sunday full of hope that his troubles were behind him after a round-the-clock effort to repair collision damage which had left a gaping hole in the starboard (right) side of the gleaming black hull and had sent the 80-foot mast crashing down and into the sea just three weeks before the start. His shore crew was standing by to meet him this morning (Wednesday) to assess whether a repair to structural damage could be undertaken quickly.
Thomson was aware of a major bang when the boat fell off a wave on a Monday night when the fleet, which had seen 30 boats at the start on Sunday, was battling through winds of up to 50 knots.
The most Thomson had seen was 42 knots and when the damage was discovered the wind had eased to 25 knots, though the sea was still very confused. He had already had to bail out nearly 1,500 litres of seawater from a ballast tank leak when he saw more water sloshing around and though it was more of the same. But when the level dropped Thomson saw a pressure stream coming through the port side near the structure which supports the keel fin and then found a six-foot strip of outer hull skin trailing in the water.
"I am too gutted to say anything," said Thomson.
Mike Golding is best of the seven British, putting Ecover into eighth place as Loick Peyron's Gitana Eighty retook the lead fro, Jean-Pierre Dick's Paprec-Virbac and Roland Jourdain third and in close pursuit.
Dee Caffari in Roxy, Sam Davies in Roxy and Brian Thompson in Bahrain Team Pindar were 12th, 13th, and 14th with Steve White doing remarkably well, 16th in Spirit of Weymouth. Jonny Malbon's Artemis was 19th.
Michel Desjoyeaux was back at sea having repaired the leak to his ballast system.
A video report from the Vendee Globe - Sam Davies in the thick of the storm
Latest in Sport
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Mario Balotelli's agent speaks as Brendan Rodgers swoops for German duo
- 2 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia