Vendée Globe turns demolition derby as fifth starter retires
The demolition derby aspect of the Vendée Globe round the world race continued to dominate coverage on Sunday as the fifth of the 20 starters limped off the racecourse and a sixth sought to fix a problem which could also force him to retire.
The 24,400-mile race is only a week old as Jérémie Beyou heads for the Cape Verde Islands to fix what sounds like a major hydraulics problem controlling the keel of his Open 60 Maitre Coq.
It will not be easy, his boat is also taking water, and the race rules forbid any outside assistance. At the same time Poland’s Zbigniew Gutkowski was seeking shelter to free a sail wrapped around the top of the mast of Energa.
More difficult may be the problem of fixing the cause. His self-steering mechanism is faulty and he may not wish to take on the Southern Ocean, though he is a long way from taking that decision without a fully functional autopilot. “Going into the Southern Ocean without an autopilot is a completely stupid idea,” said Gutkowski.
Beyou has not given up hope and if he can centre and securely fix the keel and “there’s a tiny little chance to go on, we’ll stay in the race.”
Explaining why the IMOCA 60-foot boats used in the race are so much more prone to keel and keel hydraulics problems than the Volvo Open 70s, British designer Merfyn Owen explained that the Open 60 keels were all designed individually for each boat whereas there has been a much tougher design rule for the Volvo boats – and next time round starting 2014 they will all be exactly the same. “The Volvo boats have much more of a belt and braces approach,” he said.
Less easy to understand is the amount of time being taken by the jury which deliberates on any rule infringements in the VG. Monday sees seven days since two protests against a total of nine boats for infringing traffic separation lanes around Cape Finisterre, including one against Britain’s Mike Golding.
Nor has there been any clear explanation about the reason for such a lengthy delay either from the jury, headed by France’s Bernard Bonneau, or the race committee, headed by Denis Horeau and which itself submitted a protest against eight competitors.
Armel l Cleac’h continues to lead the remaining 14, plus two wounded, as the fleet approaches the Doldrums.Second is the early leader, François Gabart. Britain’s Alex Thomson is sixth and Mike Golding ninth.
Latest in Sport
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United? 'My next move will be a surprise' says PSG striker
Ashes 2015 live: Latest score and updates with Australia on the brink of humiliating defeat after Jimmy Anderson claims David Warner wicket
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Spanish club resume £28m pursuit after fending Manchester United off Sergio Ramos
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey
Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United: Has Memphis Depay revealed 'mystery striker' target?
- 1 Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
- 2 Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May officially heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
- 3 Stuart Baggs: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 4 How to cancel Amazon Prime: after Top Gear hiring, how to leave premium service
- 5 MH370 debris: Investigators 'confident' that Boeing 777 wing found - live updates
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains