Alex Thomson has stated that he has not yet made a decision whether or not to retire from the Vendee Globe
Despite extreme weather conditions which are hampering progress, Alex Thomson has stated that he has not yet made a decision whether or not to retire from the Vendee Globe following yesterday’s deck damage.
Alex and shore team are currently exploring all the options and a further statement will be issued later today.
Chatting from the boat yesterday a disappointed Thomson recalls what happened: “I’m fine but my boat is sick. I had lots of wind, 40 knots gusting more. I was under 2 reefs, ORC and had taken down by staysail. I went below. The waves were very steep and the boat was slamming. All of a sudden I heard a big crack, the very distinctive sound of breaking carbon.
“My first thought was for the mast but the noise was coming from lower down. I checked down at the keel but that was ok and then I looked up and I could see daylight. The base of the gooseneck had collapsed through the deck leaving a hole 1ft by 1ft, the gooseneck half in, half out of the boat. It was a very upsetting experience after all the problems of the last week.
“My mast is ok though and I have sent some pictures to the architects Lombard to see what they recommend I do. I’m going downwind towards Cape Town and then I’ll decide what to do. I have some material aboard but my gut feeling is that I haven’t got enough. For now I’m concentrating on keeping the boat dry so going north looks like the only solution! (laughs) I’m just trying to minimise the damage.”