A mad scramble under a tent of tarpaulins to get the solo skipper back out to sea
It’s terrible for Vendée Globe favourite Michel Desjoyeaux to have to return to Les Sables d’Olonne less than 24 hours into the race. The the two-day deficit on the leaders that he will have by the time he solves his charging problem will seriously dent his chances of a podium place.
As they used to say, a stern chase is a long chase. To have to claw back over the next three months is going to be really hard, especially when you know that the top two or three places are usually settled by a matter of hours.
And what a blow (literally) for Bernard Stamm, who collided with a fishing boat yesterday evening. I went to see what was happening on boat Cheminées Poujoulat’s this morning after repairs carried on overnight.
The bowsprit broken off in the collision is being rebuilt ashore and an area was being repaired where and the fishing boat had scraped down the forward third of the boat along the hull to deck area.
To speed up repairs, Stamm’s team are making repairs as the boat lies alongside in Les Sables d’Olonne under a makeshift tent of tarpaulins and plastic bags.
These are not ideal conditions, but Stamm’s team told me they are aiming to get him back out tomorrow.
This is possible because the start line of the Vendée Globe is open for ten days. This allows skippers with early breakages or problems to rejoin the race and because they are restarting the race the rule prohibiting outside assistance does not apply.