A damage keel has forced Vendee Globe competitor Norbert Sedlacek to divert to Cape Town

Damage to the keel of Norbert Sedlacek’s yacht Brother has forced him to divert and join the stream of Vendee Globe yachts already limping towards the coast of South Africa for repair.

The race management of the race received a call from Sedlacek at 1620 GMT when he was 920 miles from Cape Town. In the communication Sedlacek stated that the keel of his monohull is damaged and may become dislocated from the hull. The canting keel is mounted on a longitudinal axis which rests on two pivots one on the fore part of the keel and the other on the aft part of the keel. It is the rear part of the keel which is broken.

For the moment the keel is mechanically linked to the hull but as Sedlacek explained in an earlier radio interview today: “It’s not very safe. I am however, optimistic the keel will stay intact until Cape Town if the conditions remain, but I don’t know, because there is also another bit broken. If the sea gets heavy I don’t think the keel will hold.”