Could it be the paperwork not the practicalities that prevent Bilou reaching the finish?

Will Roland Jourdain, aka Bilou, be able to finish the Vendée Globe without his keel bulb?

The consensus among that venerable collective I’ll call the Former Vendée Globe Skippers’ Club is that he can. With 8 tonnes of water ballast in the hull replacing the stability of a 3 tonne keel bulb, you could perhaps liken Veolia Environnement to a lifting keel boat with ballast concentrated in the hull.

Ironically, what might bring Bilou to a halt is the paperwork. Will his insurance company consent to let him continue from the Azores towards Les Sables d’Olonne, wonders the skippers’ club?

If they decide to withdraw his cover, Bilou will not be able continue as an official entry in the race.

This was pointed out to me by Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, who decided not to reveal his delamination problems in the 1992 Vendée Globe in case his insurers scuppered the venture.