Loïck Peyron is forced out of his solo Atlantic bid in The Transat bakery after a staysail fitting pulled out of the deck

Damage to a staysail fitting has ended Loïck Peyron’s nostalgic solo transatlantic race in the ketch Duick II. Peyron decided to turn round and retire to France yesterday, quitting The Transat bakerly race from Plymouth to New York after the staysail attachment pulled out of the coachroof.

It is a big blow to Peyron, three times winner of the race that was the OSTAR, and not a quitter by nature. But while the big trimarans and leading IMOCA 60s have finished the race, Peyron is only halfway across and would have been facing more strenuous and punishing upwind conditions. He has already noted the fact that Pen Duick II, Eric Tabarly’s 1964 race winning wooden ketch, has a few leaks.

Loïck Peyron on board Pen Duick II

Loïck Peyron on board Pen Duick II

Yesterday, Peyron reported: “Staysail plate torn off the bridge, but no problem. Unfortunatel, I can not continue into the wind, so for the moment I am proceeding on Quiberon.”

Peyron intends to sail the yacht back to ENVSN, where Pen Duick II has been owned and used as part of the sailing school for nearly 50 years. He should be there in around ten days.

Meanwhile, British sailor Richard Tolkien is safe on board a cargo ship after calling for help and abandoning his IMOCA 60 at the weekend following a head injury.

You can see Peyron’s tour round Pen Duick II in this video.