Groupe Bel duo reveal they have been sailing without two damaged sails
Kito De Pavant revealed this morning that Groupe Bel has been sailing without two damaged sails. This leaves them still consistently losing miles to the Spanish duo Mapfre and Estrella Damm. Pavant says that they have been sailing without the damaged sails since 11 January, before the Cape Verde islands when the fleet leaders were sailing fast in strong North-Easterly trade winds.
The boat is reported to have luffed violently damaging the big gennaker which was rendered unusable. They continued under heavy spinnaker which they damaged the next day. The skipper explained subsequently that they no longer have the ideal sails for the wind range 15-25 knots.
They are understood to be considering a technical stop, possibly in New Zealand. Any stop after leaving the Indian Ocean must be of a mandatory minimum of forty-eight hours. Teams can carry up to ten officially measured sails whilst up to sixty percent of a damaged sail can be repaired.
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