First blood in the Route du Rhum as Conrad Humphreys holes his Open 40 at the start

As the monohull fleet got off to a start in the Route du Rhum on Saturday, in much less severe winds than was originally forecast, the first of the wounded fell. British skipper Conrad Humphreys, making his solo sailing debut aboard Open 40 Hellomoto (renamed after last-minute sponsorship from Motorola), collided with Jean François Durand’s Open 50 Défi Vendéen after the start line. The collision forced him to stop for repairs, but he has since set off again.

The collision happened after Défi Vendéen became entangled with a mark. Humphreys reportedly had no time to take avoiding action and collided with the other yacht.

The impact made three holes at the starboard aft quarter of Humphreys’s boat, one of the them at the waterline. He put into Roscoff to make repairs on Saturday night and was towed out by RIB to restart the race at 0800GMT this morning.

Other news: Sébastian Josse’s Open 60 VMI was dismasted on Saturday, when an unspecified shroud fitting failed. The whole rig went over the side in a piece and part of the rigging punctured the hull. Josse has retired.