Headwinds of 30 knots and 6 metre seas greeted the Vendee Globe fleet as they left France

For competitors of the sixth Vendée Globe, it’s been a tough first night. The fleet faced headwinds of 20-30 knots and 6 metre seas. Two boats have had to return to port – Dominque Wavre (Temenos) with electrical problems, and Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) who collided with a fishing boat damaging his bowsprit (pictured below). Dominque has since rejoined the race.

This morning’s (10 November) position update shows Marc Guillemot (Safran) still the leader. Most of the fleet are heading directly west as fast as possible, except three ? leader Guillemot, and British contenders Mike Golding (Ecover) and Sam Davies (Roxy), who have each put in two tacks to stay on a more direct south-westerly course. Of the main north-westerly group, Loick Peyron (Gitana Eighty) is currently in second place, with Roland Jourdain and Kito de Pavant very close by. Michel Dejoyeaux (Foncia) is the most westerly. On the rankings Dee Caffari (Aviva, pictured) is still showing as first Brit in eleventh, while Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) one place behind.

As for Bernard Stamm, he will be hoping to set off again soon: “There were a whole group of us racing upwind, and there was a fishing boat in the area that I saw some way off and didn’t seem to be a problem. I went down to do some nav work and a few minutes later? boom! I reckon he must have changed direction or the wind shifted a bit and my auto-pilot followed the shift.

“By the time it took me to go inside, I’d hit him. I couldn’t raise him on the radio. I don’t know whether he saw me. It was more or less a direct hit, a little bit to one side?I decided immediately to head back, as I can’t hoist any headsails. For a downwind race, that isn’t much good! It appears that only the bowsprit is broken, [so] I’ll be setting off again – there’s no reason not to. It’s an around the world race, so it isn’t over yet.”