Open 50 fleet leader breaks her knee and several other retire from OSTAR with gear failure

Less than a week into the race, leader in the OSTAR Open 50 Multihull fleet – Anne Caseneuve (Acanthe Ingenierie) – announced early yesterday morning her withdrawal from the race. According to a report on, in the extreme conditions with winds reaching 40kts Caseneuve suffered a brutal fall and has broken her knee. Commenting from the boat she said: “I fell, my knee is out by 90 degrees, as soon as I push on this leg the knee gives way, that is terrible, the leg cannot support me and the knee seems to weigh tons. I have to shuffle in a sitting position to do anything, even taking a lot of care, I howl with pain, dealing with the boat is impracticable. With what I have done to myself, I could never be first, and if I continue, it would take 20 days at least to arrive.”

This means Roger Lanegin on Branec IV has regained the lead but is being chased hard by Cotonella. Skipper Franco Manzoli who was the first boat round the Eddystone Light shortly after leaving Plymouth is looking to stamp his mark at the front of the multihulls.

On the fourth day of the Faraday Mill OSTAR yesterday reports from the boats show no relent in the strong winds. Peter Keig on Zeal is recording Force 6-7 from the south-east while Ronny Nollet on La Promesse is reporting 30 knots from the north-west.

The Open 40s are starting to spread out. Patrice Carpentier took the boldest step heading furthest north but the fleet is still led by Michael Kleinjans. Further down the fleet Pierre Yves Chatelin on the Open 40 Destination Calais announced his retirement at 1100 this morning. According to the latest reports it seems he has bulkhead problems and has damaged his mast track. He’s currently heading for Kinsale. Hannah White, also sailing an Open 40, has reported problems with her Code zero. Apparently after a long struggle to remove the sail it was dragged into the water and had to be cut away.