Vendee Globe winner breaks mast on first day of Route du Rhum 30/10/06

At 1800 this evening Vincent Riou – winner of the 2004/5 Vendee Globe – reported a broken mast aboard his brand-new Open 60 PRB.

Riou, competing in the Route du Rhum which started from St Malo yesterday, was positioned 20 miles off the Scilly Isles in 15-20kts of wind with large mainsail and Solent up when the mast broke into three pieces.

Fortunately Riou was able to free the mast in daylight and start motoring back towards Brittany to meet the rescue team currently en-route. The last report shows Riou making 3.8kts in stable conditions which means he should meet up with his team aboard the high-speed motorboatSNSM Margodigat approximately 0600 in the morning. PRB will then be towed into Bénodet.