Route du Rhum sailor rejoins race following collision last week 6/11/06

Having lost 1,700 miles and almost two and a half days as result of hitting a container last week while competiting in the Route du Rhum Stève Ravussin is back in the race again.

Ravussin’s yacht the Orange Project damaged a daggerboard when she hit a submerged container while steaming along at 20kts in the trade winds 140 miles north-west of Azores last Thursday see news story here . Fortunately there was little damage to the hull but she was diverted to Horta for repairs to her rudder.

Ravussin set sail again yesterday and this morning reported another collision but this time with a soft object. Commenting Ravussin said: “This time it was something soft, probably an animal, as there doesn’t seem to be any damage? The risk of hitting a container or any other object is part of the race. It’s something we have to accept.”

With an average of 25 knots of instantaneous speed this morning, Ravussin was smiling once again and feeling much happier. He is now sailing at a good speed, in spite of a few patches of light airs, on his way towards a front coming from the west. The wind should shift from the east to north and increase. Commenting Ravussin said: “I’m expecting 40-knot winds. The boat was designed to sail quickly in fresh winds. I hope to stay on one tack for a long time, with just the occasional gybe. I should get four or five days of gliding along at high speed to Pointe à Pitre.”