Something stopped Jean Le Cam's Bonduelle dead in her tracks 300 miles west of Finistere and water is flooding in through the hole

While on a solo qualifier for the Route du Rhum race on Sunday, Jean Le Cam’s Bonduelle hit a submerged object 300 miles west of Finistere which reportedly stopped the trimaran dead and knocked a hole in the main hull. The boat took on a substantial amount of water and the engine and electronics are said to be defunct. Le Cam alerted his short team by Iridium phone.

Le Cam is returning to France. He has not requested any help, though his team is trying to organise a motorboat equipped with a pump to meet him 100 miles from Ushant later today. During last night, he covered over 80 miles in the right direction, but the wind has increased and he has had to tack off to starboard to spare the boat.

Most of the monohull skippers have long since qualified for the Route du Rhum. Not so the multihull skippers, whose last grand prix event was less than two weeks ago at Fécamp. There is currently a rush to qualify for the event in time for the deadline, and Le Cam’s entry in now comes with a lot of ‘ifs’. If they can repair the boat before the beginning of November and if they can forge an exemption for the 1,000-mile qualifier are two of the most pressing.