While Roland Jourdain's Sill retires from the 1000 milles de Calais with keel problems, Jean Le Cam's Bonduelle heads the fleet towards the Fastnet

After a fantastic effort to make the start line of the 1000 milles de Calais just 12 days after its launch, Sill has retired with keel problems. Roland Jourdain and crew are now en route for Concarneau or Port La Forêt, 200 miles away in north-west Brittany, which they hope to make by this afternoon.

Skipper, Jourdain, wishes to state that the retirement is not due to a structural problem. Quite simply the keel has suffered some delamination of material between the keel and the bulb and the crew would rather nurse the boat into her Jourdain’s home port as a question of precaution rather than urgency. The seas are flat and the conditions are good.

It was yesterday morning when they noticed a slight anomaly between the keel and the bulb. The keel is made entirely of carbon, completely separately to that of sistership Bonduelle. It isn’t a structural issue but it is a warning that something isn’t quite right which must be investigated on a brand-new boat. “Nothing catastrophic” according to a calm skipper.

In contrast Bonduelle, also very recently launched, is heading the fleet in this 1000 milles de Calais with Ecover holding onto second. The entire fleet is now passed the Scillies (150 miles from the Fastnet) and during the last few hours Bonduelle has pulled out on Ecover and now leads the fleet by just over a mile in a 12kt northerly breeze. The third-placed boat, Virbac is now 9.4miles astern.