Alex has discovered a crack on the port side of the hull and is returning to Les Sables d'Olonne
After enduring 32 hours of some of the worst Biscay conditions, British yachtsman Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) is returning to Les Sables d’Olonne following the discovery of a structural problem. A crack has appeared on the port side hull, the opposite side to the recent repair.
At 19:45 GMT Alex Thomson turned Hugo Boss around to head back to France. He is in no imminent danger – the boat is taking on water, but at a manageable rate. On arrival in Les Sables D’Olonne the damage will be assessed. He is approximately 290 miles from the port.
Hugo Boss will be the eighth yacht to return to the start since Sunday afternoon. The Vendee Globe rules only allow the competing yachts to return to Les Sables D’Olonne to carry out repairs using outside assistance and restart the race within a 10 day window of Sunday 9 November (the start date).
The severe weather on the Bay of Biscay, with winds reported to have reached 45 to 50 knots during the evening, have hit the fleet hard. The following is a summary of the entrants who have had to return:
Dominique Wavre, Temenos II: had an electrical problem and returned to Les Sables d’Olonne. He returned to the race late in the evening of Sunday 9 November.
Bernard Stamm, Cheminées Poujoulat: had a collision with a cargo ship. He returned to Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 9/10 November. Damage to bowsprit.
Michel Desjoyeaux, Foncia: electrical and engine problems following a leak from a water ballast tank. He was expected to arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne during the night 10/11 November.
Jean- Baptiste Dejeanty, Group Maisoneuve: damage to deck reported during the morning of Monday10 November. Arrival expected in Les Sables d’Olonne on the morning of 11 November.
Derek Hatfield, Algimouss Spirit of Canada: electrical problems during the afternoon/evening of Monday 10 November. Expected to return to Les Sables d’Olonne during the morning 11 November.
Yannick Bestaven, Aquarelle.com: dismasted reported during the evening of Monday 10 November. Arrival expected at Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 11/12 November.
Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel: dismasted during the evening of Monday 10 November, arrival could be in Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 11/12 November
Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss: structural problem in the evening of Monday 10 November, arrival predicted in Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 11/12 November.
The Vendee Globe start line remains open during 10 days after the start. The competitors can cross it until Wednesday, 19 November – 13:02 local time.