Marc Guillemot's shore team have informed directors of keel damage, but skipper not requested help
At 05:40 GMT this morning, Thierry Brault – head of Marc Guillemot’s shore team – contacted the Vendée Race Directors to inform them of a keel problem aboard Safran.
While the damage for the moment remains unspecified it is known that on 11 December, while Marc Guillemot was sailing at more than 20 knots towards the Kerguelen Islands, Safran had a collision with a sea mammal.
This impact may have contributed to the problem he is experiencing today. The keel on Safran has worked loose and slid down a few centimeters lower in the keel box.
Since he realised the problem, Guillemot has managed to partially secure his keel from dropping further using ropes, linking the keel head to the mast and winch. As such the boat therefore remains watertight and stable, but this fix is temporary and is seen as precarious.
Marc Guillemot has not requested any help for the moment. He is in good health and continuing on his way.
Read Elaine Bunting’s comments on keel problems and why we should not accept excuses for these catastrophic failures on her blog