Christophe Bullens Retires from VELUX 5 OCEANS

Belgian sailor Christophe Bullens has withdrawn from the 28th VELUX 5 OCEANS after a broken mast track thwarted his latest attempt to set sail from Cape Town, South Africa.The setback was the latest in a long list of technical difficulties for the 49-year-old solo sailor. His troubles began before the race’s start, when his first Eco 60, Five Oceans of Smiles, was dismasted en
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Belgian sailor Christophe Bullens has withdrawn from the 28th VELUX 5 OCEANS after a broken mast track thwarted his latest attempt to set sail from Cape Town, South Africa.

The setback was the latest in a long list of technical difficulties for the 49-year-old solo sailor. His troubles began before the race’s start, when his first Eco 60, Five Oceans of Smiles, was dismasted en route to La Rochelle, France. Four days before the race, Bullens bought the yacht Artech from Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty and sailed a 48-hour qualification passage.

He started the race on October 24, but suffered a host of problems in the following weeks, including a split mainsail, failed electronics, an onboard flood and a collision with a whale. The broken mast track came after two prior attempts to leave Cape Town for Wellington, New Zealand.

“All the problems encountered have finally beaten me and my boat, and have prevented me from continuing,” Bullens said, “Unfortunately I have no other choice than to withdraw from the race. It is not reasonable, and even dangerous, to go on.”

Race director Dave Adams praised Bullens’ tenacity, calling him a role model for the sport. “It is sad to see Christophe withdraw from racing but his decision is a sensible and reasoned one given the conditions he will face in the Southern Ocean and beyond.,” Adams said, “We wish Christophe the best of luck for the future and hope to see him on the start line of the Velux 5 OCEANS in 2014. “

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is a grueling solo race in which competitors cover 30,000 nautical miles in five ocean sprints. Four competitors—Derek Hatfield, Brad Van Liew, Zbigniew Gutkowski and Chris Stanmore-Major—remain in the race.

For more information and race coverage, click here.

Related

MHS-Horizon

New Multihulls for 2021

Lagoon 55 “Our experience tells us that people ignore a design that ignores people. That’s why we wanted to draw a beautiful boat that would be immediately identifiable as being a Lagoon,” says designer Patrick le Quément. And indeed, the new Lagoon 55 is a boat with an ...read more

NewBoatsTwitter

New Boats: A Mix of Speed and Smarts

While it’s safe to say that U.S. production boatbuilding is a shadow of its former self, one North American company that is still going strong is Rhode Island-based J/Boats. Not only that, but far from just surviving, the company continues to push the envelope, ...read more

01-LEAD-170914_JR_WCSEnoshima19_327556_0704

Enoshima Japan Olympics

If experience has a tone, it would sound like three-time Olympian and 470 sailor Stu McNay—steady, measured, with a positive, almost Mr. Rogers feeling. “Each Game has a unique flavor,” he says, the day before last spring’s 470 European Championships, one of the rare events he ...read more

Amel50-2048x

Boat Review: Amel 50

It is possible to cross an ocean in almost anything that will float, just as you could cross the United States on anything with wheels. But to voyage safely, swiftly and comfortably calls for a good deal more than the minimum. That’s where bluewater specialist Amel comes into ...read more

01-LEAD-lagoon46-ncz4503-a3

10 Places to Cruise With a Catamaran

Navel gazing doesn’t get much better than from the deck of a sailboat anchored somewhere exotic. You can think great thoughts staring up at the stars from a South Seas anchorage. It’s also better doing so on a catamaran. Full confession: I’m a cat convert, a cat evangelist if ...read more

Radome

Ask SAIL: Some Random TLC

Q: I recently removed my radar’s white radome, which covers the internal rotating antenna. I gave the radome a light sandblasting to clear it of years of grime and discoloring. Should I paint it, too? — B. Anderson, Aberdeen, MD GORDON WEST REPLIES Stop! First, make sure the ...read more

L42-Sea-Trails-3728

Boat Review: Leopard 42

Sticking with its proven design formula, but also cherry-picking popular features from its recent models, Leopard Catamarans has launched a “best of” package with this new boat that sold nearly 30 units before hull #1 even touched water. Like a greatest hits album, the Leopard ...read more

01-LEAD-Cut8

Know how: Reinforcing Engine Stringers

If I were to ask, “What are the top five parts of the engine you want to be able to easily access?” How would you respond? Would it be the dipstick? The overflow coolant? I’d wager the raw water pump and its impeller would also make the list. Am I right? The reason we want to be ...read more