Vendée Globe Skipper Awaits Rescue - Sail Magazine

Vendée Globe Skipper Awaits Rescue

Author:
Publish date:
kito-de-pavant-lors-de-l-annonce-de-son-avarie-r-1680-1200

French Vendée Globe competitor Kito de Pavant is currently awaiting rescue after his IMOCA 60 Bastide Otio struck an unidentified floating object that destroyed his keel housing, ripped off his aft keel mountings and left the appendage supported by only its hydraulic ram.

De Pavant, who at the time of the collision was in 10th place in the solo round-the-world race and some 120 miles north of the Crozet Islands in the southern Indian Ocean, also reported his boat has experienced “a significant ingress of water.” Although the video above is in French, de Pavant’s situation and the extent of the damage to his boat are readily apparent starting at about 00:30.

Race organizers and the MRCC rescue coordination center have dispatched the 360ft Marion Dufresne research and supply vessel, which supplies the remote French archipelagos of Crozet, the Kerguelen, Saint Paul and Amsterdam islands, to pick de Pavant up.

The Marion Dufresne was initially reported to be around 110 nautical miles away and had an ETA in the area during the early part of this evening with a plan to evacuate the skipper by rigid inflatable boat when daylight occurs around 0200hrs UTC.

Alain Gautier, the Vendée Globe Safety Director, explained: “We're hoping they will arrive at around 1700 UTC, but by then it will be dark there, so it is down to the commanding officer of the ship to decide what sort of operation to carry out. They are likely to want to wait until day breaks at around 0100 UTC to launch a RIB to recover Kito. It will all depend on the conditions. We can imagine that the Marion Dufresne will position herself windward of Kito to try to calm down the seas. But she's not that big a boat, so we don't know if that will be enough to ensure a safe operation. Sunrise is at around 0130 UTC, but they may wait a while for the weather to ease. Already the winds will not be as strong during the night. Our goal is to get Kito aboard the Marion Dufresne. It will be up to Kito's team to deal with the boat, but that's not going to be easy in that zone. Meanwhile, he has called us when he finds the time. After the shock this morning and the obvious disappointment, we can see that he is more in control of the situation now.”

De Pavant, 55 years old, had battled through more than 48 hours of strong winds and big seas and was racing with a double reefed main making around 16kts in 40kts of wind and 24 to 36ft seas. The popular skipper has been forced to retire from two previous Vendée Globe races, in 2008-9 when he was dismasted 18 hours after the start and in 2012-13 when he retired into Cascais after a collision with a trawler.

In the previous editions, de Pavant's target was to win the Vendée Globe or at least to finish on the podium. However, prior to the start of the current race he had stated several times that his primary objective this time around was just to achieve a finish. He had therefore been sailing a mature, solid race since the start, taking no risks, but alas, to no avail.

Related

SWTR005_SWJK022

MPX Pro Offshore Jacket

Heavy Duty JacketMusto’s new MPX Pro Offshore Jacket features the same waterproof, breathable three-layer Gore-Tex fabric as its predecessors, but weighs 15 percent less. Changes to the hood make it easier to adjust and the fleece-lined collar and hood pod provide both warmth and ...read more

2018-BestBoatNominees

Best Boats Nominees 2019

As we approach the upcoming fall boat shows, perhaps the best word to describe the boatbuilding industry’s latest crop of new designs is “consolidation.” Specifically, in recent months we’ve seen a number of innovations introduced in years past continue to work their way up and ...read more

9781472947666

Book Review: The Atlantic Crossing Guide

Jane Russell & the RCC Pilotage FoundationIf you have a yen for sailing across the Pond to explore the delights of Northern Europe or the Mediterranean, you’d best do some homework first. There’s no better primer than this weighty tome, now in its 7th edition. It’s crammed with ...read more

shutterstock_63705382

Raytech Gelbox Line

Well GelledEvery so often you run across a product you never knew you needed, and then you wonder why it took so long for someone to come up with it. Thus it is with the Gelbox line from Raytech. These reuseable plastic boxes for low-voltage connectors are filled with gel, so ...read more

shutterstock_295810247

Cruising: Nova Scotia’s Bras d’Or Lake

I have rarely had a cruise that wasn’t different from my expectations, and my Nova Scotia travels have borne that out. For my friend and shipmate, Steve White, and me, our 2017 trip to Cape Breton Island and the Bras d’Or Lake on One Timer, my Sabre 362, was a much anticipated ...read more

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more