On Sunday, after having been first across the equator in the Brest Atlantiques race , Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier aboard the Ultime maxi-tri Maxi Edmond de Rothschild reported they’d be making a pitstop in Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil, after damaging one of their daggerboards in a collision with an unidentified object off Cape Verde.
The video above shows the boat coming in for what would be a head-spinning 12 hours of work to the get the 104ft boat back up and running, in the process sacrificing about 200 miles to the race’s leaders. The good news is that with 10,000 miles still to go in the race, which began in Brest, France, and goes all the way down to South Africa and back, there’s plenty of time to make up the deficit.
“With the impact, the lower section of the daggerboard and hence the lifting surface that formed the tip of this appendage was seriously damaged,” said Cyril Dardashti, director of the repair crew. “Just a quarter of the way into the race, we couldn’t allow ourselves to continue with such a handicap. This daggerboard with its lifting surface is one of the key elements of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild as it ensures stable flight at very high speeds. Fortunately, we had a spare part in Brittany.”
As for Cammas and Caudrelier, they spent their time ashore sleeping.
“We’ve managed to really optimize our time here,” Caudrelier said, as he and his teammate were casting off lines again. “It’s never easy this type of stopover, as it’s a very short turnaround, and we will need to very quickly get back into the swing of things. This is heightened by the fact that we had a good lead over the fleet, and we were sailing well. Right now, we’re setting out behind two of our rivals, so inevitably that’s difficult. However, we’re staying very positive! There’s still a long way to go. The upcoming weather situation is quite clear, and there look to be a few opportunities in the cards over the coming days.”
Meanwhile, next up to make a pitstop in the four-boat doublehanded fleet is Macif, with Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias aboard, which apparently damaged its central rudder in a similar collision. Alas, it appears the downside to sailing such beamy boats with all those fancy underwater appendages is you make an awfully big target for any bits of junk that may be floating around out there.
For the latest on the race, click here.