Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Marc Guillemot's Safran. Image copyright Jean Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendée Globe.
by Soazig Guého and Catherine Malek
This morning at 5h40 GMT, Thierry Brault, head of Marc Guillemot’s shore team rang the Vendée Globe Race Headquarter to inform of serious keel damage aboard Safran.
We can add that on 11th December, while Marc Guillemot was sailing at more than 20 knots towards the Kerguelen Islands, Safran had a violent collision with a sea mammal. This impact could well have led to the problem he is experiencing today. In fact, the keel on the monohull has worked loose in its box and has slid down a few centimetres.
Since he noticed this problem, Marc Guillemot has managed to secure his keel using ropes, linking the keel head to the mast and winch. The boat therefore remains watertight and stable, but this repair job is rather precarious.
Marc Guillemot has not requested any help for the moment. He is in good health and continuing on his way.
At 08h20 GMT, Safran was sailing at 24° 54.28 W 42° 4.00 N at 10 knots in heavy seas and with 30-35 knots of wind.
More information, later in the day:
Marc Guillemot announced this morning that there was some serious damage to Safran, concerning her keel after he noticed that it was loose in its box and had slid down a few centimetres.
Late this morning, Marc Guillemot called his shore team to inform that he had lost the keel.
Marc Guillemot has filled the ballast tanks on his monohull to lower at the most the centre of gravity and is sailing under small jib with three reefs in the mainsail.
The boat is now configured to sail without a keel and is continuing to Les Sables d’Olonne at reduced speed. By the end of the week, the weather should improve with essentially downwind sailing.
At 15h30, Safran was sailing at 23° 49.36 W 42° 16.56 N making nine knots.
Safran Sailing Team