Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Paprec-Virbac 2 loses port rudder... Vendee Globe

Paprec-Virbac 2 loses port rudder in collision with floating object.

At around 1300hrs GMT, Vendee Globe skipper Jean-Pierre Dick suffered a collision with a solid object which is reported to have removed the port rudder and most of its assembly from the stern of Paprec-Virbac 2.

He was sailing at around 15 knots of boat speed, under mainsail and gennaker when incident happened during the hours of darkness.

The skipper reported to his shore team that he has no idea what the object was. He immediately slowed the boat, reduced sail to two reefs and a staysail and turned on to the opposite gybe so that he could steer with his starboard rudder.

His position was approximately 47 deg 49.53 S, 143 deg 08.10 W. That places him about 1700 miles south of the French Polynesian Islands, 2700 miles WNW of Cape Horn, and about 1800 miles from New Zealand.

The Nicois skipper is unharmed, there is no other damage reported to the boat and he is making a compass course of about 350 degrees towards the South Pacific high pressure system which will initially provide calmer winds and seas while he and his team assess the options. -

Dee's mainsail falling apart

"I could do with some sunshine though because I need to get out on deck and patch up my mainsail because it is falling apart. It needs to come down but to do that I need it to be sunny. I have been patching it for the whole of the Southern Ocean but the patches keep falling off so I am trying something different. All the layers are separating so I need to do something and hopefully I will be able to do it tomorrow because the forecast is for it to be easier and the winds to be lighter. Arnaud and I are in email contact and it is nice being so close. He told me had a lot of sunshine today whereas it has been really wet but I'm not sure if these lighter winds will allow me to gain a few miles. They are saying it is the worst weather the Vendée has ever had. I've had worst weather than when I've been down here before but I was in a boat which was designed for that sort of weather. It's very different when you are racing in an Open 60. But I am really enjoying this. I can't believe I am half way round the world in 50 days. It is really cool doing it this fast." Dee Caffari (Aviva) in her daily message -