There’s been a tough blow aboard Temenos II in the Vendee Globe. Around 1430 UT Dominique contacted his shore crew as the ram attachment to the keel head has yielded. The result of this breakage is that the keel has come away from its rams and is no longer held in a stable position and is free to swing in big seas (Dominique spoke of 6m waves during the midday radio session) which is threatening the solidity of the hull bottom and hence the boat’s integrity.
For the time being the skipper is fine and is requesting no assistance. He doesn’t envisage abandoning ship. He immediately dumped his sails and contacted naval architect Merfyn Owen so as to determine the consequences of such damage. The skipper explained that he hadn’t felt any impact at the point that the damage occurred. Further information will be available later.