At 1300 UTC, Paprec-Virbac II lost its port rudder following a collision with an unidentified floating object. The rudder was completely ripped off the transom of the IMOCA 60. The boat is now left with only the starboard rudder, which has already been damaged in an earlier collision.
Jean-Pierre said “I was on starboard tack, doing about 15 knots under full main and gennaker. I was sleeping when I heard a big bang. I rushed outside and saw the port rudder out of the water and wobbling about in its housing. The whole structure was damaged. I’d hardly started to inspect at when the whole thing tore off. It all happened in less than a minute. Who would have thought that I’d lose the port rudder when the starboard one had already been damaged? I must have hit something, probably a growler.
Sailing with just one rudder and a damaged rudder at that is very dangerous and it is clear my Vendee Globe is over. I’m heading for New Zealand with a heavy heart. I fought like the devil to stay in the race, but it’s no longer possible. I’m going to try to make it to New Zealand, which is 1800 miles away, avoiding the worst of the winds. It’s terrible, because it has implications for me, for my team and my sponsors, but that’s life.
Translation Marian Martin/BYM News