and then there were four
Belgian solo sailor Christophe Bullens has retired from the Velux 5 oceans race following a string of problems onboard his yacht. After a catalogue of breakages and equipment failures the final straw came just an hour after setting sail from Cape Town for the third time when the mast track onboard Five Oceans of Smiles too ripped out for the second time. His effort was seemingly doomed from the start and the list below shows his incredible string of bad luck.
Brad Van Liew contunes to lead the remaining four competitors.
October 5, 2010: Christophe’s original Eco 60 Five Oceans of Smiles is dismasted en route to La Rochelle. He and his team start the search for another yacht to race with.
October 13, 2010: Four days before the race start Christophe acquires Artech from French sailor Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty
October 17, 2010: Christophe starts the VELUX 5 OCEANS with the rest of the fleet before returning to La Rochelle after a 48-hour qualification passage
October 24, 2010: After making preparations to his new boat, Christophe sets sail from La Rochelle a week behind the rest of the fleet
November 1, 2010: Christophe forced to stop in Gran Canaria for 48 hours after strong winds split his mainsail and broke several battens
November 10, 2010: Christophe diverts to the Cape Verde Islands to seek medical attention after developing a fever
November 25, 2010: Around a tonne of water floods into Five Oceans of Smiles
November 28, 2010: Christophe hits a whale
December 6, 2010: After 49 days at sea, Christophe arrives in Cape Town with just five days until ocean sprint two starts
December 16, 2010: Ocean sprint two starts four days later than scheduled due to strong wind off Cape Town
December 17, 2010: Christophe returns to Cape Town after the electronics on his yacht failed and rudder problems
December 20, 2010: After an amazing effort by a team of volunteers on the dock in Cape Town Christophe restarts ocean sprint two
December 22, 2010: Problems with the mast track on Five Oceans of Smiles too force Christophe to return to Cape Town
January 1, 2011: Christophe sets sail from Cape Town again but is forced to return after the mast track breaks again
January 3, 2011: Christophe withdraws from the VELUX 5 OCEANS