Kito De Pavant is officially now the unluckiest man in Vendee Globe racing. Last night, Groupe Bel collided with a fishing boat while Kito was grabbing a few winks of sleep, and for the second straight time, the laughing cow is out of the race almost before it started. The impact tore off the bowsprit and smashed the deck spreader, leaving a nice hole in the deck and ending Kito’s race.
The official press release blames the problem on the trawler’s AIS transponder being off, though anyone who has sailed on the stretch of coast knows there are boats in the Portuguese fishing fleet that don’t even have working radios, much less AIS. Bad luck for a very popular IMOCA skipper, and pretty clear from his dispatches that he knows it was lousy seamanship too. Kito De Pavant/Groupe Bel photo, and you can meet the man in Clean’s interview here.