At 1920hrs this Wednesday, November 23, the race management of the 12th edition of La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe received a message from CROSS Antilles to tell them that Gilles Buekenhout (JESS) had triggered his distress beacon. Buekenhout was the long-time leader of the Rhum Multi Class on the Martin Fischer-Benoit Cabaret-designed 12m trimaran.
The skipper contacted Race Direction some seven minutes later to say that he had capsized 225 miles NE of the Tête à l’Anglais. The Belgian skipper is on board and reported that he is not injured.
After speaking with their skipper the JESS technical told race management at 1950hrs that the 60 year old skipper is fine. His backup Iridium phone is working. Two cargo ships have been diverted by the CROSS Antilles Guyane, as well as competitors Loïc Escoffier (Lodigroup) and Roland Jourdain (We Explore) as requested by race management. More here.