Route du Rhum: Armel Le Cléac'h is "safe and sound"

Route du Rhum: Armel Le Cléac'h is "safe and sound"

Armel Le Cléac'h is "safe and sound" this Wednesday morning, announced his team.

One of the favorites of the race and was "rescued around 9:30 pm, Tuesday evening, by a fishing vessel arrived in the early evening area," said the organization of the race in a tweet.

The Cléac'h had triggered its distress beacon on Tuesday, around 12h, French time, following the breakage of the arm of his 32-meter maxi-trimaran, causing his capsize in hollows of 5 meters and winds from 30 to 35 knots (55-65 km / h).

He was heading tonight towards Spain. His team "is now studying all the solutions to recover the boat," said the organization in the same tweet.

At the beginning of the race, the sea has not made a gift to sailors. According to the testimony of the sailors, hollows of 5 to 6 meters have marked the road in the Bay of Biscay. Of the 123 boats departing Sunday from this solo transatlantic, nearly a third suffered these weather conditions.

Relief operations
The Gray Cross Nez was responsible for coordinating relief operations with the Portuguese authorities and a Falcon 50 left Tuesday at 16:00 to fly over the area and try to locate the boat. The Falcon arrived at the zone about 1 hour 45 minutes later.

The Cléac'h definitely has no luck with this brand new boat launched in October 2017. The super machine had already capsized in April, during a ferry near the coast of Morocco.

The navigator, who was sleeping at the time of the incident, was marked but managed to turn the page. On the other hand, the boat had suffered a lot of damage; it required a new mast (a gigantic piece of 37 m) and 4 months of construction to make it operational again for the Route du Rhum.

The craft, designed from the outset to fly with foils, is part of a highly elitist fleet (Ultim class) of very expensive boats (about 15 million euros) that open a new era in the offshore race .

But, before this Route du Rhum, no "flying" boat had crossed the Atlantic in a solo race.

Another favorite and another boat that flies, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, helmed by Sébastien Josse, did not hold 24 hours. Yet very fast but cautious on the water, the giant of the seas lost Monday 8 meters from its starboard float, completely torn off. The super sailboat was launched in July 2017.

Regular damage
Much older but also imposing, the boat of Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim) is also stopped, in the port of A Coruña (Spain) after the breakage of the fairing of the port forward arm.

Only François Gabart, on a boat of 3 years old in the Ultim class (Macif), is doing really well. He is leading the race and has escaped the second depression, which affects the bulk of the fleet.

Some had preferred to anticipate landing in a port on Monday night (Roscoff, Brest, Douarnenez among others) while others have faced the elements leaving feathers.

Isabelle Joschke (Monin), one of the 6 women on the transatlantic solo race, had the mast of her Imoca (18 m monohull) shattered in a strong sea and a wind blowing at 30-35 knots (55- 65 km / h). Sam Goodchild (Narcos: Mexico), a 28-year-old Briton, also dismasted, aboard a small monohull of 12 m (Class40).

And it's probably not finished.

"These conditions make maneuvers difficult and cause regular damage," said race director Jacques Caraës.

"A second and a third depression are announced in the middle and end of weeks," he warned.

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