Unfortunatelly my first news is a bad one, about Kito de Pavant who had to stop the race after a collision with an UFO, contacted by telephone, Kito de Pavant declared, “I hit something hard with the keel. It was a violent shock and the boat came to a standstill. The rear bearings of the keel were ripped off and the keel is hanging under the boat kept in place simply by the keel ram, which is in the process of cutting through the hull... The keel housing has been destroyed and there isa huge ingress of water there, but for the moment, it is limited to the engine compartment. I currently have forty knots of wind and 5-6m high waves. The boat is stopped. I brought down the mainsail so that she is heeling less. The situation has been stabilised for the moment. I have my survival kit alongside me. Someone is going to have to come and get me. I am trying to contact the Marion Dufresne to ask them to come here."
The Vendée Globe Race Directors immediately alerted the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Center ) Gris Nez to inform them of the damage and organise the rescue.
The vessel which supplies the French territories in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic was on a mission from Reunion Island touring around the southern islands. Captain Dudouit was informed of the situation by the MRCC and rescue centre at Gris-nez. Around 110miles north of Kito de Pavant's position, the Marion Dufresne accelerated to reach the monohull as quickly as possible as her keel threatened to drop off at any moment endangering the life of the skipper. As night fell in the area, the vessel reached Bastide-Otio at around 1530 UTC and established radio contact with Kito, who described the situation, with winds still blowing at around 30 knots and on very rough seas.
The day after Sebastien Josse, skipper of Gitana - Edmond de Rotschild has also had to retire of the race after damage on his foil!
Hopefully, my next news will be a good one!
Source: Vendée Globe