One keel lost, one mast over side

Two yachts have suffered disaster in the Transat Jacques Vabre Race. One lost her keel the other her mast in the race across the Atlantic.
Tanguy de Lamotte and Eric Peron, the crew of the Class 40 Initiatives-Alex Oiliver, lost their keel 450 miles to the west of La Coruna, Spain when they were lying in third place in the race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

At the time the boat was making around 12 to 14kts in a southerly wind of 25 to 30kts and rough seas.

Initiatives – Alex Olivier was sailing with one reef in the main and the Solent headsail when the crew heard a popping sound and found that the boat suddenly became unmanageable. De Lamotte and Peron immediately dropped the mainand the Solent and set a storm jib.

The two sailors are on their way steadily now about 7 knots to the northeast, pushed by the prevailing southerly wind in the area. Both have on life jackets and have their all their safety and survival equipment immediately at hand. Skipper Tanguy de Lamotte was keen to stress that the crew of Initiatives – Alex Olivier are not in distress and have not requested assistance.

“We have life jackets on, the safety gear is to hand but we are not in a state of distress. We are both very careful and will not take any risks.”

Skipper Arnaud Boissieres confirmed that the mast of IMOCA Open 60 Akena Verandas had broken some 270 miles WNW of the Breton peninsula. They had been lying in ninth place in the Transat Jacques Vabre double handed Transatlantic race which set off from Le Havre, France on Wednesday.