Delta Dore spreader trouble

Vendee Globe sailor Jeremie Beyou is heading for Brazil with damage to two upper spreaders on Delta Dore. While lying ninth in the Vendee Globe fleet he realized that his leeward rigging was slack and that he has suffered damage to his two upper spreaders.

He is in no immediate danger but has reduced the load on the rig, slowing down and bearing off towards the Brazilian coast, making for Salvador de Bahia.

“I was inside during the night sailing upwind in 22 knots of wind under staysail and full mainsail. I heard a cracking sound… On the leeward side, the second spreader was hanging off: The whole spreader fixing was broken. The shroud got entangled in the runner and then the top spreaders broke away too. I immediately slowed down and bore away, making sure I didn’t gybe, as that would have caused the mast to fall. The spreaders were turning around and around: it’s impossible to climb the mast without running the risk of getting my head chopped off by the piece of carbon… I think the mast itself may have been damaged. I’m doing all I can to make sure the mast stays up until we reach Brazil.””

“”It is the mechanical parts that broke. I can’t possibly manufacture them on board the boat: I have stuff to repair everything except the mast and the keel. I’m not the only one with this system: Generali, BT, Gitana Eighty also have the same fittings. We fitted new parts just before setting sail and checked it all in Les Sables d’Olonne.”

Since then, his shore team have announced he will probably head for Salvador da Bahia, 700 miles away, beam reaching, which will mean less strain on the rig. He will take his time to inspect the damage and consult his shore team about the means he has on board the boat to try and make repairs.

On the race course the ever consistent Loick Peyron has stretched his leading margin slightly more, just less than two miles during the last position schedule. Gitana Eighty now leads Seb Josse (BT) by 29.7 miles.

Mike Golding, GBR, (Ecover 3) gained one place in the powerful upwind conditions. He passed Yann Elies (Generali) this morning but is almost even with him again this afternoon, though the British boat has been quickest of the top ten over the last 24 hours and between the last position reports.

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