Southern Ocean too dangerous for one blade

Vendee Globe non-stop, solo, round-the-world, sailor Jean-Pierre Dick is sailing north to seek calmer seas, since the repair work required to his rudder is very complicated. In addition to this, to continue on one rudder in the south seas would be dangerous.

“It was really warm. I had over 40 knots wind speed and a rough sea. It wasn’t easy with a single rudder to steer the boat. The most annoying thing is that the waves have been bashing away at the damaged rudder. This has increased the harm done.

“I’m faced with an extremely difficult situation. The weather is not good for repair work. Ahead of me in the south are two large low pressure areas with waves of over 8 metres. It would be impossible to repair in these conditions and it would be particularly dangerous for the boat and therefore, for me too.

‘For the moment, I am taking a break from the race. I am sad at heart to be leaving the leaders, but I must accept that I’ll have to set course for a calmer sea, in order to have the best chances of making the repairs. So I’m heading north. Being able to finish the race will already be a real performance. The repair work is not won yet. It’s going to be surgery. I’m going to bond the rudder to the transom. I am currently making the appropriate carbon blocks to do this. It will be a Mac Gyver style improvisation, but there is only a 50-50 chance of a successful repair.”