Skippers face broken mast and daggerboard problems

The Route du Rhum may only have started three days ago from St Malo, but problems are already arising within the 74-strong fleet. The Open 60s have had more than their fair share of teething problems, beginning on the Saturday before the race when Jeremie Beyou confirmed that he would not be competing aboard Farr-designedDelta Doredue to complications in his wife’s pregnancy.

Next up was hot favourite and winner of the Vendee Globe 2004/5 Vincent Riou, who reported the solo skipper’s worst nightmare on Monday evening – a broken mast aboard his brand new Open 60PRB(pictured left).

Riou had been sailing 20nm off the Scilly Isles in 15 knots of breeze when his mast broke into three. He managed to start motoring back towards Brittany to meet his rescue team, who planned to tow him back into port to begin repairs.

Shortly afterwards Dominique Wavre, another competitor in the IMOCA (Open 60) class, reported a daggerboard problem onTemenos- the board had dropped too far in its casing and was caught above the upper block, posing a threat to the hull structure. Fortunately Wavre’s repairs could be made without turning back, and he reported that the problem was fixed and he was making way once more.

Jean -Pierre Dick is currently leading the Open 60s, with Brit sailor Ross Hobson leading the multihulls in Class 3. Michel Desjoyeaux and his trimaranGeantare currently leading the fleet overall.