PRB hits container only months after whale collision

Vincent Riou’s run of bad luck has continued. After he hit a whale in the Artemis Transat and had to abandon his boat , he has been involved in another collision. Last Monday he hit a submerged container, and was forced to cut short his qualifying run and limp into Port La Forêt.

PRB hit the container while sailing with the wind on the beam, doing 15 knots in 35 knots of wind. Two-thirds of the daggerboard broke off, causing damage to the bottom part of the housing, and leading to an ingress of water. On examining the damage, Riou decided to head directly for Port La Forêt and informed the race directors and Vendée Globe organisers of what had happened. By controlling the heel of the boat, the ingress did not pose any real threat to Vincent and PRB.

The race organisers have asked Riou to complete his qualifier before the 18th October by sailing 400 miles alone. PRB will be spending a few weeks in the yard and is due to be relaunched on 5th September.

Meanwhile, British hopeful Jonny Malbon is currently part-way through his 4,000 mile solo qualifying passage in his new boat, Artemis Ocean Racing II. He must complete the course before the 1st September.