But the race goes on

Nine of the 30 entrants in the Vendee Globe Open 60 solo, non-stop around the world race have been forced to either return to Les Sables d’Olonne, Brittany for repairs or retire.

Philippe de Villiers, President of the Vendée Council, said: “We knew that the start
of this year’s Vendée Globe was going to be difficult. What we have just
experienced is a classic November storm. All of the sailors have coped well with the
situation. We must not forget that we are talking here about a
major sporting event and that storms are part of the competition and the race
goes on.”

Alain Gautier, Vendée Globe safety consultant, said: “The Vendée Globe is living up
to all its promises. Sport, competition and adventure are all there. We must not
forget that sailing is a mechanical sport and that what has just happened,
however tough it may be for some, is common in this type of race.’

The race leaders yesterday were:
1- Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 23197 miles Distance to finish.
2- Jean Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 1.5 miles Distance to leader
3- Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement 3.1 miles DTL
4- Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB 7.7 miles DTL
5- Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 12 miles DTL

Vendée Globe rules stipulate that if they suffer damage, the competitors may
only return to Les Sables d’Olonne to carry out repairs before heading off
again. They must cross the start line by 13h02 on 19th November.

Dominique Wavre aboard Temenos II restarted on Sunday night after replacing a
part within the onboard power computer system. And 2001 winner Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia restarted on Tuesday morning after returning to fix a leak in the water ballast system and repair the engine.

Following the collision on Sunday with a cargo vessel, repairs on Bernard
Stamm’s Cheminées Poujoulat are proceeding on the broken bowsprit and hull, with
the mast removed on Tuesday in order to deal with these scrapes and to give the
mast a thorough inspection. It is not expected that Stamm will restart before
this evening.

Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty, the skipper of Groupe Maisonneuve, arrived in Les
Sables d’Olonne on Tuesday night and will attempt to repair cracks in the deck on
the port and starboard sides of the coach roof. Repair time estimate is two to three

Derek Hatfield on Algimouss Spirit of Canada is citing electrical problems as
the reason he has returned to Les Sables d’Olonne. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss reported structural problem on Monday evening after finding a crack located between the aft keelbox and bulkhead on the port side hull (opposite side to the recent repair).

The entrants that have officially retired are: Groupe Bel skipper Kito de Pavant had broken his mast, boom and one of the carbon deck spreaders on Monday, and is likely headed back to Les Sables d’Olonne. Yannick Bestaven on Aquarelle.com was dismasted on Monday and is heading under jury rig to Les Sables d’Olonne. DCNS skipper Marc Thiercelin was dismasted on Tuesday morning, reporting that the
damage was extensive and it would be impossible to set out again. DCNS was
motoring at around three knots and is due to reach La Coruña in northwest Spain
this morning.

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