Marc Guillemot, sailing Safran, was a favorite to win the Vendée Globe non-stop round-the-world single-handed yacht race, yet only one day into the race, he was forced to turn back due to a broken keel. Fifty miles into the race, he reported hearing a “loud bang.” Guillemot’s Open 60 class boat, Safran, features a hollow titanium fin keel, a fairly radical departure from the solid steel keels first used in the design. Guillemot’s team does not have a spare keel, forcing him to retire from the race.
This is not the first time that Guillemot has faced a keel failure. In the 2009 Vendée Globe, Safran lost her keel 900 miles from the finish of the race, yet Guillemot made it across the finish line and placed third overall.