A week ago last Sunday, 20 boats sailed by 20 sailors set off in the Vendée Globe non-stop round-the-world single-handed yacht race. Now only 15 remain in the race. Jérémie Beyou dropped out yesterday after the hydraulic ram on his articulating keel broke on his Open 60 class boat, Maître CoQ. Of the five boats that have dropped out, there have been two keel failures, a dismasting and damage related to two collisions with fishing boats.
Alex Thompson sailing Hugo Boss has stayed in the race despite damage to a rudder tie bar. Thompson successfully performed emergency repairs while underway and sailing at 18 knots. Zbigniew “Gutek” Gutkowski sailing Energa, is having autopilot problems and considering his options. In today’s radio call he commented, “I’m very confused because the autopilot isn’t working. I’ve stopped and right now I’m fishing while I think about how to solve my problems. To be honest, right now, I have no idea what to do next.“