Hugo Boss damaged in Transat

When lying in fourth place in the Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Porto Limon, Costa Rica, the British IMOCA Open 60 Hugo Boss last night reported hitting an unidentified object in the water, damaging the starboard bow of the boat and causing them to take in water. They have slowed the boat right down, have a pump working, are managing the ingress of water.

Alex Thomson, the skipper, has reported that conditions are stable and they are not in any imminent danger. The British pair are in regular contact with TJV Race Director Jean Maurel. They have been in discussion with their shore team, and with a structural engineer from SP before they make any decisions as to what their options are.

Hugo Boss was approximately 400 miles south of the Azores. Thomson said:
"I am gutted, we have done the hard bit, been through the storms and the way ahead was looking very easy. We will monitor the situation overnight and assess in the morning what our options are."

Further down the race course, abreast of the Canary Islands the three way battle at the front of the fleet continues with Safran still holding the upper hand as the trio negotiate the more tricky downwind conditions at the lower edge of a high pressure before breaking into a more stable SE'ly wind flow.

Safran hold a lead of just less than 34 miles, as the chasing pair squeeze up a little. Now in third, after erring closer to the centre of the high and having less wind perhaps, Mike Golding Yacht Racing are less than five miles behind Kito de Pavant and Francois Gabart on Groupe Bel. Golding said this morning that conditions for them remain tricky, quite unstable under spinnaker with a difficult seaway. Trying to keep the boat settled in course with their autopilots remains testing and so they continue to maximize their time spent hand steering.

Due to the Hugo Boss problems Spanish entry 1876 is now up to fourth whilst steady progress up the fleet continues for Michel Desjoyeaux and Jeremie Beyou who are up to seventh now on Foncia, overtaking Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson on Aviva during yesterday evening.

Foncia's next target is Desjoyeaux's long time friend and rival Roland Jourdain on Veolia Environnement, just 40 miles ahead, but Veolia Environnement still have some lighter airs to cross while Foncia who were quickest in the fleet this morning, making two knots faster than the leaders.

Date Added - 16-Nov-2009

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