Vendee Globe competitor Louis Burton on Bureau Valley has reported that that he had been hit a glancing blow on the port side of his IMOCA Open 60 by a trawler in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
At the time Bureau Valley was about 400 Nm west of Lisbon making around 18kts with 32kts of SW’ly wind which was making visibility limited. The skipper was asleep in the cockpit with his AIS and radar both active. Burton quickly turned to a downwind course, securing the rig. Trawlers 2 - Vendee 0 . . .
Louis Burton's brother Nelson shared the latest information regarding the current situation of his brother:
"I just talked to him. In the middle of the night, it was impossible for him to efficiently assess the damages because the impact area is located on the shroud, which is close to the water and hard to access. In such a situation, the process is clear: Pictures have been taken and the technical team will receive them in a few minutes."
"What I can already tell you is there are three impact spots on the shroud. Two of them are minor but the third could be more serious. No decision has been made yet and Louis still doesn't know whether he'll stay in the race or have to go back. Our team's analysis of the pictures will help us have a clearer view of the situation and tell you about the final decisions very soon. Louis rested for a few hours because he was emotionally spent after the accident."
Louis Burton, confirmed this afternoon that he will try and sail the 700 miles back to Les Sables d’Olonne with a badly damaged port shroud. The Bureau Vallée skipper struck a glancing blow off a fishing boat in the dark, early this morning in bad weather.
The skipper of Bureau Vallée believes his ascent back across the Bay of Biscay will take him around four days. The race rules prescribe that the start line closes at 1302hrs on the Tuesday 20th of November. According to Burton his biggest hurdle is having to replace the custom shroud itself, the manufacture of which would normally take three weeks.
The weather is due to ease for his passage back to Les Sables d’Olonne but his immediate problem is that he cannot tack on to port and needs to stay mainly on starboard.
At midday Wednesday François Gabart keeps his lead, now 41 nm ahead of Armel Le Cléach and Bernard Stamm. Jean Le Cam is 93 nm behind Gabart and just ahead of a group comprising, Mike Golding, Vincent Riou and Jean-Pierre Dick. Alex Thomson is 127 nm behind the leader in ninth place. Samantha Davies is in 13th place.
14 November 2012 12:33 GMT