At 07:00hrs Saturday morning, Vincent Riou on PRB warned his shore team that he had collided with a floating object.
The skipper was at his navigation station at the time was able to get on the deck immediately after the impact and see that the object that had struck PRB was a large metal harbour buoy. Following the collision, Riou found that the hull of his boat was torn and delaminated for about one metre.
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The impact was on the starboard side of the boat and the torn area is three metres from the bow. Riou was not injured in the collision. He will wait until daybreak to assess the damage and the possibility of repair. Conditions in the area are good and the wind between 12 and 15 knots. At the moment of impact, Riou immediately called the race office in order to report the position of the buoy to other competitors.
The damage seems to be between the ‘R’ and the ‘B’ in the ‘PRB’ branding near the bow the of the boat on the starboard side. "When the boat is heeled to 20°, the hole is at the waterline," Riou said. "My priority is to find ways to make a solid repair and continue the Vendée Globe safely. I need to be sure to take on the Southern Ocean with total confidence with my boat. The situation is really difficult because there is no land nearby where I might be able to make this repair more easily. It is repairable, but under what conditions and with what risks knowing that I have to go around Antarctica? This is what I'm currently evaluating."
Riou is about 550 miles east of the north coast of Brazil and 450 miles due north of the Trindade Islands.
Vendee Globe - Top Ten Rankings Saturday 24 November 2012, 09:00 hrs
1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Clac'h
2. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 47 nm to the leader
3. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 81.0 nm
4. PRB, Vincent Riou, 83 nm
5. Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm 108 nm
6. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 139 nm
7. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 335 nm
8. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 390 nm
9. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 397 nm
10. Acciona 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sansó, 598 nm
Day 14 highlights - Friday, November 23, 2012
24 November 2012 8:55 GMT