Vendee Globe skipper Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Coeur) reported a problem Wednesday afternoon with one of the pilot rams which had caused the boat to be knocked flat.
"At around 14:05 this afternoon the boat surged into a wave. I was inside having a cup of tea when suddenly I found myself on my side with everything around me. I got my stuff on centred the axis of the keel, saw that the indicator said ‘no rudder angle’ but I put it back and went outside to furl the reacher, but that did nor go as I wanted. I eased the vang gradually and cleared the backstay and the boat came up. I rolled the reacher more, not perfectly but OK, and then got back on the helm. I tried to reset the pilot but the same message came back. I switched to the back up pilot which worked a bit."
"I opened the back hatch and could see that the pilot ram was no longer attached. The pin had dropped out. That seemed to be the problem. I have to gybe back again and have set the reacher again. We are into a big wave and the pilot struggles."
"We are now back on port tack. I’ve put the reacher back in the sail locker for the moment and am sticking with this configuration for the moment, tidying up as best I can. I can see that four of the batten cars on the mast are broken. I need to find a solution but I have to stick with this for the moment.”
A more complete diagnosis is under way with the technical team. Tanguy is looking for a solution. He is in 12th place, 1837 nm behind the leader Armel Le Cléac´h.
5 December 2012 22:46 GMT