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Vendee Globe - Collision slows Thomson

A collision has slowed the Vendee Globe leader, Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss. Thomson, who had been down below trying to sleep, heard a bang and his boat changed direction.

Thomson was sailing at 24 knots in 22 knots of wind at the head of the Vendee Globe fleet, at 09:35 UTC when he heard a bang and his boat Hugo Boss changed direction.

Thomson, who had been down below trying to sleep at the time, went up on deck and turned the boat downwind so he could inspect it.

He found the starboard foil to be damaged and also noticed scrapes down the starboard side of the hull.

Thomson has now retracted the damaged foil and slowed his boat.

He said there does not appear to be any structural damage but he will further inspect the boat when the weather conditions allow.

“Having had a pretty quick night where the boat was sailing high averages and the boat was super uncomfortable I had retracted the foil 30 per cent early this morning and was sailing the boat pretty conservatively in a building breeze."

Until the collision Thomson had been on course to set a new 24-hour solo distance world record, and in the 24 hours prior to the 11:00 UTC position update had notched up 531 miles.

Thomson has lost 30 nm to Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII since he slowed. Over night Thomson has held his position.

If he can keep his foot on the gas, Thomson may well be able to fend off the attack from from Le Cléac'h's and Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) until he is able to tack onto starboard at the Cape of Good Hope and begin foiling once more.

LEADING POSITIONS at 12:00 hrs Sunday:

1. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTG 19,461 nm - sailing at 18 knots
2. Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild - DTL 82 nm
3. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTL 89 nm
4. Vincent Riou on PRB - DTL 154 nm
5. Morgan Lagraviere on Safran - DTL 189 nm
6. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 222 nm
7. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 315 nm
8. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 656 nm
9. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 835 nm
10. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 838 nm
11. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 978 nm

Fleet spread is now 2,654 nm back to Sebastien Destremau.

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