Morgan Lagravière, skipper of Safran, has contacted his shore team to inform them of damage to his steering and has been forced to retire from the Vendee Globe.
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Sailing at a speed of 18-19 knots, at around 11:00 hrs Thursday, the monohull Safran was knocked down.
Morgan saw immediately that the starboard rudder had kicked up and that part of the rudder was broken, probably because of a collision with a UFO (unidentified floating object).
Morgan is fine and remaining in contact with his team to look at the possibility of carrying out repairs and continuing the race.
Since 11:00 hrs when the incident took place, Lagravière, in fourth place, has lost around 30 nm to the leading trio.
At the Thursday 18:00 hrs check he was 475 nm from the race leader Alex Thomson and sailing at 10 knots.
At 17:30 hrs the VG Facebook page posted that Morgan Lagravière had been forced to retire from the race.
LEADING POSITIONS at 22:00 hrs Thursday:
1. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTG 17,448 nm - sailing at 17 knots
2. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTL 52 nm
3. Sebastien Josse on Edmond de Rothchild - DTL 208 nm
4. Paul Meilhat on SMA - DTL 791 nm
5. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 811 nm
6. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1180 nm
7. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1819 nm
8. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1820 nm
9. Thomas Ruyant on Le Souffle du Nord - DTL 1923 nm
Fleet spread is now 3,662 nm back to Didac Costa in 25th.
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24 November 2016 17:26 GMT