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Vendee Globe - Safran hits UFO and Retires

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.

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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