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Vendee Globe boat in danger of splitting in half

French skipper Thomas Ruyant has reported that his boat is in danger of splitting in half.

Following the collision with an unidentified floating object late Sunday afternoon, the French skipper Thomas Ruyant is in serious difficulty.

The 35 year-old skipper is in good health, but his boat is on the point of splitting in half.

The starboard shell is also delaminating. The structure of the deck is gradually deteriorating.

The danger is that the front section may break completely away from the stern section.

After spending the night hove to, Ruyant is attempting to motor to Bluff in New Zealand.

At 15:00hrs TU Monday afternoon Ruyant had about 205 miles to make to Bluff, the most southerly town in New Zealand.

Click image for a larger image

Ruyant (Le Souffle du Nord pour Le Projet Imagine) reports that:

The damage at the front of the boat is spreading. The hull is opening up and the frame coming away a bit everywhere.

The inside hasn't been affected and with my watertight doors, I'm sheltered.

The shock was exceptionally violent. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

I was at 17-18 knots and came to a sudden standstill hitting what was probably a container seeing the damage it has done to the hull.

The whole of the forward section exploded and folded up. Luckily the boat was not dismasted. It was really very violent.

I was sleeping on my beanbag and fortunately I had my head down in that, as I ended up hitting the mast bulkhead.

Given the seas down here, there are probably several containers in the water. I think that is what I hit given the violence of the crash.

A nasty Vendée Globe. It's over. I got halfway around the world.

Ruyant's collision with an unidentified floating object represents the fifth time that a Vendée Globe competitor has struck something and been forced out of the race as a consequence in this edition.

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