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Capsize of Maxi Banque Populaire IX

Crew safe following the capsize on Saturday night of the Maxi-Tri Banque Populaire IX off Morocco, while sailing in strong winds up to 40-45 knots.

Armel Le Cléac'h, Pierre Emmanuel Hérissé and the cameraman arrived in Casablanca where they were taken care of by the French Consulate.

Armel, joined by his team on shore in the late afternoon, tells of the capsize:

"I was lying down for five minutes on the bunk to start a nap. The boat started to get up very quickly due to an oversold wind, I did not have time to go out. I could shock the mainsail but it was not enough.

Everything went very fast, the boat sailed to the starboard side. I found myself upside down in the water that flooded the cabin.

Pierre-Emmanuel called me to find out if I was there. We managed to hear between two waves, I managed to get out of there and hoist myself in the central hull safely with them, in the shelter."

They were picked up by an Army helicopter and taken to Casablanca's military port, where they were received by the Royal Moroccan Navy.

By the time they left the boat, the three hulls and the arms were intact, the mast was broken into several pieces.

A race against time is now on to recover the boat as soon as possible and make every effort to be at the start of the Route du Rhum next November.

Members of Team Banque Populaire's technical team, embarked aboard a tug, arrived on the capsize area Sunday.

After several hours of operations and recoveries of the damaged equipment, the tug began the repatriation of the trimaran to Casablanca.

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