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Route du Rhum - Banque Populaire IX capsizes

 
Latest reports for the Route du Rhum fleet continue with news of the capsize by French former Vendée Globe winner, Armel Le Cléac’h, on board Maxi SoloBanque Populaire IX.

Also reports that Britain's Sam Davis is diverting to the nearest safe port after discovering a delamination in the hull of her IMOCA Initiatives Coeur.

When Davies checked worrying noises coming from her hull, closer inspection from inside the boat showed that the hull bottom was deforming

Davies is reported to be safe and well and has turned to a northeasterly course. She is about 430 nautical miles west-south-west of Brest.

Meanwhile the big blue and white trimaran of Armel Le Cléac’h was running in third place in the depleted ULTIME class when its port float snapped off in 30-35 knots of wind and five-metre waves.

The boat then turned over but Le Cléac’h was reported to be safe inside his central hull about 340 nautical miles northeast of the Azores.

Latest - Le Cléac’h is OK and was able to be rescued around 21:00 hrs Tuesday night by a fishing vessel.

British skipper Sam Goodchild on board the dismasted Narcos Mexico in the Class40 fleet, has now erected a jury rig using the boat’s boom and stormsail and is heading to the French port of Brest.

“I’m massively disappointed, my aim for the Route du Rhum was not to have any regrets and I honestly don’t think there was something I could have done differently in hindsight.” said Goodchild.

Most of the 123 boats are continuing the 3,542-mile course toward Point-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe, nearly 50 are either seeking shelter along the French and Spanish coasts or heading back toward France with technical issues.

French skipper Fabrice Amedeo has reported damage to the bowsprit of his IMOCA Newrest-Art et Fenetres and is making for a port in Brittany which he expects to reach between Wednesday and Thursday.

And fellow IMOCA skipper Yannick Bestaven is making for Cacais in Portugal to make a technical stop after incurring damage to the mainsail track on Maitre-Côq. Bestaven was in seventh place.

Racing wise the fleet continues to be led by François Gabart on MACIF in the ULTIME class, in second place is Francis Joyon on IDEC Sport.

In the IMOCA class, the leader Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss is still prospering from his lone move to the north of the fleet.

Thomson is currently about 200 miles north of second-placed Vincent Riou in PRB and 30 miles ahead of him in terms of distance to the finish.

Paul Meilhat in SMA continues to hold a very impressive third place, 15 miles behind PRB.

In Class40 the leader continues to be Yoann Richomme of France on Veedol-AIC with Aymeric Chappelier on AINA Enfance Avenir now in second after trading places with Britain’s Phil Sharp on Imerys Clean Energy.

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