Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald sought to stabilise the keel of the HUGO BOSS boat after hitting an unidentified object submerged in the water, before being left with no choice but to cut the keel free.
Alex: Very uncomfortable, it took hours and hours and hours but finally we got three quarters of it done and then, all of sudden while we were having a break, there was a little pop and the keel popped out down to the bottom of the ocean.
Now the obvious problem now is that we are not very stable so we lean over to about 30 degrees in the current condition then and [if] we didn’t let the sails out, the boat will capsize.
So, it’s a bit nerve-racking now, but really, we didn’t have an option; the keel was just moving round destroying the boat and, well, we could end up with a lot of water in the boat.
We do have quite a lot of water in the boat already but it’s manageable right now and we’ve decided the safest option is to sail to the Cape Verde Islands so we are heading south there.
We are going to have some wind. We’ve only got about 10 or 11 knots at the moment, so we will be slowing down.
I’m sure there will be times on the way there when we will just be under bare poles to try and stop the boat leaning over and going too fast and hopefully never reaching 30 degrees.
Thomson and McDonald, sailing HUGO BOSS, hit an unidentified object submerged in the water early Monday morning, during the Transat Jacques Vabre race. They are now heading to the Cape Verde Islands.