British sailor Alex Thomson has ceased racing in the Vendée Globe and is now sailing his boat towards Cape Town.
After incurring damage to the starboard rudder of his boat on Friday, he disconnected the starboard rudder and has since been sailing the yacht with just one rudder.
After assessing the situation Saturday, Thomson and his team have decided that the only course of action is to cease racing and sail the boat to Cape Town.
Thomson said: “Unfortunately, a repair is not possible. We therefore accept that this will be the end of the race for us. Myself, my team and our partners are of course deeply disappointed. We believe the best was yet to come in this race”.
The incident occurred on what was Thomson’s 19th day of racing in the round-the-world Vendée Globe yacht race, and followed an earlier incident which involved him working for several days to repair internal structural damage to the the bow area.
Alex is currently 1,800 nautical miles from Cape Town and it is expected to take him around seven days to make the journey.
He’ll do so without the use of his starboard rudder and so will proceed safely and cautiously.
His technical team will travel to Cape Town to meet the yacht upon arrival.
Luck has rarely run in his favour on this non-stop solo round the world race.
In 2004-5 on his first attempt, he had to abandon into Cape Town with damage to his deck after his boom gooseneck failed and in 2008-9 he had to retire early in the race with structural problems caused by a huge gale on the Bay of Biscay.
Racing towards the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope which he should pass early on Monday, leader Charlie Dalin has seen his margin cut very slightly by the chasing group as he has been in slightly lighter breezes, now 370 miles ahead of second placed Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut.