During a routine inspection of Merci, Skipper Sebastien Destremau discovered a large crack in the bow of the IMOCA at the bowsprit.
Destremau reported that he discovered a crack across the bow at the bowsprit from side to side and that the bowsprit is broken and separating from the boat.
His biggest fear is for the anchoring point for the forestay of the J2 which is there.
Angelo Lavranos, architect of the boat, has since confirmed the bowsprit is not structural to the bow of the boat. There is therefore no risk of dismasting and Merci can navigate normally with her J2.
But, Merci will probably not be able to use any of its gennakers without a serious repair to the bowsprit.
The chasing group have now eroded Yannick Bestaven’s lead to just 12 nautical miles.
Charlie Dalin, Thomas Ruyant and Damien Seguin are all continuing to sail faster than Bestaven.
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 65 – Mon 11 Jan – Updated at 17:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 4786 nm to finish – sailing at 7+ knots
2nd FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 12 nm
3rd FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 72 nm
4th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 79 nm
5th FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 114 nm
6th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 201 nm
7th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY –227 nm
8th FRA Giancarlo Pedote – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 261 nm
9th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 281 nm
10th FRA Maxime SOREL – V and B-MAYENNE – 425 nm
17th GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 2341 nm
22nd GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 4138 nm
Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Escoffier, Alex Thomson, Sebastien Simon, Sam Davies, Fabrice Amedo, Isabelle Joschke