Message from Thomas Ruyant this morning, whilst still in third place in the Transat Saint-Barth / Port La Forêt:
“Since late yesterday, I’ve had a significant problem with the forward bearing on the keel. There was some play in it, which quickly worsened in the cross seas. At the time I was sailing with three reefs and an average of 40 knots of breeze. I’m currently sailing under just a three reef mainsail, 150° off the wind so as the keel is under the least amount of stress. I’m carefully monitoring how this damage is evolving in close collaboration with Laurent Bourguès, my Boat Captain. I’ll make for the Azores once the sea and wind conditions allow, so as to give myself the option of stopping according to the upcoming conditions and the technical discussions with Laurent and the naval architects.
The option of completing the race has not been ruled out for the moment, but the situation is compromised. I’ll make a decision once all the elements have been analysed. I’m massively disappointed as you can imagine, as I’m sure are you! I’m tired but I can’t get to sleep. I have a lump in my throat. Despite all that, the experience I’ve had in this race is very powerful and it is important going forward. I feel better and better on this incredible boat. It’s been an intense, action-packed year with a steep learning curve and that’s continuing! Thank you to everyone for your contribution along this journey! We will overcome this, as we have the rest! I’m with my hummingbird so all’s well. She has her beak to windward and nothing stops her…”
Further information to come…