Kojiro Shiraishi dismasted in Vendée Globe

Published on December 4th, 2016

(December 4, 2016; Day 29) – Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team at 0240 UTC to tell them that he had dismasted. Shiraishi was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.

2016-12-04_10-43-24Shiraishi has since then climbed the mast and successfully removed the broken part of the mast. Shiraishi and the team came to the conclusion that it was impossible to repair this damage and there were too many risks to allow him to continue in these conditions. He decided to retire from the race at 0830 UTC and is now safely heading for Cape Town.

Shiraishi reported late yesterday that the wind had increased a notch (35-40 knots) and that he had switched to J-3 (small jib) with three reefs in the mainsail. In the middle of the night the spar broke above the second layer of spreaders.

The powerful winds which are blowing across practically the whole of the Southern Ocean has led to several incidents with damage reported. Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) had to lower his mainsail in the night following a problem with his mainsail traveller car: he is heading towards the NE towards Amsterdam Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean to see what can be done in calmer conditions. Arnaud Boissières (Le Mie Câline) also had the same problem during the night 350 miles SW of South Africa in winds that were not that exceptional (25-30 knots) but with heavy seas.

Finally in Cape Town, Vincent Riou (PRB) set off again in the middle of the morning on Saturday from South Africa with part of his shore team to head for Brittany.

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Background:
The eighth Vendée Globe, which began November 6 from Les Sables d’Olonn, France, is the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance. Twenty-nine skippers representing four continents and ten nations set sail on IMOCA 60s in pursuit of the record time set by François Gabart in the 2012-13 race of 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes.

For the first time in the history of the event, seven skippers will set sail on IMOCA 60s fitted with foils: six new boats (Banque Populaire VIII, Edmond de Rothschild, Hugo Boss, No Way Back, Safran, and StMichel-Virbac) and one older generation boat (Maitre Coq). The foils allow the boat to reduce displacement for speed gains in certain conditions. It will be a test to see if the gains can topple the traditional daggerboard configuration during the long and demanding race.

Retirements:
November 19, Day 14 – Bertrand de Broc, MACSF, UFO collision
November 22, Day 17 – Vincent Riou, PRB, UFO collision
November 24, Day 19 – Morgan Lagravière, Safran, UFO collision
December 4, Day 28 – Kojiro Shiraishi, dismasted

2016-10-03_6-55-47

Source: Vendee Globe

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