2012-2013 Vendée Globe: Casualty count
Published on March 13th, 2013
A LOOK BACK ON ABANDONS
Out of the 20 starting skippers, 9 had to pull out of the race, making the ratio of this 2012-2013 Vendée Globe quite similar to the previous editions, and even a little better when compared to the 2008 – 2009 Vendée Globe, which featured the same number of finishers but 10 more boas at the start. The race route is such a long and difficult one that finishing the single-handed, non-stop round-the-world race is a true achievement. Even though collision risk is statistically low, there are many hazards and the beginning of the 7th edition has shown how cruelly bad luck can strike.
After two days of race only, Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) hit a fishing boat and immediately had to pull out of the race. The same thing happened to Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée) who initially tried to sail back to Les Sables d’Olonne to fix his damaged monohull but who had to resign and abandon the race in the end. On November 17, Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) broke his keel jack 130 miles northwest of Cape Verde and abandoned two days later. The post-incident analysis showed he had probably hit an UFO, which had made the part too fragile to last. On day 15, a very unlucky Vincent Riou (PRB) hit a large drifting buoy as he was sailing off the coast of Brazil. His damaged hull and outrigger forced him to give up continuing the race on the next day and Riou became the fourth 2012-2013 Vendée globe skipper to pull out of the race after a collision.
The list of technical issues started with Marc Guillemot (Safran) who lost his keel less than five hours after the start of the race. On November 15, Samantha Davies’ Savéol dismasted 100 miles northwest of Madeira. After several days spent trying to solve his autopilot problems, Zbigniew « Gutek » Gutkowski (Energa) also had to pull out of the race on November 21. He stopped in the Canary Islands and was the last skipper to abandon in the Atlantic. – Read more