Ruyant cuts foil in Vendée Globe

Published on November 26th, 2020

After incurring a structural failure to the ‘shaft’ of his port foil on November 25 (Day 18), Thomas Ruyant explains what was needed for him to safely continue in the Vendée Globe:


I worked on my port foil (on Nov. 26) and I had to cut a bit to limit the power and avoid issues further into the race. It was fragile at the elbow or angle and so we decided to cut part the tip to remove some of the power and now it is pulled up and there is no rake, as it had been of no use.

There is with just a small bit sticking out of the hull. I no longer have issues, just missing a small bit, but it is how it is, and it is the Vendée. It is not going to stop me going fast and it is not going to stop me from racing.

I made the most of there being little wind to deal with the foil. You can see in the video how I did the foil cutting operation, it was quite a mission!

I had to hang from the foil, and we have all the equipment and tools on board that is needed to do that. So, the tip has been removed; around two metres.

We have thought a lot about the consequences of cutting back the foil, but it was the balance of what might have happened had we not. The major risk would have been for the foil to break further and damage the outrigger, which could lead to damage to the hull and cause dismasting or damage the foil well which means a leak. There was just too much risk to leave the foil as it was, so we decided to remove the power of the protruding part and remove the wetted tip area.

The foil had always been there, but it was cracked and could have broken during the race.

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The Vendée Globe is the only sailing race round the world that’s solo, non-stop, and without assistance, and it was all systems go for the 9th edition on November 8. Beginning in 1989 with 13 entries, the start line in 2020 had 33 skippers taking off from Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

The development of the IMOCA Class toward foiling will see these boats hurl themselves around the world, teetering on carbon skates through inhospitable regions, chasing the record set in 2016-17 by Armel le Cléac’h of 74:03:35:46.

2020-21 Attrition
Nov. 16, 2020 – Nicolas TROUSSEL, CORUM L’EPARGNE – dismasted

Participation history:
1989-90: 13 boats at the start
1992-93: 15 boats
1996-97: 15 boats
2000-01: 24 boats
2004-05: 20 boats
2008-2009: 30 boats
2012-2013: 20 boats
2016-2017: 29 boats
2020-2021: 33 boats

2020-21 Entries
Fabrice AMEDEO: NEWREST – ART & FENÊTRES
Romain ATTANASIO: PURE – BEST WESTERN
Alexia BARRIER: TSE – 4MYPLANET
Yannick BESTAVEN: MAÎTRE COQ IV
Jérémie BEYOU: CHARAL
Arnaud BOISSIÈRES: LA MIE CÂLINE – ARTISANS ARTIPÔLE
Louis BURTON: BUREAU VALLÉE 2
Didac COSTA: ONE PLANET ONE OCEAN
Manuel COUSIN: GROUPE SÉTIN
Clarisse CREMER: BANQUE POPULAIRE X
Charlie DALIN: APIVIA
Samantha DAVIES: INITIATIVES-CŒUR
Sébastien DESTREMAU: MERCI
Benjamin DUTREUX: OMIA – WATER FAMILY
Kevin ESCOFFIER: PRB
Clément GIRAUD: COMPAGNIE DU LIT / JILITI
Pip HARE: MEDALLIA
Boris HERRMANN: SEA EXPLORER – YACHT CLUB DE MONACO
Ari HUUSELA: STARK
Isabelle JOSCHKE: MACSF
Jean LE CAM: YES WE CAM !
Stéphane LE DIRAISON: TIME FOR OCEANS
Miranda MERRON: CAMPAGNE DE FRANCE
Giancarlo PEDOTE: PRYSMIAN GROUP
Alan ROURA: LA FABRIQUE
Thomas RUYANT: LINKEDOUT
Damien SEGUIN: GROUPE APICIL
Kojiro SHIRAISHI: DMG MORI
Sébastien SIMON: ARKEA – PAPREC
Maxime SOREL: V AND B – MAYENNE
Alex THOMSON: HUGO BOSS
Armel TRIPON: L’OCCITANE EN PROVENCE
Nicolas TROUSSEL: CORUM L’ÉPARGNE

Source: Vendée Globe

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