Capsized 51-foot catamaran on a beach

Published on January 18th, 2023

The 12th Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe, which started November 9 from Saint-Malo in France, had record participation for this solo transatlantic race. Six divisions competed – Ultims, Ocean Fifty, IMOCAs, Class40s, (64-feet and less), and Rhum Mono (39+ feet) – with notable attrition along the course.

Among the casualties was early leader Brieuc Maisonneuve in the Rhum Multi division on his 51-foot CMA Ile de France-60,000 rebonds. When his autopilot failed November 13 in a violent gust of wind, it caused his catamaran to bear away and capsize.

The Race Directors asked Jean-Pierre Dick to change course and head for the area where he was able to recover Maisonneuve and bring him aboard his 54-foot monohull. Dick dropped Maisonneuve off at the Azores, while Maisonneuve’s team began organizing an operation to recover the boat.

But according to French sailing publication Voiles, there isn’t much left to recover as the boat has been found January 16 on a beach in Guidel, located along of Brittany in north-western France.

“To find your boat in this state is horrible,” said Maisonneuve. “I have difficulty believing it. I always hoped to find it. We know that these boats, they float well upside down. If it is, 24 hours ago, the boat was 10 miles offshore, it was intact. There, it is destroyed.

“Now, what is important to say is that potentially, it was 9 tons of plastic pollution adrift and even if today the boat is destroyed, we recovered it, this pollution will be treated. This is the positive side of the thing.”

Below the boat before the start:

Below the boat on the beach:

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