He practically made it, Thomas Ruyant, skipper of IMOCA 60 Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine. He saved his skin. He is arriving in Bluff, New Zealand’s southernmost town, on his boat that nearly broke in two after it hit at 17 knots the usually terrible OFNI (Five abandonments were caused by unidentified floating objects: Vincent Riou, Morgan Lagraviere, Kito de Pavant, Bertrand de Broc and now Ruyant), every ocean sailor’s nightmare. According to Ruyant, it was a container that was the one that caused the damage that we show you in pictures taken by the very dismayed skipper (the starboard broadside is completely delaminated below the waterline and the deck structure is gradually breaking up. The risk was that the bow section of the boat would break away from the rest of the hull).
SEE PHOTOS OF THE NEARLY BROKEN BOAT
LIKE A CAR ACCIDENT
“The boat stands together simply because of its longitudinal structure,” Ruyant had recounted from the shipboard radio, “it was almost like having a car accident. The boat came to a sudden stop. I still have chills thinking about it.” The skipper had declared himself “not at all confident that he could make it to the New Zealand coast in one piece,” but from the chart, which shows Ruyant’s boat under New Zealand’s coast at a speed of 7.2 knots (motor-driven), it would appear that the Frenchman made it, thus managing to avoid an incoming storm this afternoon. Below you will find the video where Ruyant recounts the incident concluding with a (let’s translate in spans) “What a bastard Vendée Globe!”
“THAT VENDEE GLOBE BASTARD!”