Banque Populaire pulls in for repairs
"The staysail¹s hook, a big piece of titanium, broke. As a result the staysail flew in the air and damaged the mast. There is a 2,50 meters failure", explained skipper Lalou Roucayrol. "We¹re obviously really disappointed as we were in third place and doing well. We are hoping to make a repair as soon as possible. We should reach Port-la-Forêt tonight between 1800 and 2000. We will take off the mast tomorrow morning and see how long the repair will take. For the moment we don¹t want to pull out of the race. We¹re still hoping to start again"
After losing their brand new trimaran in the Europe 1 New Man STAR last year, the most recent brand new Banque Populaire was only launched in April and is still inevitably experiencing teething problems. "It is a problem due to the fact that the boat is brand new and hasn¹t sailed much. The hook is designed especially for the boat and we still don¹t know yet why it broke", added Roucayrol.
At the time of the breakage Banque Populaire was sailing upwind at 16-17 knots. "It is sad because the boat was performing very well. We had a good speed
and were very happy", said Roucayrol.
At present the other seven boats in the Challenge Mondial Assistance fleet is okay. There had been a few minor problems on some boats but they have all been solved.
Word from the boats is that the wind has picked up more than expected. Alain Gautier's Foncia-Kingfisher is still in the lead, about 40 miles ahead of Groupama.