From proa to keel-less monohull

Loick Peyron describes his trimaran falling apart

Wednesday November 13th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Having called the race headquarters tonight at 18:11 French time, Loïck Peyron (above) indicated he had sent a distress signal. Fujifilm, suffering from multiple damage since her starboard float broke this morning, might end up reduced to her central hull alone. The skipper thinks that the port float will enventually break as well. Too far away from the coastline to be rescued by helicopter, Loïck will be picked up by a re-routed ship.

"I'm sorry to cause you so much trouble", said Loïck to the race directors tonight during the telephone conversation, "but I don't want to end up on a keel-less monohull !" A look back at Fujifilm's worst day ever…

10:30 AM
"I'm fine, I'm fine… It's just my head that's not so great, and my head will have to work properly because there's a lot of things to be done in the correct order in the coming hours, to avoid a worse situation (…)

Right now, it looks like the cover of that book called "heavy weather sailing", it's very beautiful… It's white, white, white… Fabulous. I have 6 to 10-meter waves, if not more, I think that's what broke the float. At one point, I found myself really bent over, I really thought I was going to capsize. The boat was bare pole, it sent me up in the air (…)
I cannot escape downwind for the moment, or I'll tear up everything, the front part of the hull is already tearing up (…) the nose is starting to dive, so I'm about to go out and cut the nets - Oh shit ! I think it broke ! No, it's still here, but pieces of carbon are cracking up all over the place, so it's noisy, it's normal.

Right now, I don't need any assistance, the worst thing that could happen would be to lose the mast - either it will fall on the right side, and I will end up on a prao without a mast, or I'll manage to hold it up there".

13:00
"I predicted a cataclysm, it happened. Everything fell down, damaging the port float this time. It's a real mess to clear up, and there are a lot of backstays and and shrouds stuck in the port rudder. The traction has broken the port float, which is not as badly hurt as its deceased predecessor, a portion of which landed on the deck when the mast fell (…)

Very astonishing, a cataclysm. Since the port float is getting full of water, and I see it getting weaker, the worst part is yet to come. If I manage to fix an autopilot, I can escape downwind with the waves, and it can lead me to the portugese coasts. If the float breaks, it will be tougher, because I think I'll have a hard time staying the right way up with just the crossbeams (…) It's the first time I make so much damage at a time, I was in a pretty good shape !"

The "Gris Nez" (France) Rescue Operations Center is currently coordinating the procedure, searching the zone for a ship likely to be re-routed towards Loïck. Tired, the skipper is now getting some rest, taking advantage of a decreasing wind.

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