Ellen passes Ravussin and other news

An update from the Route du Rhum + 1500GMT positions

Wednesday November 20th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Reached today on his mobile phone, Loïck Peyron, who is currently in the small port of Figueiras, in the Porto region of Portugal, has confirmed that despite the team’s efforts, the trimaran could not be saved. "It’s really a heartbreak, to lose a boat… not to mention two years of hard work". On the dock, Loïck and his troops wrap up the gear that has been retrieved aboard, before heading towards the airport. The team is going back home to La Trinité-sur-Mer.

After having left the Azores, where the Sun Maria cargo ship had dropped him off on Saturday, Loïck went to Vigo as fast as possible and jumped aboard a towboat, in order to rescue his wounded trimaran… “Unfortunately, we had only covered 5 or 6 miles when the towboat broke down. It’s a shame, because the conditions were rather good, and we could have found the boat easily. The following day, we had lost her trace and we had to fly over the zone to find her again… but that was not the end of the story, since the Argos beacon then ceased to send its signal, and we only found the boat late Monday night. Pierre Lasnier guided us using the last position estimations he had, but when we got there, I saw that the central hull was heeled over at 45°, and that there was nothing much we could do… I even think she suffered a collision, given her condition. We tried to tow her anyway, but the seas were rough, with 4-metre waves and an atmosphere you’d only find in a 'Commandant Cousteau' TV show. We couldn’t do anything".

Last goodbye
“The gear we could take away was saved (electronics, navigation instruments), but there’s some deck hardware we had to leave. I gathered my stuff, the pictures of my kids – but I left one of my daughter’s drawings aboard, to keep the boat company… Now she’ll end up on the rocks somewhere between Porto and Lisbon, unless favourable winds push her into the Porto harbour, but that’s another thing… I think she’ll reach the coast tomorrow or the day after.

That’s it, we’re almost done packing all the stuff, and then we’re off back to the yard : we have to meet in order to decide upon what to do next. We have to start all over again, we won’t have a boat under our feet next year! That said, the skills are here, the motivation is here, and our partners are behind us with all their strength – which is in itself quite a relief ! Now it’s still early to know how we’ll start again precisely, but we’ll be working on that as soon as tomorrow”.

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