Kito de Pavant reveals secret cracked ribs
On 12 January, when Groupe Bel was crossing the Doldrums, Kito de Pavant fell in the boat as they were 'stacking' and cracked two ribs. The French skipper kept quiet about his pain from the outside world, for the last two weeks has been fighting not to hinder the progress of the boat and ably supported perfectly by his partner Sébastien Audigane, Kito thinks that he will have fully recovered by the end of the week. This bad fall was kept private on board and is now almost a thing of the past - good news now that Groupe Bel is into the Roaring Forties.
Anyone who has ever cracked a rib, knows what hell it is:Coughing, laughing, moving and the slightest movement are a source of intense pain. Imagine then how it has been for Kito, who has suffered this pain for nearly two weeks, in the middle of a race on board a boat, which by definition, never ceases to move! Beyond the pain, there is also the frustration of leaving his co-skipper to take care of the most physical tasks on board on his own, and observing his fatigue. On the other contenders’ boats, there are two sailors sharing the work above deck. Audigane, a veteran Figaro and roud the world sailor has given his energy without thought and has unexpectedly found himself in 'solo' training for the Vendée Globe, a race he has been dreaming of doing so much!
De Pavant explained what happened: "“It was one evening. We were stacking the ton of equipment in the boat. It was hot and wet and I slipped in the sail locker. I fell on my back and it was very painful.” Kito then got in touch with Alain Carmand, his “vet” as he calls him; a physiotherapist with whom he has been friends for a long time. It was difficult to make a proper diagnosis from a distance: two ribs were concerned, but were they cracked, broken or simply bruised? The sailor decided to rest to try to recover as quickly as possible. The fairly easy going weather conditions in the South Atlantic made his recovery easier.
“I was worried about what would happen next, and Seb did all the manoeuvring and stacking alone. Thank goodness he’s a fine strapping lad! He worked like crazy. Standing up is the least painful. I took the helm a little so that Seb could rest. I really watched my step, even though it wasn’t easy, since the position lying down in the bunk was not the best. I am recovering. I am beginning to move normally. I can nearly turn the winches and I think that I will be back to normal at the end of the week. This is convenient, since we will be entering the Great South.”
Despite this incident, the two sailors were capable of staying up with the leaders for four days (they held second place from 16 to 19 January).