Jeremie Beyou's IMOCA 60 dismasts
Jérémie Beyou's Maître CoQ has dismasted in the Bay of Biscay while out with five other IMOCA 60 training with the Pole Finistere Course au Large
The offshore training started on Tuesday and after 27 hours at sea, conditions were tough but reasonable with 23-25 knots of westerly wind from west with Maître CoQ sailing under gennaker 100 miles west of Arcachon.
At 18:45 UTC last night Beyou and Fanch Guiffant, a team member with Maître CoQ, had just born away and dropped the gennaker, when the mast fell without warning. The crew are not hurt but only the deck spreaders could be kept on board.
Maître CoQ, formerly Michel Desjoyeaux's Farr-designed 2008-9 Vendee Globe winner, is currently motoring back to Brittany. Sam Davies, who was also participating in training aboard Savéol, has diverted to assist Beyou and Guiffant.
The damage which occurred is a great disappointment to the team but does not undermine the motivation of Beyou and the Maître CoQ team. A replacement spar will be built and stepped as soon as possible. Although this will change the team's schedule and it will accelerate their race against the clock, the intention is for Maître CoQ still to be on the start line of the Vendée Globe on 10 November.
Beyou commented: "It's the end of the training that is compromised, not the race. We lost the rigging, deck gear, electronics. We will try to understand what happened and put a mast on the boat that is faster. This mast had sailed around the world already and was very solid. We had a plan to build a second mast, so now we will implement it. This is a huge blow, but we retain all the energy and determination to start the Vendée Globe in the best conditions. "