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Golden Globe Race favourite Damien Guillou faces mid-ocean rudder repairs

Damien Guillou, one of many favorites on this 12 months’s singlehanded Golden Globe Race, is dealing with mid-ocean repairs to his self-steering gear within the South Atlantic, whereas British chief Simon Curwen will get caught up his mast

French skipper Damien Guillou, one of many pre-race favorites on this 12 months’s solo Golden Globe Race, is dealing with his second main windvane breaking, which would require vital mid-ocean repairs if he’s to stay in competition within the race.

Damien Guillou, a particularly skilled offshore racer and IMOCA boat captain, is racing a Rustler 36 with sponsorship from PRB. Given his race background and very well-prepared boat, Guillou was anticipated to be among the many entrance runners on this solo continuous ‘retro’ around the globe race. Nonetheless, he needed to return to port simply 4 days after the begin to repair the mount for his Hydrovane self steering system.

The starboard screw/axle windvane attachment to the transom of his Rustler 36 had damaged whereas crusing in 30 knots headwinds and heavy seas within the Bay of Biscay within the opening phases of the race.

‘I used to be going upwind close-hauled in sturdy headwinds and heavy seas, which isn’t some extent of sail the place the windvane is below sturdy stress,” Guillou defined on the time. “As soon as this [lower starboard] screw broke, and we misplaced one of many three fittings, the rudder acted as a lever. I attempted to make use of strains to stabilize the system and match a brand new axis, to no avail within the wind situations and sea state of that night time.”

After returning to port, and fixing the axle – partly with the assistance of Vendée Globe legendary skipper and long-time PRB sailor Vincent Riou – Guillou restarted, six days and a few 700 miles behind the fleet.

Guillou setting off to restart the Golden Globe Race after making repairs to his the bracket for his wind vane after struggling injury in Biscay. Photograph: GGR

Guillou does a ‘Desjoyeaux’

Guillou quickly made up the miles, and was again in contact with the principle pack by the Canaries. His race referred to as to thoughts that of Michel Desjoyeaux’s 2008-09 Vendée Globe, who was amongst 4 skippers pressured again to Les Sables d’Olonne by injury to his Funcia within the opening days of the race, however then restarted. Desjoyeaux then relentlessly climbed again up via the fleet, taking the lead earlier than Christmas, and occurring to win general. Desjoyeaux himself famous Guillou’s achievement, tweeting: “He’s within the technique of doing a “Desjoyeaux”, solely higher. If I’ll [say so]!”

Guillou was as much as 4th place yesterday because the front-runners chased laborious within the South Atlantic. Race chief Simon Curwen was approaching the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope, some 2,000 miles to the east. The fleet has been contending with confused seas of 4m plus, with winds averaging 15-20 knots however gusting 30-40.

Guillou referred to as race management yesterday to report that the stainless-steel rudder shaft of his wind vane had damaged on the high of the rudder. The rudder was secured by a security line so was not misplaced, however Guillou has no functioning self-steering, though in a single day he was nonetheless sustaining boat speeds of 6+ knots.

He has an entire spare rudder shaft onboard PRB. With a view to impact the restore, he might want to take away the principle transmission gear from the self-steering unit, take the damaged shaft out after which slide a brand new shaft in earlier than changing the principle gear. He will even have to interchange the rudder mid-ocean, which would require him to go over the facet of the boat to get into the water.

Guillou instructed race management that he could make the restore, however wants calming situations to take action. A excessive stress system is at the moment to the south-east of the leaders, or another choice could also be to move for the shelter of Tristan da Cunha. He could not lose too many miles, as a forecast northerly windshift may doubtlessly give Gillou a extra direct path to Cape City.

Curwen leads Golden Globe

British skipper Simon Curwen on Clara initially of the Golden Globe Race. Photograph by Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP by way of Getty Photographs.

In the meantime the general chief Simon Curwen’s place appears to be like safe, practically 500 miles forward of Guillou, and properly positioned to hook into the Southern Ocean westerlies. Nonetheless, he too has been coping with difficult upkeep points, which at one stage noticed him caught up the mast of his Biscay 36 Clara.

After breaking his genoa halyard early within the Southern Ocean, Curwen sought shelter off Trinidade island, a obligatory passing mark of the course (however not a movie drop ‘cease’). He climbed the mast to attempt to restore the halyard, to no avail, and needed to detach himself from his security harness and climb down after it turned broken.

‘There was not sufficient shelter behind a small little island so I hove-to as there was no probability of anchoring. I used to be up the mast for a few hours, however the hassle was I used to be simply getting bashed into the mast. I obtained to the highest [of the mast] and many of the manner again down once more, however my bosun’s chair began falling aside and I fell partially out of it and I needed to reduce myself free and free climb down.

“I misplaced my mousing line, which I might be able to get well. In the intervening time, I’m not a lot better off than I used to be,’ Curwen instructed organizer Don McInytre throughout a weekly satphone name. He’s now hoping to make repairs within the shelter of Cape City’s harbor on the subsequent ‘movie drop’ (the place skippers are met at a passing mark for media interviews and so forth however don’t go ashore).

Irish Skipper Pat Lawless has had a halyard breakage within the South Atlantic. Photograph: GGR/Nora Havel

Different skippers have additionally suffered injury after six weeks of racing: Irish skipper Pat Lawless has had his Solent halyard snap, Ertan Beskardes can’t retailer energy in his batteries after handle a major electrical failure onboard, together with a small fireplace onboard; Abhilash Tomy reported a fuel leak, which is now repaired; and Elliott Smith is struggling main deck/hull leaks from starboard on this lengthy, windy port tack to Trinidade.

A number of skippers have already reported points with barnacles, which have been the bane of many over the last version of this comparatively sluggish around the globe race.

Observe the race tracker stay at and watch our sister title Yachting Month-to-month’s boat excursions on YouTube

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