The British Alex Thomson, considered one of the favourites, has given up the Vendée Globe circumnavigation. After technical problems and days of repairs last week – a damage to the laminate in the bow section of his yacht – a rudder break now made further participation impossible. In contrast to other participants like Boris Herrmann from Hamburg, Thomson does not have a spare rudder on board.
Thomson’s team announced the end of the race on Saturday evening: “Unfortunately a repair is not possible. We therefore accept that this is the end of the race for us. I myself, my team and our partners are deeply disappointed.” He was at that point some 1800 nautical miles from Cape Town, which he intends to enter under his own steam in about seven days. The 46-year-old from Gosport’s technical team will meet his skipper there.
The prestigious circumnavigation of the world is considered the toughest regatta in the world, with around 46,000 kilometres to be covered by the participants. Start and finish is the port of Les Sables d’Olonne in France. The best skippers need less than 80 days, they are expected back in mid-January at the earliest. A total of 27 men and six women tackled the Vendée Globe this year. Also co-favourite Nicolas Troussel had to give up with a broken mast.
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