Vendée Globe. Structural problems in Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss
HUGO BOSS Slowed After Possible Structural Problem Concern, Leaders Deal With South Atlantic “Depression”
HUGO BOSS is slowing to the SE on the race circuit early this morning after Alex Thomson’s team alerted the Race Direction of the Vendée Globe last night about a possible structural problem aboard Thomson’s black and pink IMOCA when it was second, racing 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro.
The British skipper has slowed down to reduce the load on the ship while seeking a solution in consultation with the VPLP designers and engineers. Last night, Saturday, he alerted his team to his concerns around 19:00 UTC, and the Alex Thomson Racing team issued a short statement that was released around midnight UTC.
Since last night’s qualifying at 9:00 p.m. reported that HUGO BOSS did 42 nautical miles overnight, averaging six knots, about half the speed of race leader Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia ), who passed approximately 23 nautical miles to windward of HUGO BOSS around midnight, the French skipper ranks second in the race.
The leading trio runs in light and variable winds. Just before the Race Direction alert was issued, Thomson had been averaging around 16 knots, with a forecast swell of around 1.7m. Overnight he has awarded leader Ruyant some thirty miles. More information will be shared on Sunday.
The leaders seek to traverse a zone of lighter and more unstable airs to reach the strongest conditions in the Southern Ocean strip. Speaking at 0400 this morning, Charlie Dalin had not yet found out about his British rival’s problem. “I hope it is not so bad and that the damage is limited. Above all, I hope this does not mean the end of the Vendée Globe for him. We are having a great career with him. Alex is part of this trio is very stimulating.”
Speaking of the weather, Dalin said: “I have the impression that I am reliving a passage of depression, but it is even stranger. I found some pretty strange variable winds, sudden changes of direction and force, I really wasn’t expecting that. I even got gusts from the NW yesterday. This morning, the sea is flatter and there is a beautiful starry sky, it is beautiful ”.
As the leaders slow down in these light conditions, there has been little gain from the chasing group, Ruyant and Dalin achieved around 12 knots to fourth place in Jean Le Cam’s night average of 14 knots, the Gap narrowed by about 25 miles to 274 this morning.