After 84 days of racing, in second place since 16 December, Roland JOURDAIN took the hard decision this morning to bring his Vendée Globe to an end and stop at the Azores.
After losing part of his keel last Thursday, Roland JOURDAIN (FRA), the skipper of Veolia Environnement has done all he can to ensure the stability of his boat and his own safety in some very difficult sea conditions.
He is currently continuing towards Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel, some 50 miles away, which he is due to reach this afternoon. Two members of his shore team will help him over the final miles.
JOURDAIN explained, "Once the decision was taken, that was it. I would have found it more difficult to come to this decision if the forecasts had indicated light winds, but it's the exact opposite. For 3 February, they are talking about 50-knot winds with a 10 metre swell. I've been lucky to have come this far without capsizing, particularly in yesterday's storm, so I'm not going to push my luck. I have gambled enough. It's no use now and it would be unreasonable to continue. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but it would be even harder, if 24 hours after passing a port, where I could have stopped, I capsized and had to abandon the boat."
Vendee Globe Leaderboard - 19:00 UTC 1 February 2009
1. Michel DESJOYEAUX (FRA), Foncia, finished 02/01/09 15:11 UTC
2. Roland JOURDAIN (FRA), Veolia Environnement, at 1324 miles to finish
3. Armel LE CLÉAC'H (FRA), Brit Air, at 263.7 miles first place on the water
4. Sam DAVIES (GBR), Roxy, at 1242.4 miles from first place
5. Marc GUILLEMOT (FRA), Safran, at 1329.8 miles from first place
6. Brian THOMPSON (GBR), Bahrain Team Pindar, at 1602.2 miles from first place
7. Dee Caffaari (GBR), Aviva, at 1869.3 miles from first place
8. Arnaud BOISSIÈRES (FRA), Akena Vérandas, at 2274.5 miles from first place
9. Steve Whiate (GBR), Toe in the Water, 3266.7 miles
10. Rich WILSON (USA), Great American III, at 5885 miles from first place
11. Raphaël DINELLI (FRA), Fondation Océan Vital, at 5883.2 miles from first place
12. Norbert SEDLACEK (AUT), Nauticsport - Kapsch, at 7392 miles from first place
RDG . Vincent RIOU (FRA), PRB, Awarded equal third as redress
30 boats started
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