The trimaran Groupama, capsized yesterday night at around 20.30 CET, and is now being towed by a vessel of the coast guards SNSM to Roscoff in north-west Brittany.
Its skipper Franck Cammas is safe and sound aboard with one of the rescue divers. The boat, turned upside down, is expected to arrive in Roscoff at 11.00 hours CET today Monday 11 November.
The 18 ORMA Multihulls started yesterday in calmer conditions than were expected yet still reached speeds of up to 18 knots sailing towards the first mark at Cap Fréhel. It was Loick Peyron on Fujifilm who led the fleet.
The sole female skipper of the trimaran fleet, Karine Fauconnier on Sergio Tacchini, is keeping the pace with her fellow competitors, being ninth to round the Cap Fréhel buoy.
The wind was set to pick up in the afternoon and the trimarans were prepared for tougher conditions going into the first night, with the wind veering to the west and the boats expecting upwind conditions. And so proved too tough for one Multihull.
Bonduelle, who was following the same course as Groupama, rammed into the upturned trimaran soon after it capsized. The skipper Jean le Cam was not hurt, but the starboard float of the boat was damaged over more than a metre. Bonduelle reached Camaret at 04.30 hours this morning to repair his float. Le Cam has not yet retired from the race and will confirm if he will be continuing, later on this morning.
Michel Désjoyeaux has repaired his battens and fixed some minor electrical problems on his trimaran Géant. He left Bertheaume, close to Brest in Brittany, at 04.30 CET to continue towards Guadeloupe. He is around 80 miles behind the leading boats.
Sill still leader
French pre race favourite Roland Jordain on Sill is leading the monohull fleet, with Mike Golding on Ecover behind. Australian Nick Moloney is still leading the class 2 monohulls, but Yannick Bestaven on Republique Dominicaine is closing in the gap.
Loïc Pochet on La Rage de Vivre (IMOCA 60' monohull) hit an unidentified object yesterday afternoon and arrived to the port in Brest early this morning, with damage on his bow.
Nicolas Peitrequin (Un Autre Regard pour l'UNHCR) has decided not to start the Route du Rhum 2002 : he had problems with his forestay and never made it to the start line Saturday 9 November.
Sebastien Josse (VMI), dismasted soon after the start on Saturday 9 November. He is waiting for a new mast to arrive in Saint-Malo. He has not abandoned and is still hoping to complete the Route du Rhum 2002.
Conrad Humphreys, Hellomoto (class 3 monohulls), has repaired his three holes in the hull and will head off on the race course today Monday morning.
Leading boats at 08.00 hours (07.00 GMT)
ORMA 60' multihull: Marc Guillemot Biscuits La Trinitaine-Ethypharm
IMOCA 60' monohull: Roland Jordain Sill
Monohull Class 2, 50': Nick Moloney Ashfield Healthcare
Monohull Class 3, 40': Regis Guillemot Storagetek
Multihull Class 2, 50': Frank Yves Escofier Crêpes Whaou!