This morning at 07:30 (local time), while the boat was racing in winds of 20-25 knots on Leg 3 of The Ocean Race, the crew on board heard two consecutive noises. After an inspection of the boat, they discovered abnormal movements in the hull bottom in the living area.
After a discussion with the design and technical team, the team came to the conclusion that it was a hull sandwich failure.
“Given the current position of the boat and the distance to the arrival in Itajai, unfortunately it is better for the crew and the integrity of the boat to turn back to Cape Town.” said Thomas Cardrin, the technical director from GUYOT environnement – Team Europe.
The technical team will wait for the boat to make a more detailed inspection, and choose an action plan for the repairs.
The crew of Benjamin Dutreux, Robert Stanjek, Sébastien Simon, Annie Lush and on board reporter Charles Drapeau are safe and the team anticipates being able to get the boat back to Cape Town – just over 600 nautical miles to the northwest – safely.
We will have more updates as we get more information from the crew and team.