Following the damaged suffered to the actuator rod aboard the monohull adopteunskipper.net, rechristened Safran for the Transat St Barth / Port-La-Forêt Morgan Lagravière has decided to stop at Horta (the Azores Islands) which he expects to reach on Wednesday. The technical team will be there to meet him on site to try and secure the keel so that Morgan can leave safely and finish the race.
The circumstances of the damage
"I was on the lookout for four days. The conditions were horrible and admit that I was scared. I had never experienced that. At the time of the incident, I had the wind on the beam and was in 35-40 knots of wind and a very rough sea. Suddenly I heard a loud "crack", the boat broached and I saw the masthead in water. I fully released all the sails but the boat would not righten itself. I thought we had lost the keel. After checking, it is still there but the actuator rod was broken.”
A makeshift repair
"I then set out to find a solution so that the keel head would not swing from side to side as this can damage the structure of the boat. I took a piece Dyneema wrapped it round tens of times to prevent the pin from moving. My repair holds somehow. Conditions are more manageable and I am heading for Horta at around 10 knots.”
"Once we reach Horta, we will make the repairs with members of my technical team. If we are able to secure the keel and be satisfied with it, I will wait for a good weather window to leave and so also get the Vendée Globe qualification*. I will take care to not take the risk of finding myself in difficult situation again.”
* Stopping over and getting help from the technical team will not have an affect on qualifying for the Vendée Globe. In order to qualify Morgan will however need to finish this Transat Saint- Barth / Port-la -Forêt within a maximum of nine days after the winner.