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Vendée Globe Entry Struck by Fishing Vessel off Sables d’Olonne

By Sue Richards last modified Oct 17, 2008 03:21 PM

Published: 2008-10-17 15:21:25
Countries: France

17th October 2008

At 2.30am this morning the Open 60 yacht HUGO BOSS, an entry in this year's Vendée Globe, was struck by a 60 foot fishing vessel 2 miles outside the harbour of les Sables d’Olonne.

HUGO BOSS was waiting to transfer some of the technical team onboard at daylight having just crossed the channel from their homeport of Gosport, UK ready for the start of the race.

HUGO BOSS was stationary with only its mainsail up when the fishing vessel struck. The race boat was visible with its navigation lights, trim lights and a strobe light on. Its radar and AIS systems were also activated and working.

The fishing vessel, registered in France, struck the yacht forward of the cap shroud on the starboard side, severely holing the boat and bringing the mast down. The mast and sails were cut away from the boat before the crew motored into les Sables d’Olonne to have the damage assessed. No-one onboard was injured.

"I’m devastated, but I’m glad everyone is ok", skipper Alex Thomson said. Damage to HUGO BOSS is currently being assessed.

The Vendée Globe is described as the Everest of Sailing, a single handed nonstop race around the globe. This year’s race has attracted a record entry of 30 boats.

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