Laughing Cow skipper out of Artemis Transat

Groupe Bel
Yvan Zedda/Transat Figaro AG2R.
Kito de Pavant, skipper of Groupe Bel, bearing the effigy of the famous Vache qui rit® - Laughing Cow - has been injured during a preparatory sail for the Artemis Transat.

A fracture of the fibula (left leg) will immobilize him for at least five weeks. He is therefore obliged to abandon his participation in the first race of the season, The Artemis Transat, leaving from Plymouth in a month, and to adapt his programme. But this will not change anything with regards to the major objective of the season: the preparation of the Vendée Globe.

Kito de Pavant, skipper of Groupe Bel:

Kito de Pavant, skipper of Groupe Bel
. ©
'I fell on board Groupe Bel, just at the end of a 24-hour sail last weekend to make sure that everything was ready before delivering her to Plymouth. I fell in the saloon and I fractured my left fibula. I'm being properly looked after by a physiotherapist and doctor team that has been following me for years. Their verdict is clear. I will need a splint for five weeks and then physiotherapy for three weeks.

There will be no long-term consequences if it is carefully tended. So, I will not be participating in The Artemis Transat, which leaves on 11 May. Naturally, I am very disappointed for the whole team, because we have worked very hard to prepare for this race, and for all the Bel people who have been giving me their full support, particularly the subsidiaries concerned by the Transat (England, United States and Canada).

The programme will be disturbed, but this does not affect our main objective, preparing for the Vendée Globe. It is better for it to happen now, than in six months times. It is difficult to combine all that's needed to win races. You need a good boat, a good sponsor, a motivated team and a skipper on form. We have everything we need, except the latter. So, we are going to change our preparation, sailing and public relations schedule, and we will devote more time to all that.'