by Soazig Guého
At 1745 hrs CET (1645 hrs GMT) on Saturday 10th November, Marc Guillemot called his shore team to inform them that he had hit something and that there had been a loud noise, after which the boat suddenly heeled over.
Damage on Safran, Marc Guillemot forced to retire - Vendee Globe 2012
After making the boat safe, the skipper of Safran decided to head back to Les Sables d’Olonne in order to inspect the damage.
Marc Guillemot arrived in the port of Les Sables this morning (Sunday) at 0300hrs local time. His shore team immediately examined the boat and saw that the keel had broken off under the waterline.
As they do not have a spare keel, Safran is unable to set off again in the race.
On Monday morning, 13th November, the monohull will be towed to La Trinité-sur-Mer, where she will be taken out of the water.
Metallurgical tests will be carried out on the keel head in order to determine the causes of the damage.
The Safran group has been alongside Marc Guillemot for 7 years and fully supports him at this difficult time.
A press briefing with Marc Guillemot is due to take place at the esapce Galilée in front of the Vendée Globe media centre in Les Sables d’Olonne at 1100hrs (local time) on Sunday 11th November.
The Vendee Globe got underway on Saturday at 13:02hrs (French, 1202hrs UTC).
Vendee Globe website