“ Following a collision with an Unidentified Floating Object, the daggerboard of the trimaran has sustained serious damage”
Currently second in The Transat bakerly Multi50 class, Lalou Roucayrol contacted his shore team this morning to advise them of damage on board his trimaran Arkema.
“I broke my daggerboard this morning,” Roucayrol explained via satellite phone. “I think I must have I hit something, because it happened when the boat wasn’t going at any speed. The boat dropped onto a wave as I was reefing my mainsail. I heard an impact, the noise of carbon cracking. I thought it was a beam, I checked the beams, had a good look round and didn’t see anything. The daggerboard was still in place, so I didn’t pay any more attention. I continued with my manoeuvre and as I was setting off again, I realised that something was strange, something was wrong; which is when I saw that the daggerboard had gone.
“We don’t have foils on the Multi50s and it’s a handicap, it’s a bit like trying to tackle a glacier without any crampons! I’m are working with Karine and Eric (Fauconnier and Mas, navigators) on an alternative solution, a route with not too much upwind sailing, as now I can no longer head into the wind properly. We have to find a little gap, a little path that will allow us to make it to New York this way.
“It’s really disappointing because I was beginning to reap the benefits of setting off from the North, two or three new courses were beginning to open up, it would have been quite interesting. Last night we did well in the front of a low, with a change of tack in the low and picking up speed again all day yesterday. It was all going well, and apart from the damage today, I haven’t had the toolbox out - so in terms of the boat, it was all going rather well too. It’s a pity. With the daggerboard breaking like that close to the hull, I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t an impact with an animal. But I didn’t see it, so I can’t be sure.
“Conditions have settled down and the wind has dropped. However, it’s cold as I was heading North before changing tack at the Southern point of the ice exclusion zone, and it has got much colder in the last two days. Otherwise, there’s a small ray of sunshine and it’s quite nice. We have rather angry seas, but they are getting calmer as the wind drops. I still have around 1000 miles as the crow flies to the finish line in New York. It will depend on the course I take, but it will probably take me four or five days to cross the finish line.”
Without his daggerboard, Roucayrol will be looking for a new routing to avoid upwind sailing. Despite the damage, he is looking to continue with the race.