The French skipper had to make a tough decision this Tuesday afternoon in Mindelo in the Cabo Verde Islands after a full evaluation of the damage to his masthead and possible solutions which might have allowed him to continue to race. De Lamotte will continue with the adventure, refusing to throw in the towel. Instead he will head north, back to France, carrying on in the spirit of the race, solo and unassisted to make it back home. Tanguy de Lamotte: “I’m not retiring. The damage is too important to imagine continuing to sail around the world, but it is not serious enough to stop me from bringing my boat home. I’m taking her back to Les Sables d’Olonne, withou having been all the way, but I shall be continuing my fight for the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque charity. That’s the way it goes. You have to accept these things. I think I have been very lucky. The mast could have broken and injured me.”
De Lamotte, who finished 10th in the last Vendée Globe, was lying in 10th place in the 29 boat fleet on Saturday afternoon – 6 days into the race – when he told his shore team that the top of his mast had come away and was hanging near the deck by the halyards. He had been sailing Initiatives Coeur in 20kts NE’ly breezes when the damage occurred at around 1515hrs UTC. He limped to Mindelo where he arrived Monday afternoon. A full assessment was made today after De Lamotte climbed the mast head. With no masthead sheave box unit and the top of the carbon mast tube effectively open, the structural integrity of the mast tip was considerably compromised.