English skipper Alex Thomson was forced to U-turn towards the race's starting line after he found a transverse crack running five metres through his yacht's outer and inner skin. The boat won't be repaired in time for the restart deadline.
English skipper Alex Thomson on Thursday retired from the Vendee Globe race because the damage sustained to his IMOCA Open 60 yacht Hugo Boss is not repairable by the November 19 restart deadline.
There is a transverse crack that runs five metres through the outer and inner skin of the boat, thought to have been sustained by a collision with a submerged object.
"They think that the repairs are going take a matter of weeks not a matter of days, so it means I'm out of the race, that that's, the end," said Thomson.
"So four years and this is where we get to, it's very disappointing. But enough's enough, we've looked at it and if there was a possibility of fixing it we'd fix it. But apparently there isn't a possibility.
"It's just awful, not just for me but the team, you know we worked really hard and built a new boat, just to get ready for this one race, and to be out of it just three days in just doesn't feel right at all, it feels very hard to be back here again."
But Thomson vowed that he would be back in four years time to compete in the Vendee Globe.
"We will be back here in 2012 to do it again, we are not going to give up now. We know we've got a great team of people and the dream isn't over for sure, we're just going to have to put it off for a while."
Thomson's withdrawal is the fourth since the start of in the world's toughest round-the-world non-stop solo sailing race after that of Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel), Marc Tjhiercelin (DCNS), and Yannick Bestaven (Aquarelle.com).
At 1000 GMT on Thursday, Gitana Eighty skipper Loick Peyron had extended his lead by about 10 miles over the period since the last scheduled position report, with Seb Josse (BT) now in second, duelling with Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac 2).
Vendee Globe standings at 1000 GMT Thursday
1. Loick Peyron (FRA) Gitana-Eighty at 22,649.5 nautical miles from the finish, 2. Sebastien Josse (FRA) BT 14.1 miles from leader, 3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) Paprec-Virbac 14.2, 4. Jean le Cam (FRA) VM Materiaux 32.7, 5. Roland Jourdain (FRA) Veolia Environnement 50.8, 6. Vincent Riou (FRA) PRB 54.8, 7. Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA) Brit Air 59.1, 8. Yann Elies (FRA) 59.8, 9. Marc Guillemot (FRA) Safran 73.0, 10. Jerome Beyou (FRA) Delta Dore 89.9
Date created : 2008-11-13