Vincent Riou pulls out after losing mast

Vendee Globe contender Vincent Riou was forced to pull out of the race after losing his mast rounding Cape Horn. Hours earlier the Frenchman rescued fellow yachtsman Jean Le Cam who was stuck beneath his capsized boat.


AFP - More drama unfolded in the Vendee Globe yacht race on Wednesday when Vincent Riou had to pull out of the event after losing his mast rounding Cape Horn a day after rescuing fellow Frenchman Jean Le Cam.


The departure of Riou, who won the last edition of the solo, non-stop, round-the-world yacht race in 2005, left just 12 boats out of the original flotilla of 30 which started the competition.


Riou was just eight nautical miles from the Cape Horn lighthouse when he informed his press serivce at 1920GMT that he had lost his mast.


An hour later, Riou recontacted his team to say he would not be sending an SOS but would instead ask for assistance from boats in the vicinity.


A day earlier, Le Cam had been in third place when his boat VM Materiaux dramatically overturned in high winds west of Cape Horn off the tip of South America, before being rescued by Riou, who tried four times to get his fellow competitor off his stricken boat.


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