French yacht heading for Bluff

20 December 2016

The skipper of a French racing yacht, that collided with a floating object on Sunday afternoon during the Vendee Globe race, is making good progress toward Bluff.

The Le Souffle du Nord is now just 13 nautical miles (24 kilometres) south west of Puysegur Point in Fiordland, says Senior Search and Rescue Officer, Mike Roberts, of the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand.

The 18 metre vessel should reach Bluff about 2am at his present rate of 14 knots per hour (25 kmph). There are currently 45 knot winds in the region, with sea swells of five metres.

The yacht’s hull has reportedly been split by a floating object, and RCCNZ has been keeping very close tabs on his progress,” says Mike.

“This is an experienced and very resourceful skipper, who has already made good progress toward New Zealand since the collision around 260 nautical miles from our coast - while crossing the Tasman Sea during the non-stop round the world race,” says Mike.

“We will continue our regular contact throughout the night until he makes landfall, or send a helicopter and vessels out to him if he needs assistance. Bluff Coastguard have made arrangements to rendezvous with the yacht and escort her into harbour.”

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