Damaged yacht nears landfall

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 close to making landfall in New Zealand.

The Le Souffle du Nord is about 35 nautical miles off the coast of Fiordland and is hoping to clear the edge of Fiordland before nightfall, says Senior Search and Rescue Officer, Mike Roberts, of the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand.

“We are in regular contact with the skipper to ensure he is making reasonable progress. The yacht’s hull has reportedly been split by a floating object, and the weather is deteriorating this afternoon, with gusts expected up to 45 knots.

“We will be keeping very close tabs on his whereabouts. This is an experienced skipper who has already made good progress toward New Zealand since the collision around 260 nautical miles from New Zealand, while crossing the Tasman Sea during the non-stop round the world race.

“Once he is closer to land a rescue will be easier to achieve, if his situation deteriorates and he requires assistance.”

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