Reports 12 - 19 December
On the 12th December, the keel head broke on Temenos II. Dominique Wavre headed for the Kerguelens, where he was joined by Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) with damaged bowsprit and rudders. A horrible pit stop for Bernard Stamm: in the storm his boat was washed onto the rocks and smashed. The two Swiss sailors were forced out. Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) formally retired on the 15th. Then on the 16th Mike Golding (Ecover) was dismasted and at the rear, the youngest entrant Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty (Groupe Maisonneuve) was also forced to retire with a broken auto-pilot. Steve is now 14th out of 19.
18 December - Major pilot repairs.
Audio Clip courtesy Trigone/VendeeGlobe
19 December - Newswire report - Autopilot problems cause stress and slow progress.
Steve White has been having a rough time over the last 36 hours, battling pilot issues. He has spent periods near stopped today trying to sort them out, and appears to have done so.
" The pilot is giving me some grief - I either spend my time on the edge of my seat waiting to wipe out, or wiped out, boat on it's side, ballast the wrong side etc.......not good in 35 knots which is when it happened this morning. But, I think we've finally got to the bottom of it, just going to sail slowly so I can rest for an hour and wait for the sea state to die down, then I'll stop again as I commission both pilots, then I should get going again I hope." White reported this evening.