The Vendee Globe race being a solo sailing race around the world, there are several incidents that keep occurring.
For instance, on December 18th Thomas Ruyant realized that his boat had collided with a shipping container. It had nearly broken his boat into two and he had been managing to stay afloat when two technicians came aboard this morning with a pump to help clear out the water and get the boat in sailing condition. The IMOCA boat that Thomas was sailing had become flooded on the bow section and this was making the boat go out of control. Several uncertain hours were spent by Thomas as he fought to keep his boat under control. The steerage was not easy in the big seas and with winds that buffeted his boat at speeds around 55 knots.
Ruyant admits that he had come to a point when he thought that his boat will not be saved and that he would have to be rescued. It has definitely been an epic struggle for the first time in the Vendee Globe race. Being 35 years of age, Ruyant hails from north east France. As his boat has suffered substantial damage, with two specialists who have come aboard, he is away from Bluff, a town in the south island of New Zealand, about 25 miles distance. Ruyant had covered about 220 miles with his boat in a damaged condition. Ruyant informed his team that at one time he thought that he would have to press the beacon button to be picked up as he did not think that his boat would make it.
For others, it is not so bad. For instance, Armel Le Cléac’h had Banque Populaire VIII is the fleet leader at present and he is averaging with a speed of 20 knots and is expected to reach Cape Horn by Friday morning.