Vendee Globe: capsized sailor recovered from life raft


Capsized sailor salvaged from life raft

The ninth of 20 extreme athletes has now failed in the toughest regatta in the world. After his yacht was handled, the Spaniard Javier Sanso had to be rescued by a helicopter.

D.he Vendee Globe 2012/13 will now go down in history as a regatta that was determined by bankruptcies, bad luck and failures. Of the 20 yachts originally launched, a maximum of eleven boats in total can reach the destination. This means that the failure rate is almost 50 percent.

The youngest victim of the single-handed circumnavigators is the Spaniard Javier Sanso: He knew 500 nautical miles west of Madeira and 360 nautical miles south of the Azores island of Sao Miguel with moderate winds of 15 knots.

Get out on the life raft

The Spaniard on his yacht "Acciona 100% EcoPowerd" sent emergency signals and transferred to his life raft. Around a day later, he was rescued by helicopter during the night and taken to a military base on the Azores island of Terceira. According to the attending doctors, Sanso is fine.

Reason for the failure of the Spanish skipper was a serious accident which capsized his ship. The incident occurred on February 3, 2013 at around 11:40 a.m. At this point, the Spaniard activated his emergency signal, which transmitted the exact coordinates by satellite. Shortly afterwards, the race management was notified. Almost six hours later, a type C295 aircraft flew over the sea area of ​​the damaged vessel from the Azores.

Javier Sanso, at the time in ninth place of the toughest one-handed ragatta in the world, contacted the race management shortly beforehand and reported about 15 knots of wind from the northeast. How the accident came about is not yet known.

French won in a world record time

Three boats have already reached their destination in Les Sables d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast. Winner François Gabart from France set a world record with 78 days, two hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds on January 27th. His compatriot Armel le Cleac’h came in second.

Third placed, Briton Alex Thomson had said on his arrival that he was glad that the number of failures this time was manageable. He attributed this to the quality of the sailors and the safer boats.

This statement should no longer apply, especially since Thomson himself only achieved third place due to an accident by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Dick shortly before the finish in France. Dick lost his keel at sea, apparently also in a collision with an object. It is not yet clear whether he will be able to achieve the goal. If he doesn’t make it, half of all starters would have failed.

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