Multi-million dollar racing yacht hits submerged object

Author:
Publish date:
Thomson’s boat at the start of the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre race. Photo by CNN.

Thomson’s boat at the start of the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre race. Photo by CNN.

British sailors Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald were a third of the way into an offshore sailing race in their new $7.7 million foiling sailboat on Sunday when it collided with a submerged object in the Atlantic Ocean.

“If you were to get into your car, close your eyes, and drive at 40 miles an hour into a brick wall, that’s what it felt like,” Thomson said in a statement.

He and McDonald were competing in the 4,350-mile Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador, Brazil, when the 60-foot boat hit the unidentified object while running approximately 29 mph (25 knots). The incident took place about 380 miles northwest of the Canary Islands.

The duo escaped with bruises, but determined the boat was badly damaged with the keel held onto the hull by the hydraulic ram. Working with members of their UK-based shore team, Thomson and McDonald decided to cut away the keel to minimize the danger. They lowered the foils and filled the ballast tanks to add stability.

In a separate statement, the team’s technical director Ross Daniel, said “They are currently in light winds and a slight sea state and we are comfortable that there is no immediate risk to the boat or the skippers.”

The pair retired from the race and were considering options for making its way to port without needing assistance.

The boat, which is sponsored by Hugo Boss, was developed in Hampshire, England, and took more than two years to build.

Related

Freedom Boat Club Expands

Through November, it has grown to more than 245 locations serving more than 55,000 members.

BRP Announces FY21, Q3 Results

While the North American market saw solid gains in the powersports segment, pandemic-related shutdowns and the retirement of Evinrude had a big impact on revenue.

Quick Hits: November 25, 2020

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Arial} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Patrick hires a new CFO; CMC Marine joins NMMA; Dometic makes names new HR VP; and Stingray Boats earns a safety milestone.

Wholesale Shipments Drop in September

NMMA: Easing supply chain constraints should enable more manufacturers to build boats.

Dealers: What’s Your 2021 Retail Outlook?

The monthly Pulse Report asks marine retailers to weigh in on November market conditions.