The new Imoca Alex Thomson suffered a major damage keel after a collision on Sunday morning.
Alex Thomson and his co-skipper Neal McDonald struck an unidentified floating object this Sunday morning in the Atlantic. If the two British sailors are fine, the collision has caused a major damage to the keel forcing the duo to abandon in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Thomson and McDonald had already encountered a touch of sailing reaching early in the race, which had forced them to take a path West. Before this major Sunday incident, Hugo Boss, launched last August, was 19th in the Imoca standings
Very weak keel
"Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald were sailing at 25 knots when they touched an ofni. At this point, it's unclear exactly what they hit, says Hugo Boss in a statement. After the incident, Alex and Neal stopped the boat and performed an inspection to assess the damage. It has been found that the keel is only attached by the hydraulic cylinder. Due to the damage to the boat, the decision was made that they will not continue the race. The Alex Thomson Racing team is now working to help the skippers bring the boat to the nearest port. "Charal (Jérémie Beyou-Christopher Pratt) was still leading the Imoca race in approaching Cape Verde with around 12h00. 65 miles ahead of Banque Populaire (Clarisse Crémer-Armel Le Cléac'h) and Apivia (Charlie Dalin-Yann Eliès).