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Jean-Luc Van Den Heede suffers knock-down and damage

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Race Leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede suffers knock-down and damage to the rig of his yacht Matmut
Race Leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede suffers knock-down and damage to the rig of his yacht Matmut

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede called GGR Founder Don McIntyre to advise that his Rustler 36 Matmut had been knocked down badly to about 150° which had damaged the connecting bolt attachment to the mast that holds all four lower shrouds. The mast was not in danger of falling, but it was not securely tensioned. The bolt has slipped 5cm down in the mast section and slackened the rigging.. He is still in the storm with 11 metre seas and 65knot winds. Conditions are expected to moderate in the next few hours.

The 73-year old race Frenchman from Les Sables d'Olonne is now running downwind with no sails until conditions improve. He will then effect a repair that will allow him to hoist sail again and make for Valparaiso, Chile where he will make a permanent repair.

Jean Luc was not injured during the knock-down, has requested NO ASSISTANCE at this time and is confident he can make Valparaiso safely. This will mean that he will move to the Chichester Class once he makes that port to effect repairs.

This is NOT a Code Orange situation for GGR and Jean-Luc is well in control of the situation. GGR will monitor his progress to port.