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article imageRescue underway in Vendee Globe as skipper abandons sinking boat

By AFP     Nov 30, 2020 in Sports

French skipper Kevin Escoffier abandoned his PRB Yacht during the Vendee Globe on Monday and was in a life-raft awaiting rival skipper veteran Jean le Cam to pick him up.

"Jean le Cam has arrived in the area and has seen Kevin in his life raft," the Vendee Globe reported on their website at 1617 GMT.

"He (Le Cam) is under engine preparing to recover Escoffier."

Three weeks into the gruelling solo round-the-world yacht race, Escoffier, who was running third 550 nautical miles south-west of Cape Town, reported that he was taking on water and sent out an SOS.

"He (Escoffier) managed to send a message to his shore team, explaining that he had an ingress of water into his boat," said the organisers.

Cape Town coastguards then contacted his nearest pursuer to proceed to the zone to try and pick him up.

It is still unclear if 61-year-old Le Cam, who came second in the 2004-05 edition, will be penalised for using his motor.

While Le Cam is on an old style yacht the 40-year-old Escoffier was on a new style foiler, a 'flying boat' which raises out of the water on a foil in high winds.

The foilers have featured strongly on the list of craft having serious maintainance issues with Welsh skipper Alex Thomson already out of the race.

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