The latest race news from the race
The Normandy duo, who were early leaders and one of the Class40 favourites on the newly-launched Carac, had diverted to Funchal in Madeira, arriving last night to have an injury to Duc’s knee assessed by a doctor. He had been on anti-inflammatories for almost four days. Before that they had been one of the main challengers to Britain's Phil Sharp and Spain's Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy), who took over and have held the lead since.
The medical verdict was that Duc could not continue on to Salvador de Bahia. A wrist injury on the third day had made it difficult to Duc to get around the boat and led to several falls, which injured his knee and visibly slowed the boat on the tracker. The 5-metre waves and record-breaking conditions have taken their toll on the fleet.
Duc is currently being treated at the hospital of Funchal and should be able to return to France in a few days with Alexis. Louis will repatriate his Class40, Carac, as soon as his state of health allows it.
“This is a huge disappointment,” Duc, who finished third in 2015, said. “We had worked hard to be ready for this transat and had hig hopes on this first big race (for the new Carac), but it give us experience to come back better. It may be necessary to think about adding some padding on the boat…
In any case, I want to thank Alexis who had to cope with this and did it very well. It was really extremely frustrating to be unable to manoeuvre, not be able to make the right sail changes.
“You have to be able to go fast, be efficient and stay safe on a boat and that was impossible for me, it was very annoying and harsh blow. Alexis took a lot on himself. He sailed well, his strategy in the rocks early in the course was perfect, he taught me a lot.
“The boat has managed to show its potential, it is faster than the others at certain angles, I’ve found positive things, and things to improve as well. The level of the Class40 is very high, you have to be performing at 200% to be able to fight for the lead. This is all the more motivating for the future: I will continue to prepare myself for the next season and of course the Route du Rhum.”