French sailor is rescued by rival after yacht ‘folded in two’ throughout round-the-world race

French sailor is rescued by rival after yacht 'folded in two' during round-the-world race


Both males had been competing within the Vendée Globe, a 24,296-mile solo crusing race, when Escoffier hit bother.

The 40-year-old Escoffier mentioned he was pressured to desert his yacht after a wave “folded the boat in two” off the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, on Monday.

“You see the images of shipwrecks? It was like that, but worse. In four seconds the boat nosedived, the bow folded at 90 degrees,” he said.

“I put my head down in the cockpit, a wave was coming. I had time to send one text before the wave fried the electronics. It was completely crazy.”

Race organizers responded by diverting Le Cam on a rescue mission, with the Frenchman the closest competitor to the scene.

The 61-year-old had made preliminary visible and voice contact together with his compatriot however it took a number of makes an attempt to efficiently rescue Escoffier within the early hours of Tuesday, amid sturdy winds and large waves.

“I told myself I would stay on standby and wait for daylight. Then I thought that in the dark it might be easier to see his light,” Le Cam said.

“One moment when I was on deck I saw a flash, but in fact it was a reflection that glinted off a wave.

“But the extra I acquired nearer to the sunshine I noticed it an increasing number of. It is superb since you swap from despair to an unreal second right away.”

Le Cam himself was rescued in this race in 2009 after spending 16 hours in his upturned yacht and Escoffier said he was not scared as soon as he saw his rival in the distance.

“As quickly as I had seen Jean I used to be certain I might be saved,” he mentioned.

‘A miracle’

Organizers had escalated the operation by sending a further three competitors to help with the rescue but all those dispatched are free to return to the race and the lost hours will be deducted from their final time.

“It is the result we had been hoping for. It was pitch black, not straightforward circumstances however lastly the result is nearly a miracle,” said race director Jacques Caraes.

“It was not straightforward to select Kevin up in the midst of the evening, Jean is a particularly skilled sailor and he all the time adopted our directions to the letter.

“We had lots of unknowns, lots of different positions. We had to be positive all the time and believe in things. We were lucky, luck was on our side.”

Dubbed the “Everest of the seas,” the Vendee Globe began from Les Sables d’Olonne on the November 8.

The winner of the 2016-2017 version was Armel Le Cléac’h, who accomplished the race in a document breaking time of 74 days, three hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds.

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