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It's every yachtsman's greatest fear: collision with an unseen, semi-submerged object. Containers, lost overboard from ships in bad weather are often blamed.

After sailing more than 20.000 miles in the Vendee Globe, this is what Ellen MacArthur skippering the Kingfisher believes she hit, as she reported: The boat came to a shuddering halt from the speed of 10 knots and there was an awful sound of tearing and breaking carbon fibre Behind her she saw a broken daggerboard and part of the rudder floating away. Her first reaction was to check the hull but fortunately she could not find no signs of water ingress. She managed to lift the 70 Kg board from it's housing and install it upside down, so the damaged part was in the housing. A tribute to Ellen that all this time she continued to sail full speed. Although she lost 40 miles but her chances to arrive among the firsts are still good.

The first boats are expected to arrive in Les Sables d` Olonne between 11-13 Feb. It is anticipated that crowds in excess of 100.000 will be there to great them.


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