Pitstop in Madeira...
Around 10h00 (French time) today, Gitana asked permission of the Transat Jacques Vabre's Race Committee to make a pitstop in Porto-Santo (Madeira) in order to repair the port side runner as early as possible (Ed. : a mobile cable which holds the mast aft).

Yann Marilley, Gitana Team Manager explains : "the port runner must have been badly positioned on its anchorage point. It chafed throughout the night but Lionel and Marc did not realise. It broke this morning". Just a minor hitch which does not bring the boat's capacity into question, but which does prevent her potential being exploited to the full. A real handicap for Gitana and for Lionel Lemonchois and Marc Guessard as the mast is not supported efficiently enough for them to finish the race in optimal conditions. Positioned 257 miles (425 km) north of the island of Porto-Santo, Gitana envisages reaching the island around midday (GMT) tomorrow, Sunday. It is never easy to accept that a pitstop is necessary, particularly as at 14h00 Gmt, Gitana was lying 9th and showed the best average speed of the fleet over the past hour, 19.5 knots.

Commando operation

François Denis (alias Bambino), member of the team in charge of rigging and Zolive (Olivier Wrosczynski), Boat Master have left for Porto Santo. Yann Marilley : "So that this technical pitstop remains as short as short can be, the shore team is going to find a mooring or to put an anchor just off Porto Santo, so that Gitana will not need to enter the harbour at all. Bambino will climb the mast to replace the broken runner. Zolive will seize the opportunity to check the boat's electronics and the engine which appears to have one or two problems with the cooling system". An important measure as it is now known that four other boats are currently making way to Porto-Santo, namely the 60-foot multihulls Foncia, Bonduelle and Banque Populaire, to make repairs. Bernard Stamm is calling it a day on the 60-foot monohull Cheminées Poujoulat-Armor Lux, as he has broken three ribs.

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