The leech of the mainsail caught in the shrouds. It is a common problem that the sailors know happens. The battens caught inside the shroud and the only way to free them is to luff up. The sail flapped and the leech ripped as it hit against the shrouds. He aired his frustrations clearly on video, knowing that it was a foolish mistake that he had made and now it was going to cost him some sailing time when he repaired it. He rounded Cape Horn under just his headsail with his mainsail down and lashed to the boom. The repair was carried out quickly once round Cape Horn and he was back racing with a full main the next day.
Despite these little gremlins along the way, Boris has been incredibly careful of his boat and stayed on top of the jobs list and now that is playing to his benefit when every minute counts, as all the first three boats can win this race on Wednesday. As Boris has said, you make your own luck for 80% of the time then there is that small 20% of luck, where anything can happen and then you just have to pray to the wind Gods.
We also need to remember that Boris carries a 6-hour compensation, awarded from the International Jury after, to be applied at the finish of the race. This was given for his part in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier when his boat, PRB, sank beneath him on day 23, and the jury evaluated the impact this had on his race. Yannick Bestaven has been awarded a 10hrs 15mins compensation and Jean Le Cam is awarded a 16hrs 15mins compensation. So even when the boats cross the finish line on the water the positions may still change.
A longer line, just in case
To account for the complicated conditions for the close finishes into Les Sables in the days to come, the race director decided to lengthen the finish line, in accordance with article 9.1 of the sailing instructions. The line, which was supposed to be 0.3 miles (500 meters), will now be 1.9 miles (3.1 km) extended south. This will give the fleet enough runway to slow down after this remarkable sprint finish.
Six-time circumnavigator Dee Caffari, who covered the Vendée Globe for float, will provide live commentary in English on Wednesday’s finish.