Beyou out of Vendee Globe, 15 boats left
PARIS (AFP) –
French skipper Jeremie Beyou on Monday became the fifth competitor to pull out of the solo, round the world Vendee Globe yacht race.
Beyou was forced to call time on his bid to win the 2012/2013 edition when his boat, Maitre CoQ, suffered keel damage on Saturday.
Already forced to quit the gruelling event are the race’s two women skippers, Louise Burton and Samantha Davies, Marc Guillemot and Kito de Pavant, leaving 15 at sea competing for sailing’s ultimate prize.
Confirming he was out of contention Beyou, who had taken his boat to Cap Vert to be inspected by his team on Sunday, said: “The race is over for me.”
His boat, then named foncia, won the 2008/2009 Vendee with Michel Desjoyeaux at the helm.
Beyou’s compatriot, Armel Le Cleac’h, onboard Banque Populaire, led the race at 1100 GMT Monday from compatriots Francois Gabart (Macif) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3).
The Vendee Globe has a high rate of attrition: in the first edition in 1989-90, 13 skippers were on the start line but only seven crossed the finish. In 1992-93, the figures were 15 and seven; 16 and 6 in 1996-97; and 24-15 in 2000-1.
Seven out of 20 abandoned in 2004-5 while 19 out of 30 pulled out in the last race in 2008-9.