Vincent Riou aboard PRB collided with a harbor buoy in the dark some 500 miles from land. He later withdrew. There was a one meter gash in the hull and a whisker pole outrigger was fatally compromised. It's an easy repair in the yard - but outside assistance is disqualifying in the Vendee Globe. Only 13 of the 20 starters are still racing after only 15 days out, with the fleet just nearing Brazil. - gwc
"At 0700hrs (French time) on Saturday morning, Vincent Riou (PRB) warned his shore team that he had collided with a floating object. The skipper was at his navigation station at the time was able to get on the deck immediately after the impact and see that the object that had struck PRB was a harbour buoy (a large metal buoy). Following the collision, Riou found that the hull of his boat was torn and delaminated for about one metre. The impact was on the starboard side of the boat and the torn area is three metres from the bow. Riou was not injured in the collision. He will wait until daybreak to assess the damage and the possibility of repair. Conditions in the area are good and the wind between 12 and 15 knots. At the moment of impact, Riou immediately called the race office in order to report the position of the buoy to other competitors."