Please select your home edition
Edition
Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90
Product Feature
Trident Eclipse Womens Front Zip Drysuit
Trident Eclipse Womens Front Zip Drysuit

Velux 5 Oceans Race - Leg 1 Day 16

by Velux 5 Oceans media 1 Nov 2010 14:51 GMT

Christophe Bullens makes pitstop after double crash

VELUX 5 OCEANS skipper Christophe Bullens has been forced to head for port after his yacht Five Oceans of Smiles too was damaged in strong winds in the North Atlantic. The 49-year-old Belgian singlehander was sailing near to Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, when his boat was knocked flat twice while travelling at 16 knots.

The mainsail on Five Oceans of Smiles too was ripped, three sail battens were broken and a runner - one of the wires that hold up the mast - was caught under the yacht’s rudders. Christophe is now en route to Las Palmas on Gran Canaria where he will make repairs before setting sail again for Cape Town.

“Everything was going well, I was sailing at 16 knots and then voila, my boat was knocked flat twice,” Christophe said this morning. “As I was approaching Fuerteventura the wind got strong and with the mountains it was very turbulent. The boat altered course and was knocked flat twice. The problem is that the mainsail was ripped, three battens were broken and a runner got caught under one of the rudders. I am still travelling at 10 knots but the seas are too big and there is too much wind so I have to stop.”

He added: “I hope to set sail again tomorrow afternoon at the latest. The goal is really to arrive as quickly as possible in Cape Town to sort the boat out and be ready for the second leg.”

It is the latest in a long line of problems for Christophe, whose original yacht Five Oceans of Smiles was dismasted just weeks for the start of the 30,000-mile round the world race as he was sailing to the start port of La Rochelle, France. Christophe managed to buy a new Eco 60 yacht, formerly Artech, a few days before the start of the race on October 17 and after crossing the start line with the rest of the fleet he returned to La Rochelle for five days to complete his preparations.

Since restarting he has been plagued with light winds and onboard problems including a fuel spill, a leaking hull and no electrics onboard Five Oceans of Smiles too to power his navigational instruments. Christophe is more than 2,000 nautical miles behind race leader Brad Van Liew, who is now off the eastern coast of Brazil being chased hard by Polish sailor Zbigniew Gutkowski.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS, run by Clipper Ventures PLC, is the longest running solo round the world race, and has 28 years of rich heritage as the BOC Challenge and then the Around Alone. This edition features five ocean sprints over nine months. After leaving from La Rochelle on October 17th the fleet now head to Cape Town, the race will then take in Wellington in New Zealand, Salvador in Brazil and Charleston in the US before returning back across the Atlantic to France.

Related Articles

Derek Hatfield takes third
In the Velux 5 Oceans race Derek Hatfield today proved why he is Canadas top solo sailor as he took the final podium position in the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race. Posted on 29 May 2011
CSM take second in final leg
Gutek 2nd overall in the Velux 5 Oceans British ocean racer Chris Stanmore-Major CSM has crossed the finish line of the final sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS singlehanded round the world yacht race in second place to secure at least fourth place overall. Posted on 28 May 2011
Brad Van Liew takes overall victory
In the Velux 5 Oceans American solo sailor Brad Van Liew has crossed the finish line of the final sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race to secure overall victory. Posted on 27 May 2011
CSM fears sinking as Sparten floods
In Velux 5 Oceans Leg 5 Velux 5 Oceans skipper Chris Stanmore-Major feared his yacht was sinking after finding the cabin flooded with hundreds of litres of water in the middle of the North Atlantic. Posted on 23 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans Race leg 5 start
Final sprint sets sail from Charleston Ocean sprint five, the final leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race, has got underway from Charleston, USA. Posted on 14 May 2011
Zbigniew Gutkowski finishes fourth
In Velux 5 Oceans Leg 4 Polish solo sailor Zbigniew ‘Gutek Gutkowski has finished fourth in the fourth sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans round the world yacht race. Posted on 5 May 2011
Velux 5 Oceans Race leg 4 finish
Last minute drama for CSM as he claims third They say that in yacht racing it is never over until man and boat are safely across the line – and that was certainly the case for Chris Stanmore-Major today as he was struck by a violent thunder storm just 15 miles from the finish line. Posted on 22 Apr 2011
Velux 5 Oceans Race leg 4 finish
Derek Hatfield finishes second Canadian solo sailor Derek Hatfield has finished second in the fourth sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS round the world yacht race. Posted on 20 Apr 2011
Velux 5 Oceans Race leg 4 finish
Four out of four for Brad Van Liew American solo sailor Brad Van Liew today made it an incredible four wins out of four legs in the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world race as he sailed into his hometown of Charleston to a heros welcome. Posted on 20 Apr 2011
Velux 5 Oceans Race leg 4 day 17
Broken rib keeps Gutek in port Velux 5 Oceans skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek Gutkowski will remain in port for the time being on doctors orders after being diagnosed with a broken rib. Posted on 12 Apr 2011