Cheminees Poujoulat under slow tow
The IMOCA Open 60 Cheminées Poujoulat which Bernard Stamm and Jean Francois Cuzon had to abandon has been located off the Azores and is being recovered by a trawler with Bernard Stamm and Gautier Levisse, the team’s boat captain, on board. The boat left the Azores on Wednesday afternoon, but the operation has had its problems not least because yesterday morning at 0800hrs UTC the Argos beacon stopped transmitting the GPS position. It was only using a triangulation calculation made possible by the Iridium signal that they were able to deduce an accurate position for the boat, aided by the trawler’s capitain.
The duo arrived to find the boat floating low in the water with only the bow appearing, the weather and seas apparently having ripped off the hatch to the sail locker and the door so allowing the boat to partially fill with water.
So it appears a timely decision by Stamm to leave as soon as possible to find the boat. According to his team a few hours more and the situation could have been even more complicated.
The boat is under tow at a painfully slow pace, around 1.5kts, considering the weight of water in the boat. The trawler is expected back on the island of Terceira in the east of the Azores, the shortest towing distance. This morning they had 90 miles still to cover. Members of the shore team will be on hand for the boats’ arrival and a technical team from the boat’s Swiss builders Decision SA are en route.
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