Stormy weather took their tool on the boats, more than on the racers. The 3rd, Sebastien josse, that was risking a lot on the routing, trying to take advantage of the bad weather to go faster and win miles on the leaders, saw is race finished when surfing a big wave, at 30k, had a rough landing.
The foil itself did not broke, but the linkage of the foil broke.That was far worse than losing a foil since it cannot be repaired in a way that don't compromise the boat solidity while racing. The box can break and I suspect the hull too, given the forces applied there by the damaged foil. He had to retire from the race, but he is sailing his boat to Australia.
It was worst for the 10th, Kito De Pavant, on his 3rd Vendee Globe and trying to finish the first one. Kito, now with 55 years of age, had to abandon not only the race but his boat too and that was a first time for him. His IMOCA had hit hard with a keel something, so hard that the keel went out of the housing and was just there hanging on by a link.
Much worse than losing only the keel. On the last edition two sailors that lost the keel brought the boats to safety, one of them racing till the end and finishing among the first. The problem here is that the keel attachment is ripping the hull apart with the pendular movements, aggravated by being on a gale with huge waves. Luckily for him a research French boat was at only 110nm and he is already safe aboard. With a bit of luck his boat would not sink (theoretically is unsinkable) and he will be able to recover it later.
Romain Attanasio damaged the two rudders!!!! hitting something. He is going to the South African coats looking for a place to anchor to see if he can solve the problem. He has a spare rudder and maybe he can make one, from the other two broken ones.
Conrad Colman had a fire aboard. He could stop it quickly and it seems he had repaired the damage.
Thomas Ruyant, one of the more talented sailors of the new generation, sailing on the 8th place on an older boat, had already problems, broken most of the mainsail battens. He had to bring the mainsail down to take the battens out and repair them. Now he has a much more serious problem, an unusual one due to some breakage on the system to fill the ballast tanks with sea water.
He had open water and had a lot of water coming inside the boat. He had to tack to the other side, to put the hole out of water. I don't know if he can repair it while sailing or if he has to go to the South African coast, or Australian coast, to repair that. He is on the middle of nowhere, with land at thousands of miles. Maybe he can repair it sailing but he certainly needs to get out of stormy weather.
Eric Bellion was sailing in huge seas when gust of well over 50k lead to a big knockdown. It was so violent that he damaged a rudder. Another one that is going to the South African coats to find a sheltered bay, where he would try to repair the damage.
Talking about stormy weather, that's what the two on the front will get in 24 hours. Alex is now at 1143nm from the leader Armel, that seems to continue to push hard, even if he has not to do so to win the race. Maybe he doesn't want only to win the race but to get an outstanding monohull circumnavigation record, one that will be hard to break...and he has already a big advantage over last year's best time, regarding the place where he is.
And for last but not least, Didac Costa, the Catalan firefighter, that departed 4 days after the others, has finally starting to catch them. One is already overtaken and I really wish he will be able to take the next one, Pieter Heerema. There it is a lot of justice on that. Didac is sailing an old boat while Pieter is sailing a brand new boat with foils, very similar to the ones that are, or have been, on the head of the race. Cheers to Didac, a miniracer sailor that is showing that he can sail a big solo racer fast too!!!! Pieter is 900nm ahead. That is a lot, but Didac is recovering mile after mile.