It was a lively and tricky night for the competitors in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère, most of whom were powering along downwind in a powerful N’ly breeze. Looking like he was in trouble late afternoon yesterday, Czech skipper Pavel Roubal ultimately triggered his distress beacon before being airlifted to safety. He landed in Lisbon safe and sound. This morning, 84 competitors are out on the racetrack (David Kremer and Jonathan Chodkiewiez are still on a pit stop). The leaders are François Jambou (prototype) and Ambrogio Beccaria (production boat).
The main event of the night was the rescue operation actioned for the Czech sailor Pavel Roubal. Denis Hugues, Race Director for the Mini-Transat, explains: “Pavel hit a UFO (unidentified floating object), which pulled the transom out of his boat. He was unable to stem the flow of the subsequent leak and had to trigger his distress beacon. He was around 50 miles off the Portuguese coast and was picked up by a helicopter from Lisbon MRCC. He underwent a routine examination in Lisbon hospital, which revealed that he was in good health.”