Around 12:00 (French time), Morgan Lagravière, the skipper of Safran, contacted his shore team to inform them he had hit a UFO (unidentified floating object), which had broken a foil and caused a small leak.
Lagravière is fine and is diverting to Newport, where he will arrive in the evening and be met by his team, who will assess the damage and work required.
The 29-year-old French skipper was competing in the Transat New York-Vendée at the time, as a warm-up to the Vendée Globe single-handed round world race which starts in November.
Safran arrived at the marina in Newport yesterday (Monday) at 23:00 (French time). Morgan Lagravière, the skipper, confirmed that the boat had hit a large marine mammal and that following the impact, he found that a foil was broken, causing a small leak.
Safran's technical team immediately got to work to make a precise evaluation of the damage. The initial assessment suggested the need for major repairs.
The plan is to do the repairs needed to sail the boat back to France, where work will begin in the boatyard.