Franco-German skipper Isabelle Joschke, (MACSF) has retired from the Vendée Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne within 50 miles of the finish line because of damage to her mainsail sustained more than 24 hours ago.
The brutal wind and sea conditions prompted race direction to shorten the course at the Iceland gate, south-east of Iceland. With her mainsail torn above the third reef, she sailed under storm jib alone towards the finish line.
As she turned around, Joschke informed Race Direction and her MACSF team, “Up there the wind will still be very strong without any possible shelter. I’m not even sure I’ll make it under storm jib alone. Now I will try to get my IMOCA MACSF back to Lorient safely with what I have left of sails.”
Joschke, who had to abandon the last Vendée Globe because of keel ram damage whilst in the top 10 and after rounding Cape Horn, once again proved her ability and her fighting spirit on this race. However, having to give up within 50 miles from the finish line is a huge disappointment to her.