The keel is now no longer attached to the boat

Hugo Boss decides to cut keel as Doldrums loom for leaders

Hugo Boss said today (Monday) that after exhausting all the options, they had decided to cut the keel off their 60ft monohull after damage forced them to withdraw from the 14 edition of the Transat Jacque Vabre Normandie Le Havre on Sunday.

“Last night Alex and Neal were both able to get some rest on board Hugo Boss,” Ross Daniel, Technical Director at Alex Thomson Racing, said. “In the early hours of this morning the skippers resumed their attempts to stabilise the keel.

“Despite their very best efforts, it became clear that keeping the keel attached would put the boat at great risk. With the keel attached only by the hydraulic ram, and in an unstable position, there was a serious risk of significant damage to the hull.

“We did everything that we could to preserve the keel but collectively we determined that it was far too dangerous to keep it in place.

“Therefore, with guidance from our team shore-side, Alex and Neal set about cutting the hydraulic ram to free the keel from the boat. After many hours, they were successful in their efforts and the keel is now no longer attached to the boat.”

Hugo Boss had completed just over a third of the 4,350-mile course of this biennial double-handed race to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil – the longest and toughest in the sailing calendar – when they informed the race office that they collided with an unknown object.

The newly-launched and much admired Hugo Boss is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and now about 460 miles southwest from Madeira and 400 miles northwest of the Canary Islands.

“Alex and Neal have filled the ballast tanks on board and fully extended the foils in order to keep the boat as stable as possible,” Daniel said. “They are currently in light winds and a slight sea state, and we are comfortable that there is no immediate risk to the boat or the skippers.

“The next step is for us to put together the best possible strategy to bring the boat slowly and safely to port. We are currently exploring various options and will provide an update in due course”.


  1. Sillstryparn Nov 6, 2019 Reply

    På nåt märkligt sätt tycks merparten av rapporteringen från TJV handla om Hugo Boss: Tråkigt för de som tävlar i racet. Imponeras av Charal, som tycks ha bra ordning på sina stora foils med bra balans:
    Känns som om den knäckta formen är snabbare och stabilare än exempelvis Hugo Boss rundade foils.
    Tror faktiskt Hugo Boss brottas med den del problem relaterat till foilsen redan innan kollisionen.

    • Author
      Peter Gustafsson Nov 6, 2019 Reply

      Det är så klart stort nyhetsvärde när en av favoriterna håller på att sjunka :-)

      Charal har ju kört längst och det är väl dem alla andra vill slå. Samtidigt så är det mycket lärande för de flesta team… frågan är om vi kunde dra några slutsatser om Hugo Boss i de förhållanden som blir viktigast i Vendee Globe? En fördel med de rundade foilsen skulle kunna vara en mer “steglös” reglering vilket skulle kunna vara användbart när det brakar riktigt ordentligt. De knäckta är ju svårare att “skoja bort” när man vill bromsa ner…

      Hur som helst – sjukt intressant.

      • Anders Nov 7, 2019 Reply

        Tror också att vi ser mer av Hugo Boss då det är ett av få team som inte kommunicerar på franska. Och de kommunicerar mycket.

  2. Stay salty Nov 6, 2019 Reply

    Lider lite med Charal som fastnade vid ekvatorn med omkörningsfilen öppen en bit österut :-/

  3. Author
    Peter Gustafsson Nov 7, 2019 Reply


    Following the damage to the keel of the boat, skippers Isabelle Joschke – Skipper MACSF and Morgan Lagravière were forced to abandon the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre. The extent of the necessary repairs makes it impossible to get back into the race on time. Isabelle Joschke will resume solo sailing on the IMOCA Voile MACSF at the end of the month! ⛵️

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