In the early hours of this morning, Thursday December 7, the Groupe Dubreuil Sailing Team informed the Retour à La Base race management team that their skipper Sébastien Simon was heading for Flores Island, in the Azores, to make a technical stopover. He was not requesting assistance but has onboard power problems which, as things stand, would prevent him from continuing the race towards Lorient.

Despite all the efforts made last night with the help of his shore crew, attempts to start the engine were unsuccessful. Simon set up his hydrogenerator to produce some energy whilst waiting to find a solution for the engine failure. In the rough seas it proved impossible to generate enough power with the hdyros. Obviously the skippers need power on board to drive the autopilot, computer, weather and position data, light, and drinking water via their watermakers.

Simon who was lying fourth is reported to have diverted Lajes das Flores, to the south-east of the island of the same name. He arrived at the port at 0540hrs UTC and was waiting for daybreak to find a way to moor in the harbour. Simon remains in good spirits and is determined to find a solution to get back on the race course and finish the Retour à La Base.