Mike Golding sailing Ecover 3 was dismasted at 0647 hrs in winds over 50 knots this morning only hours after taking the lead in the Vendée Globe around the world race. He plans to set a just rig and head to an Australian port within 24-48 hours once the next storm has passed.

Golding is the latest to be forced out of the race since last Wednesday when Loïck Peyron lost his mast. Since then Dominique Wavre, SUI (Temenos II) had his his keel head snap off then Bernard Stamm, SUI, (Cheminées Poujoulat) suffered rudder bearings failure before being holed overnight whilst trying to moor in the Kerguelen Islands.

Vendee Globe

Vendee Globe

Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) now leads the Vendée Globe fleet, completing his remarkable recovery from last place to the head of the fleet in 35 days. At one point he had a deficit of 670 miles to the leaders.

Jean Baptiste Dejeanty (Groupe Maisonneuve) also abandoned the Vendée Globe today.

In six days five boats have been damaged, including Gitana Eighty, Temenos II, Cheminées Poujoulat, Ecover 3 and Groupe Maisonneuve, and Paprec-Virbac II is limping north where skipper Jean-Pierre Dick hopes to repair his damaged rudders. Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac 2), leader for more than a week, who confirmed he had hit something and had damaged his rudder head mechanisms.

Vendee Globe Rankings

Updated December 16 2008 – For updated ranking see: Vendée Globe Rankings

  1. Michel DesjoyeauxFoncia
  2. Roland Jourdain – Veolia Environnement
  3. Sébastien Josse – BT
  4. Jean Le Cam – VM Matériaux
  5. Jean-Pierre Dick, Paprec Virbac 2
  6. Armel Le Cléac´h – Brit Air
  7. Vincent Riou, PRB
  8. Marc Guillemont – Safran
  9. Yann Eliès – Generali
  10. Samantha DaviesRoxy
  11. Brian ThompsonPindar
  12. Dee CaffariAviva
  13. Arnaud Boissières – Akena Vérandas
  14. Steve WhiteToe in the Water (Spirit of Weymouth)
  15. Jonny Malbon – Artemis
  16. Rich WilsonGreat American III
  17. Derek Hatfield – Algimouss Spirit of Canada
  18. Raphaël Dinelli – Fondation Océan Vital
  19. Norbert Sedlacek – Nauticsport-Kapsch

11 yachts total out of the Vendee Globe since the start:

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