Bureau Vallée retires from Transat Jacques Vabre

Nautical Channel
09 Nov 2021
NEWS | Sailing

The IMOCA 60 mast ‘imploded’ explained skipper Louis Burton after the vessel Bureau Vallée dismantled just 10 hours from the start. 

The light winds and spring tides have made the first hours of the Transat Jacques Vabre a very tricky one for the 79 boat fleet. When Louis Burton and Davy Beaudart reached the port of St Malo, their boat was in very bad conditions and they were forced to abandon this 15th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre race. 

The pair spent a hard night securing sails, recovering cables and mast parts with the tricky tidal conditions. The boat had just passed the Raz Blanchard and were arriving to the north of the island of Guernsey. Surprisingly, despite the spring tides the sea was not so bad: there were 15 knots of wind. 

The sailors startled when they heard a big noise half an hour before they dismasted. They could not see whether they had hit something or not, and after checking they could not determine what the issue was. 

“We were under full mainsail with a headsail. Our speed was 18-19 knots when it broke. I was in the cockpit trimming, Davy was sailing. The first sound was like an explosion, the mast didn’t fall down, it imploded.” -Louis Burton, skipper of Bureau Vallée. 

Their mast then fell down on the deck. Both managed to minimise the impact and have made it safely ashore to abandon the competition. 

More problems ahead

Equipe Voile Parkinson in the Class 40 fleet has also encountered problems. An issue with their bowsprit forced Florian Guerguen and Raphael Auffret to stop in Cherbourg for repairs. They have now caught up and are only 20 nautical miles away from the rear of the fleet. 

Conditions in the English channel have been very tricky with light winds and strong spring tides. The Ultimes however have started to cross the Bay of Biscay, and competition is tight between them. Banque Populaire was moving ahead last night, but SVR-Lazartigue stepped up this morning and moved almost 50km ahead of last night's fleet leaders. 

The Ocean Fifty multihulls are close to the Ultimes with Koesio and Leyton tied in the first spot. Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on Apivia were well ahead of the other IMOCAs last night, however this morning Charal took over the fleet and are 6km ahead of Apivia.

The Class 40 are struggling with the light winds of the English Channel. Ian Lipinski on Crédit Mutuel is chasing down the leaders of the class, Volvo, who are less than a nautical mile away. In second place, Project Rescue Ocean and La Manche in third. 

Rankings November 09 at 10:00am


  1. Volvo - Distance to destination 4302.4
  2. Project Rescue Ocean- Distance to destination 4302.8
  3. La Manche #EvidenceNautique - Distance to destination 4302.8


  1. Koesio - Distance to destination 5353.9
  2. Leyton-  Distance to destination 5369.2
  3. Primonial - Distance to destination 5373.3


  1. Charal- Distance to destination 5413.5
  2. LinkedOut - Distance to destination 5415.6
  3. 11th Hour Racing Team - Malama - Distance to destination 5415.6


  1. SVR-Lazartigue - Distance to destination 7495.3
  2. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Distance to destination 7495.3
  3. Sodebo Ultim 3 - Distance to destination 7508.1

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