When Vendée Globe skipper Kevin Escoffier was forced to abandon his IMOCA off of Cape Town this past November when it folded up on a wave at 27 knots, it was hard to imagine a 60-foot boat incurring such sudden catastrophic hull failure.
“It’s unbelievable what happened,” acknowledged Escoffier. I heard a bang, looked at the bow, and it was at 90°. In a few seconds, there was water everywhere. The stern was under water and the bow was pointing up to the sky. The boat split in half in front of the mast bulkhead. It was as if she folded up. I promise. I’m not exaggerating. There was an angle of 90° between the stern and the bow.”