21 Dec 2016

Round-the-world yachtie reaches Bluff in damaged boat

11:58 am on 21 December 2016

A French round-the-world yachtsman whose boat was badly damaged in the Tasman Sea has made it safely to Bluff harbour.

The hull of Thomas Ruyant's yacht Le Souffle du Nord was split when it struck an unidentified floating object on Sunday afternoon during the non-stop Vendee Globe race.

The Coastguard said a volunteer crew travelled out last night and met up with the yacht 40 nautical miles from Bluff, following it back to the harbour this morning.

Coastguard southern regional manager Cheryl Moffat said her crews often helped boats, but a round-the-world yachtsman in a round-the-world race was something new.

Maritime New Zealand said he was an experienced and very resourceful sailor.