Broken bowsprit on Holcim-PRB

While sailing in 3rd position of the fleet on the 3rd day of the race, Nicolas Lunven informed his shore team that the bow sprit of his IMOCA Holcim-PRB had broken.  

Already having suffered damage to his bowsprit during the outbound race to the United States in The Transat CIC, the sailor knows that he will not be able to exploit the full potential of his IMOCA on the way to Les Sables d’Olonne, but he remains in the race. After an excellent start to the New York Vendée, the skipper has once again been deprived of his downwind sails for the remainder of the race. The breakage occurred around 11 am (CET) this morning. Nicolas had spent the night under J2 and J3 sails and was about to change the sail. The bowsprit broke just as the skipper had unfurled one of his downwind sails with a surface area of 220m2. He battled for over an hour and finally managed to retrieve the sail and the bowsprit. For now, he does not know the reason for this breakage.

First reaction from Nicolas Lunven:  

"I don't know why it broke. During the outbound Transatlantic, we immediately knew what had happened. A furler had detached and hit the bowsprit, seriously damaging it. This bowsprit was repaired in New York. For the first three days of the race, we sailed mainly downwind or in light conditions, so mostly under J0. Last night, I changed it. During the night, we were sailing more upwind, using J2 or J3, so not on the bow sprit. This morning, I wanted to set another sail on the bowsprit, a quite large sail. After preparing everything, I unfurled it. I had barely tightened it when the bowsprit broke immediately. I hadn't noticed anything unusual before. I managed to recover the sail in one piece and then I retrieved the bow sprit that was dangling at the front. Shortly after the breakage, a cloud arrived, and the wind picked up to 18 knots... I had to retrieve the sail in these conditions. I'm soaked and the boat is a little messy now, but at least I managed to get everything onboard. When finding yourself in these types of situations, humans are capable of doing something extraordinary! The plan was to unfurl the sail and then go to sleep, as I had little rest during the last night and was already exhausted. Now, I'm going to dry off, change, and rest."

Nicolas Lunven