A French sailor has died on the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers and a further yacht abandoned due to catastrophic steering failure

French sailor Max Delannoy (73), who was taking part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, has died after being struck by the boom.

Mr Delannoy, along with Philippe Anglade and Jean-Philippe Anglade, were sailing onboard Agecanonix, an X-Yachts X4.3, when the tragedy happened close to midnight on 27 November.

Struck by the boom

The three-man team were north of the rhumb line in the racing division of the rally from Gran Canaria to St Lucia, when they encountered Force 8 conditions and 4-5m seas. Mr Delannoy was struck by the boom, and prevented from falling overboard by his crewmate, Philippe, who was also injured.

A MAYDAY call was made requesting a medical evacuation, but sadly, Mr Delannoy was declared dead before any outside help could be provided.

German cruise ship rescue

German cruise ship PV Mein Schiff diverted to the scene. However, Force 8 conditions and 4-5m seas prevented them from evacuating the crew and the body of Max Delannoy until the following afternoon. The Agecanonix has been abandoned and is being tracked by MRCC via the onboard YB tracker.

Yacht abandoned after catastrophic steering failure

Drama continued yesterday on the ARC when the five-man British crew of Charlotte Jane III were evacuated onto another boat after steering failure left the vessel disabled.

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Skipper Paul Hutley raised concerns on 30 November when the yacht’s starboard side steering on the twin-wheel Hanse 588 broke. The crew deployed a drogue to slow the yacht down and stabilise their position, whilst ARC yacht Polygala stood by overnight to assist if needed, with Magic Dragon and JK Sail also on standby.

Second steering failure

At 0900 on 01 December the port steering control of  Charlotte Jane III also failed, damaging the emergency steering, and leaving the yacht at the mercy of Force 7 winds and 4m swells.

The crew

ARC yachts leaving Gran Canaria for St Lucia. Photo James Mitchell/ WCC

put out a Mayday and all five crew were safely transferred to Magic Dragon using the liferaft. Unfortunately they were unable to transfer the extra water, due to the weather conditions.

The Charlotte Jane III continues to be tracked via the on-board YB tracker with positions relayed to other ARC yachts in the area and to MRCC Ponta Delgada, the controlling SAR station.