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Bluewater racers switch to survival mode

The fleet racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre double-handed bluewater race for both monohulls and multihulls from Le Havre, France, to Costa Rico, has been once again been battered by storm force 9 conditions (more than 50 mph) in the North Atlantic.

As British racer Alex Thompson said on board Friday, "it's horrific out there, just horrific, I have no other words to describe it. These are boat-breaking conditions. You can't do anything on the boat right now."

Thompson's boat, Hugo Boss, has gone into "survival mode" as the IMOCA class battles the 50-knot winds and squalls. There has been damage across the fleet. Veolia Environment has reported mast track damage, Mike Golding Yacht Racing is still without major instruments and Artemis has sustained damaged to its sail battens and boom. It was BT who suffered the worst damage today after reporting the coach roof was torn and the boat was two-thirds full of water. The crew set off their emergency EPIRB and were hoisted by helicopter 200 miles from the Azores.

Click here for an on-board video of Thompson aboard Hugo Boss.