The IMOCA monohull HUGO BOSS is currently undergoing repairs at Hythe Marine Park in Southampton, U.K., after sustaining that most baffling and bizarre damage of hitting something in the water while mid-ocean. Following a round of non-destructive testing, the damage was confirmed to be located in the keel area; the rest of the hull, foils and rudders were undamaged.
HUGO BOSS sustained the damage during the November 2019 edition of the 4,350-mile Transat Jacques Vabre double-handed race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador, Brazil. On Nov. 3 at approximately 0937 GMT while sailing at 25 knots, the team of Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald were rocked by hitting an unknown object.
“We’re not sure what we hit,” Thomson reported, “but it was something big under the water, which must have been submerged to have hit our keel and physically stop the boat at 25 knots. The keel sustained a lot of damage and it was left attached only by the hydraulic ram. … If you were to get in your car, close your eyes and drive at 40 miles an hour into a brick wall, that’s what it felt like.”