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Damaged French yacht close to NZ landfall

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/12/2016

A French yacht that collided with a floating object during an around the world race on Sunday is close to making landfall in New Zealand.

The skipper of the Le Souffle du Nord yacht taking part in the Vendee Gloo race was now 35 nautical miles off the coast of Fiordland, Rescue Co-ordination Centre of New Zealand senior search and rescue officer Mike Roberts said.

"The yacht's hull has reportedly been split by a floating object, and the weather is deteriorating this afternoon with gusts expected up to 45 knots," he said.

"We will be keeping very close tabs on his whereabouts."

"This is an experienced skipper who has already made good progress toward New Zealand since the collision around 260 nautical miles from (the coast)."

"Once he is closer to land a rescue will be easier to achieve, if his situation deteriorates and he requires assistance."

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