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France Sport Yachting Boat Guadeloupe Brittany

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Favourite Coville out of Route du Rhum yacht race

French yachtsman Thomas Coville. File. Gwen4435/Wikimedia Commons

The Route du Rhum yacht race lost one of the favourites on Monday. Thomas Coville was hit by a cargo ship just hours after setting off and was forced to retire.

Coville, who is 46 was not hurt in the incident but his maxi trimaran - Sodebo Ultim - has lost the front of its starboard and appears to be damaged to its central hull.

The trimaran arrived at midday in Roscoff harbour in northwestern in France.

Coville won the Route du Rhum in 1998 in a monohull and finished third in 2006 and 2010. 

The Route du Rhum is held every four years and Coville was one of the favourites of this 10th edition of the race where competitors race from Saint-Malo in Brittany to Point à Pitre in Guadeloupe.

Early Monday, Loïck Peyron (on Banque Populaire VII) was leading the race, ahead of Sébastien Josse  (Edmond de Rothschild)  and Yann Eliès (Paprec Recyclage).