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Cracking Eggs And Slowing Down


  • Cracking Eggs And Slowing Down

    Updates from Charlie Dalin, Boris Herrmann, Ollie Heer and Justine Mettraux this morning,

    Charlie Dalin: “There’s not much wind this morning. Not much since yesterday evening. It’s very quiet. We’re in an area of calm weather with a swell that is preventing the boat from advancing as quickly as she should. The forecasts had announced more wind allowing us to take a more direct route but not to be. At the moment, we’re getting caught by some other boats. There are around 200 miles to go to the finish. I’ll do all I can to catch all the boats within my reach.”

    Ollie Heer: “I had quite a bad knockdown 36 hours ago and the boat went well and truly past 90 degrees, it was an absolute mess. I had a complete black out of my energy system. But now things are a bit better, the boat is battered and bruised, I am battered and bruised. After a day’s work I have got basic, basic power back into the boat via my solar panels into my engine battery and back on the main line, so I can make water – I was down to my last litre of water – so I am running the watermaker right now, I have satellite communications so I can communicate with the world and my team. I can say that even going at a snail’s pace we are still heading towards New York and I am more determined than ever to finish the Transat CIC.

    Boris Herrmann:

    “The final bit here to the finish is a bit slower than expected. I only have 12kts at the top of the mast, in reality there is a bit less because of the friction of the wind on the cold water surface, the water is only 10 degrees, at that makes me sail at only 80 percent of polars as the wind at the top of the mast and on the sea surface are not the same. This has been the subject of the last couple of days as if we had had the chance of the route we would have stayed in the warmer waters, there we have more wind and the wind is a bit more right. And also these warm water eddies from the Gulf Stream when they are against the wind then it is really choppy, like it was yesterday as Sam also told me. We had a lot of sea state and then it becomes suddenly a lot warmer, 20 degrees in the boat, and you would not expect that. And I had to a gybe back in that horrible sea state with the strong winds, all of us being a bit scared to break anything in these last miles. Since the it has been rather quiet sailing along the whale protection zone which we have been free off since last night, now we are able to head west in these variable winds. Sometimes it picks up to 13 knots and and the boat foils at 19kts which is such a cool feeling in the flat water, really cool, flat water take off and fully foiling.

    I did see a whale yesterday just breathing out, the spray from its blowhole. I have been on deck for a while after a week inside, the possibility to go on deck has been nice without being in a war zone. But being inside is quite cozy, to be honest, not so much movement. And so I made myself some eggs this morning in the pan, that is quite unique on an IMOCA, very enjoyable. And I am in my chair, not quite able to decide whether to go to bed, as I am trimming the sails all the time.

    The course is the same, on compass mode heading a little bit south of the finish as the wind is supposed to head me as I get towards the finish and so I am putting that 15 degrees in the bank. At this current speed I should finish in six and a half hours, the wind is supposed to pick up, I am not sure, we could see anything between four to five to six to seven hours to the finish. And I am very happy with the race so far, but let’s talk about that once we have finished. A really nice moment we had a lot dolphins last night suddenly came, I asked the others and they were ion bug gennakers so we put it up and immediately they started jumping to the left and right of the boat it was very special.”

    And Justine Mettraux: “Tonight the conditions were choppy again, we are starting to feel the effect of the Gulf Stream with big variations in water temperatures, I had between 7 and 18 degrees between the different zones. At the end of the day and beginning of the night the wind was strong. With the current it gave a bad sea state so it is not always easy to find how to make the boats work without having the impression that we are going to break everything, without it getting too carried away and without it slamming too hard. From now on it should ease off and that's not a bad thing. It will give way, which will bring us closer to the ice gate. I'm going to try to go and rest a little now!”

    Slow motion final morning, Richomme under pressure

    Since yesterday speeds among the leading group on the Transat CIC have dropped significantly. Leader Yoann Richomme (PAPREC ARKEA) has made less than 20 miles over the last four hours, second placed Boris Herrmann (Malizia Seaexplorer) is just 17 miles behind Richomme and making the same kind of speeds this morning, that is to say less than five knots.

    They are in the grip of the very light winds generated by a high pressure ridge which is centred offshore of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The leaders should be able to get into a modest SW’ly breeze after it daylight, but this last night of the Transat CIC for the top trio has been frustrating, requiring maximum concentration. Richomme was 156 miles from the finish at 0600hrs French time and is expected in this afternoon or evening. . Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur) is holding on to third at 68.5 miles behind Richomme. Clarissee Cr?mer has arrived safely in the Azores and her team will be assessing the bulkhead damage to Loccitaine en Provence. Alan Roura is making fair progress on HUBLOT in 11th after reporting damage to his port foil yesterday. In the Class40s Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande Pirelli) leads by over 70 miles with just under 800 miles to go to the finish line.

    Updated Sam Davies reported in this morning, "Here is my postcard. It's gray, humid and it's chilly, just 6 to 8 degrees. Plus there's no wind. It's weird after a fast Transat to find yourself in a calm, without it moving without noise or vibrations...A soft landing....Sure there is a little stress in terms of racing, but I keep things in perspective and try to keep calm. I gave my all over these last 8 days and I'm giving it everything until the finish."



    This Sunday at 19:30 (Swiss time), Alan Roura informed his team that his portside foil was badly delaminated. The skipper, who was in 11th place in The Transat CIC, a transatlantic race between Lorient and New York, is fine and has not yet noticed any other structural damage. The possibility of a collision with a floating object has not yet been ruled out, pending a more in-depth analysis once he arrives in New York.

    I heard a crack and then a small buffet stop,’ said Alan. I don't know if I hit it or not, but one thing's for sure: it's in pretty bad shape. The outer skins of the appendage have been badly damaged, while the integrity of the hull and foil well of his IMOCA Hublot doesn't seem to have been affected. On the other hand, the boat's drag is considerably increased, which will inevitably have an impact on the monohull's performance towards the end of the race. So it was at a reduced speed that the sailor was forced to continue towards the finish line, some 540 miles ahead of his bow. It was a definite disappointment for Alan, who up until then had sailed a very fine race: ‘I'm disgusted! For once I was in the thick of things!
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