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  • #31
    Apivia Stretches Her Lead



    Leader mid South Atlantic, half way between Itajai and Cape Town


    It’s Not Usually Like This

    Dalin Fighting For Metres
    Davies, Burton Break South
    Destremau, Thomson in Repair Mode

    Charlie Dalin, Vendée Globe leader since yesterday morning, confirmed that he is in full ‘inshore mode, fighting for every metre I can gain,’ as he tries to break through to the southern ocean low pressure train which should finally catapult him eastwards towards the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope which the leaders should pass during the night of Sunday into Monday.


    TRACKER

    For all of the predictions that the fast new gen foilers would surely break Armel Le Cléac’h 74 days 3 hours record on this schedule they will already be four days behind 2016-7’s pace.
    In fact Dalin is on the same stretch of South Atlantic which yielded a 24 hour ‘record’ for Alex Thomson in 2016-17 but which could not be validated because he did not break it by one full mile. The 36 year old solo skipper of Apivia observed wryly today, “I had expected this stage of the South Atlantic to be one of the fastest sections of the round the world race. And I am missing out.





    "I imagined the South Atlantic to be the fastest round-the-world zone, and well it's missed! I think this is one of the biggest challenges I have had right now, I work at the routing, I watch the wind shifts on the forecasts and sail by feel in terms of the wind I have at the moment and in front of me. I am not strict with any one model or idea, I try to take into account all the different parameters to pick my best course and where to gybe. I'm happy, we're doing well Thomas but these coming days are set to be full of manoeuvres, sail changes and and strategic thinking as I deal with a rapidly changing dynamic situation. We should get into the stronger winds in about 48 hours, so I'm setting up for that. "

    Dalin has done well against his French rival Ruyant, constantly eking out miles on Ruyant to be some 70 nautical miles ahead of LinkedOut.

    Jean Le Cam maintains his third place, still outpacing a posse of younger foiling IMOCAs on his 2007 Farr design. On today’s Vendée Globe LIVE!, speaking to his friend Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain, Le Cam was typically phlegmatic on the subject of age. At 61 he has sailed smart and solidly, always routing for smooth trajectories, good average speed and the shortest distances sailed,

    “People must be thinking oh heavens Le Cam is old, but at the moment it is all OK. The boat is from 2007 and it doing so well and I am getting on well with it. The issue about being old is that the older you are the more experience you have. The more silly things you did when you were younger the more you learn what not to do. There are plenty of older people who have lots of great talents and good values who end up without a job after 50. In my case here I am over 60, and so it is a shame for all these other people who cant get jobs because they are ‘older’. But you get daft young people and silly older people alike. If I had to employ someone I would prefer to get an older smart experience person than a younger one who is maybe not so smart.”











    Behind Le Cam in fifth and sixth Yannick Bestaven (Maitre Côq) and Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) were racing within sight of each other just a couple of miles apart. Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) have both broken away from this group, gybing onto a more direct southwards track to try and catch the eastbound train of stronger breezes earlier but from a position further back to the west. At the moment current routings have the peloton two days behind at Cape of Good Hope.

    The Doldrums remain active and frustrating for the group of seven IMOCAs near the back of the fleet. Finnish airline pilot Ari Huusela (STARK) was trying to remain cool and focused after being kept in a holding pattern by very light and changeable winds which he today said had taken him on at least one full 360 degree turn. Nearby Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) finally found out why her boat had been slowed, discovering a plastic bag round her keel. In the same area of the Doldrums Sébastien Destremau has been wrestling with a complete loss of hydraulic oil pressure in his keel ram which has left the head of his keel swinging free. He was looking to cannibalise another piece of piping to repair the cylinder leak and meantime had reported he had temporarily secured the keel.





    Meantime Alex Thomson continues to complete his repairs to HUGO BOSS now in eighth place this evening 550 miles behind Charlie Dalin. The Brit remains steadfastly upbeat considering the structural repairs he has had to make to an area just behind the bow, the silver lining being the benign conditions, just what leader Dalin was today complaining about.

    They said, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut): “I spend lots of time pouring over the chart table looking for the best way to go. I have the bigger picture but there are a lot of subtleties to deal with and, for the moment, Charlie (Dalin) is doing it very, very well. Charlie has taken a little bit of a lead, but I am not that far behind and we have a big gap with the rest of the fleet. The position of 2nd in the Vendée Globe with a cushion in the lead ahead is quite comfortable to be honest, but we haven't yet entered the Indian Ocean. That means there is a long way yet to go. The Atlantic has had a lot of surprises in store for us, and for my part, a lot of DIY work on the mast, which has been really tiring. I am slowly recovering from it. The climb up the mast wasn't easy to do, but it was unavoidable. I had prepared myself for it, I have a great system to climb, but after fifteen days of racing, your energy levels are down and getting spent. Even the manoeuvres are a little bit slower, but the most important thing is to not do anything stupid.”







    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    • #32
      Foil Out On Linked Out



      While lying in second place in the South Atlantic, some 72 nautical miles behind leader Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Thomas Ruyant last night sustained damage to the port foil of his IMOCA LinkedOut. He had to stop for a short period to assess and says he will now be unable to use the foil on the port (left) side of his boat for the remainder of the race.

      Ruyant told his team that it was around 0200hrs UTC this morning while he was resting inside his boat LinkedOut, that he was woken by a loud noise outside the boat. He did not, however, feel any shock to the boat. But on inspecting the boat with his headtorch he immediately noticed major cracks in the "shaft" of his port foil *.

      Ruyant immediately stopped the boat and sailed downwind to further inspect the damage.

      "I was about 120 ° to the wind, I was sailing at about at 20 knots when I heard this loud noise" reported Ruyant this morning. "I don't really have an explanation. I have retracted the foil as much as I can but most of the appendage is on the outside of the boat. In daylight I was able to inspect the foil and its OK at the top and speaking with my team and the architects it seems safe. There is no water coming in and the foil well itself is undamaged. But the foil itself is cracked in a number of places. The structure of the foil is compromised. I am waiting for the designers analysis to see if I should cut it. "

      Ruyant is massively disappointed. He was close to the leader Dalin and having a great race so far. Although shocked the LinkedOut skipper is staying positive,

      "I am second in the Vendée Globe. Since Sunday small problems have built up which I managed to deal with these really are topped by this damage. I carry on racing nonetheless even if I am a bit handicapped with only one foil. But I am comforting myself in the knowledge I still have my starboard foil, which is statistically the most important for a round-the-world race. The course is still very long. I continue, I’ll hang on in there!”

      * The foil is made up of two parts, a "shaft" and a "tip". It is the tip that allows the sailboat to come out of the water thanks to the lift force it exerts. The shaft is the part the foil which connects the tip to the hull.
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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      • #33
        Never A Dull Moment: Challenges Abound


        http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/tracking-map


        As race leader Charlie Dalin starts to finally feel like he is on the threshold of the big south, where he will race for the first time in his life, his closest rival Thomas Ruyant reported damage to the port foil of his IMOCA LinkedOut

        Ruyant was resting inside his boat during last night, around 0200hrs UTC, when he heard a loud bump. When he went on the deck of LinkedOut he quickly saw that his port foil was cracked. Team manager Marcus Hutchinson explained on Vendée Live today,




        “Thomas was sleeping and about three o’clock this morning he heard a bang which woke him up and he rushed on deck and realised his port foil had some big cracks in it. He realised it is intact, it is still there but has some pretty bad cracks in it. It is quite badly damaged and so he slowed the boat down and contacted us straight away. Thomas had had a pretty tough few days with a few other little technical issues on board. He got quite tired and as we see it has been an extraordinarily tricky South Atlantic for him and for Charlie Dalin in that breakaway part of the Saint Helena high. And so the stress of staying up and trying to find a way through that, plus a few other issues and then this. Thomas had gotten himself into a pretty tired state. And so when this happened he slowed the boat down, he went to bed and he woke up this morning. And meantime we were all working away at what the problems will be and what the solutions might be. And so he has managed to retract the foil. Our foils don’t retract fully, they retract about 1.2m into the boat and he is sailing along at the best speed right now. His boat is not compromised on port tack at all as he has the starboard foil.”




        Ruyant was reported to be nonetheless in good spirits, maybe not least in the knowledge that British skipper Alex Thomson still managed to finish a very close second to Armel Le Cléac’h after losing his starboard foil on Day 13 of the 2016-17 race. Ruyant has more than 286 miles of a cushion over third placed Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) although Thomas Ruyant spent some of today slowed.

        Dalin was at 38 degrees south this afternoon, some 150 miles west of the volcanic islands of Tristan de Cunha, the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The two leaders will be feeling it noticeably cooler now even if they still have another 150 miles of light upwind conditions to get to the south. It is looking increasingly like their routing will take them as far south as the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the virtual barrier which they must stay north of all the time to keep them out of ice territory. The leaders will therefore be forced to gybe along this virtual wall at least to the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope.









        Nineteen of the 32 IMOCAs racing on this ninth edition of the solo non-stop round the world race are now under the influence of the Saint Helena high pressure system in the South Atlantic. Increasingly there seems to be a chance of some of the middle order boats recovering miles by choosing to dive more directly south and catching either the west side of the high pressure which is moving quite quickly east, or hooking on to the top edge of a low. Either way, when this looked painful a few days ago, it is now appearing like a golden opportunity.


        Britain’s Sam Davies, a smart meteo strategist in her own right, was one of the first to recognise this and dived south at the right time to pull back around 100 miles on Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) and now lead the skipper from Saint Malo by seven miles this evening. Davies is now ninth and was still one of the quickest in the fleet this afternoon. She was sailing within sight of Burton yesterday and for some of today.

        So, too was Germany’s Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) who is fifth, filming Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ) at close quarters yesterday and they are still only a couple of miles apart this evening.







        Britain’s Alex Thomson should have stabilised his losses on the fleet after completing his marathon repair effort in the bow section of HUGO BOSS. This evening he is eighth 646 miles behind the leaders.

        “Alex is just finishing off some tidying up. He has done a great job and is now back focussing on the racing. We are lucky where it happened and also that we carry more spares than a lot of teams. So he is on a bit of a high, he worked incredibly hard to complete the repairs, it is a horrible place in the boat to have to work.” Commented Alex Thomson Racing’s Technical Director Ross Daniel.

        Guest on the Vendée Live programme today was Antoine Mermod, the President of IMOCA.
        Asked if the current new generation of Vendée Globe are at the top of the technical curve and the constant drive for more speed may need to be reined in, Mermod said,
        “ When you see what they are doing at the America’s Cup you can see that they are a lot of improvements, maybe for the next Vendée Globe, maybe not, that is what we are working on with the technical committee. But there are always ways to improve and to make better boats.”

        “For the foils I do think that we will try to limit the size of the foils and we are also working on the cost and the time it takes to build the foils. It is very complicated to build such a piece and now we have 19 boats with foils, maybe there will be 25 or 30 next time. We need to find the right balance so that most of the teams can build these foils on time and also test them in time for a reasonable cost. We are working with the technical committee which comprises most of the technical managers of the teams, plus designers, plus builders. We are working every week now to prepare the rule for the Vendée Globe 2024.”
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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        • #34
          19 Days At Sea: Thanksgiving Day Report




          At the same time as Alex Thomson euphorically announced this morning that ‘the Boss is Back’ after the British skipper completed four days and nights of structural repairs to the inside of the bow of HUGO BOSS, his French rival, second placed Thomas Ruyant and his team are deciding what to do about the damaged port foil on his LinkedOut. Despite their respective challenges to win the Vendée Globe being compromised for the moment, both skippers remain highly motivated





          The danger in leaving the compromised foil as it is is that it may break off and cause collateral damage to the hull of his IMCOA or indeed the outrigger support rods. Laurent Bourguès, technical director of Ruyant’s TR Racing has assembled a Task Force group comprising the designers, engineers and builders who collaborated in the production of LinkedOut’s V2 second generation foil. So designer Guillaume Verdier is working with Antoine Koch the foil specialist, François Pernelle, who is head of the TR Racing design office, and marine design engineer Hervé Penfornis. This brains trust are in charge of the next steps for skipper Thomas Ruyant who 120 miles behind the leader and still in the throes of escaping from the light winds of the South Atlantic high.

          “ First we need to evaluate accurately the structure of the damaged foil," explains Laurent Bourguès. "Guillaume Verdier performs all the calculations to assess the level of stress safe for a foil of which the shaft structure is compromised. And therefore in the next few hours it is about We need to work out the acceptable level of risk to hold to a foil which is now unusable. Thomas has withdrawn it as much as it comes in but at certain angles of heel, reaching on starboard tack, part of the foil is dragging in the water and so is subject to considerable stress, especially at high speed. In the event that it broke then we worry about collateral damage at the level of the outrigger tie rod. If this risk seems too great to us, Thomas will have to cut the foil. He has all the tools to do so. It is up to us, in to recommend where to cut it either in its widest part, flush with the hull, or nearer the tip. We are talking with other teams who have suffered this kind of damage so we can give Thomas all the answers very quickly. "







          His team say Ruyant is fully prepared to get on with his race with just a single foil. They said today ‘His determination to do very well is entirely intact. He knows that statistically, his starboard foil is more important than the port side. Even without a foil, her LinkedOut is very powerful, with its ballasts system in particular capable of providing all the power needed on starboard tack to perform despite the loss of the foil. He will re-learn the boat again, play with the cant of the keel and his sail combinations in order to stay in the heart of the Vendée Globe action.”

          Thomson is back in the thick of the action after taking four days repairing. He is in eighth place this afternoon and in the middle of a well established pack of boats, circling the west side of the high pressure system and fighting to pull back miles on Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC) to his east, and Sam Davies and Louis Burton who are quicker than him in the west where there is more breeze. Briton Davies and Saint Malo based Burton – whose father is Welsh – are nicely positioned now to catch the fast moving eastbound weather systems first.




          Almost all of the lead group seem set to finally be liberated from the clutches of the South Atlantic high pressure and the light winds which have plagued progress since Monday. In a few hours times they should finally be clear and into 25-30kts downwind conditions.
          "In six hours of time, the sailors will see a complete change in conditions racing on the front of a low from around noon tomorrow," explains Christian Dumard, weather forecaster for the Vendée Globe. “There will be big miles to be made provided you stay in the front to be pushed at high speed all the way to the Kerulen's.




          Sébastien Simon said “You will have to stay focused so as not to miss out otherwise you will miss the train. It will be a very important moment ”.

          Now with more than 120 miles in hand over compromised Ruyant, Charlie Dalin on APIVIA will be the very first to sail down to the latitude of the Roaring 40s. He will cross 40 ° South tonight.

          Stephane Le Diraison, skipper of Time for Oceans has pressing hard over the past four days in unstable south-easterly trade winds and his reward is 160 miles gained back on La Fabrique of the Swiss skipper Alan Roura. Both are racing 2007 Finot Conq designs retro fitted with foils, Le Diraison’s boat started life as HUGO BOSS and has yet to finish a Vendée Globe in three successive starts as HUGO BOSS, Energa and last time with Le Diraison as Compagnie du Lit, Boulogne-Billancourt. Roura’s boat was second in the 2008-9 race as BritAir and but was first to abandon in 2016 in the hands of Bertrand de Broc.

          Le Diraison who had to retire into Australia after his mast broke on the last edition of the race was in great form today, smiling "I'm happy to see that I managed to pick up a bit on those in front of me and I have recovered about 100 miles on the lead group. Yes it is a good bit of a charge on for me. This motivates me, I absolutely want to stay in the same weather system as those in front, so we must not give up now I need to seize all the chances that come my way.”

          Despite making her important repairs to her pushpit Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) has also managed, to stay on track with an average of over 16 knots over the past 4 hours. Finally, there are only two IMOCAs left in the northern hemisphere: 2020 sisterships DMG Mori Global One and Charal which is entering the Doldrums.



          TRACKER



          They said:
          Sebastien Simon. ARKEA PAPREC: “I haven't slept much, what with this unstable and erratic wind. It felt it was important to sail at speed. And I had in fact slept well before the night so that I could spend it trying to go fast. I hope the conditions will stabilise so that I can get some rest. The fact that I only have the compass mode to adjust my autopilot doesn’t give me much time to rest. I have to look at my sails all the time to see if they're at the right angle because when I'm sailing downwind, the (spare, low) wind vane doesn't give me any information. I'm blind here, and never felt it more strongly than when I made a full 360° last night. I'm not very comfortable in these light airs, I'd prefer to "sail" the boat and go faster, it's more exciting! Today is looking like it will be even more complicated, as it should get even lighter. I'll have to deal with the high pressure system...But as soon as I’m to the south of it, I’ll reach the southern depression and be able to pick up the pace. The depression will no doubt take us pretty far, perhaps even as far as the Kerguelen Islands. I’ll have to stay alert so as not to miss it, which is really important because if I do, I’ll be hit by a high pressure system which will really slow me down. I'm a little frustrated: I've been pretty conservative in my strategy: Sam (Davies) and Louis (Burton) have gone ahead. The group to the West will pass in front of me, but I hope to be in front in the East group. And I hope to stay in this group. It offers quite a few challenges, and they’re making good speed. I will have to keep moving the boat ahead as I have already been doing: it is a boat that can go very fast.



          The south? I've looked at the conditions, it doesn’t look like there’s much going on to begin with. We'll see what happens when the front of the depression catches up with us, it will probably be stronger then. I've never sailed in these conditions. Once I’m well within them though, it will be pretty speedy all the way to the Kerguelen Islands. I’ll have to stay with this depression for as long as possible... and no doubt be very tired as a result. I took the opportunity to check the boat, and everything seems to be fine. I don’t have much hope for my wind indicators however: I think it's over for them... I could go back up the mast... but what for? I don't know, the risk is too great, for no real gains. I am annoyed by the damage, which puts me at a disadvantage, but the rest of the boat is fine. I was able to reach the St. Helena high without the windex so I know that I can go fast despite not having it... There will be of course be some difficult moments, but I'll deal with them. Everyone has their own problems: this windvane is mine. I’m starting strong on this 19th day at sea, I haven’t really seen the time go by. I miss my loved ones a lot, but there are always things to do which keep me busy. On board, I make sure I take time for myself, to read a book, watch a film, sleep. I make the most of it, as I'll have less opportunities to do so in the next few days!”


          ****************************




          Pip Hare this morning: "I am in crossover hell right now. It's an agonising place to be. Staring at graphs on the computer, hoping that the wind will stabilise or an answer will leap out at me from nowhere. I think I have analysis paralysis and it's not going away."

          For those who have no idea what crossover hell might be I will explain. I carry a selection of seven headsails on Medallia, each one of them has a specific range under which it provides best possible performance. That is a combination of wind angle and wind speed. The crossover is the point at which one sail becomes more efficient than another. It is normally reached either through a change in wind angle or wind speed. Right now, and for the last four hours I have been relentlessly sailing first on one side then the other of my cross over between my J2 and the upwind Code Zero.

          I was here a couple of nights ago and quick to make the decision to go big and change up to he zero. A few hours later I had lost ground to windward, was struggling to make an acceptable course with the bigger sail and had to change back. Two changes end to end cost me an hour of time and a fair few miles on the race track. It's not a decision to rush into that's for sure.

          So now I am more cautious, I desperately want to use the bigger sail but it seems every time I make the decision, go on deck and loosen off the ties where the bag is stacked, the wind angle changes and I know it would be the wrong decision. So I leave it, trim the jib a little and descend below to stare at the wind graphs for another 15 minutes. Sometimes it is clear. The jib is the right one, but then at others Medallia will fall badly off a wave, grind to what feels like a halt and inside me it is like nails down a blackboard I am mortified for not getting the big sail up... so I go back on deck and the same thing happens again. But there is always a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I am missing out on an opportunity, no action is not fast. I am acutely aware of the penalty in time, miles and energy I will pay if I make a sail change and then have to change back. But there is always a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I am missing out on an opp
          ortunity, no action is not fast.

          what it all bolls down to is the bigger picture. What is it I want to achieve over the next few days, is it sailing as fast as I can, in which case I will need to steer up to accept a lower course - losing ground to he East. Or do I want to sail the course the routing recommends, in which case I need to sacrifice some speed. My overall decision is to go for course. Both La Mie Caline and Group Setin have gone for the speed option, and being more modern boats I would not be able to keep up with them. So now to decide to 'crack off' and follow them I would just be running on my short little legs and still loosing ground but also loosing height. I have decided to sail my course in my boat because I need to remember that we are all different, we have different design attributes, are powerful at different times and let's face it so far Medallia and I have been punching above our weight somewhat and I need to stay grounded and remember the boat I am actually sailing has it's limits no matter how much I push and cajole it. That doesn't that nails down a blackboard feeling I get when we feel underpowered. Every part of me wants to put up a big sail and push hard but I think this is the time to sail smart. This decision to stay high weighs heavily on me, is it a decision that will loose me contact with my little group? I hate to think we will loose touch now, even though I know by rights we should.

          In the next few hours if the forecast is right then the moment will arrive when I can have it all. The wind will drop, back slightly and my upwind zero will make it's heroic appearance. Till then I need to cool my heels, focus all this nervous energy on something positive. I am overdue some deck checks so I've given myself a joblist to get through before I look at the numbers again. Well I will sneak a glance now and again, then find myself staring at them as if the answer to life is behind those multicoloured displays.



          *******************************




          At the start of the 19th day at sea, Sébastien Simon's mindset is a bit mixed. Although he regrets the damage to his windvane - which is hindering him - and his more cautious strategy, the skipper of ARKEA PAPREC sees the positives in being in a good group and the prospect of diving into the first southern depression which is on the horizon

          "I haven't slept much, what with this unstable and erratic wind. It felt it was important to sail at speed. And I had in fact slept well yesterday so that I could spend the night hours trying to go fast. I hope the conditions will stabilise so that I can get some rest.

          The fact that I only have the compass mode to drive my autopilot doesn’t give me much time to rest. I have to look at my sails all the time to see if they're at the right angle because when I'm sailing downwind, the bottom(spare) wind vane doesn't give me any information. I'm blind here, and never felt it more strongly than when I made a full 360° last night.

          I'm not very comfortable in these light airs, I'd prefer to "sail" the boat and go faster, it's more exciting!

          Today is looking like it will be even more complicated, as it should get even softer. I'll have to deal with the high pressure system... But as soon as I’m to the south of it, I’ll reach the southern depression and be able to pick up the pace. The depression will no doubt take us pretty far, perhaps even as far as the Kerguelen Islands. I’ll have to stay alert so as not to miss it, which is really important because if I do, I’ll be hit by a high pressure system which will really slow me down.

          I'm a little frustrated: I've been pretty conservative in my strategy: Sam (Davies) and Louis (Burton) have gone ahead. The group to the West will pass in front of me, but I hope to be in front in the East group. And I hope to stay in this group. It offers quite a few challenges, and they’re making good speed. I will have to keep moving the boat ahead as I have already been doing: it is a boat that can go very fast.

          The southern ocean? I've looked at the conditions, it doesn’t look like there’s much going on to begin with. We'll see what happens when the front of the depression catches up with us, it will probably be stronger then. I've never sailed in these conditions. Once I’m well within them though, it will be pretty speedy all the way to the Kerguelen Islands. I’ll have to follow this depression for as long as possible... and no doubt be very tired as a result.

          I took the opportunity to check the boat, and everything seems to be fine. I don’t have much hope for my weather vanes however: I think it's over for them... I could go back up the mast... but what for? I don't know, the risk is too great, for no real gains. I am annoyed by the damage, which puts me at a disadvantage, but the rest of the boat is fine. I was able to reach the St. Helena high without the weather vane, so I know that I can go fast despite not having it... There will be of course be some difficult moments, but I'll deal with them. Everyone has their own problems: this weather vane is mine.

          I’m starting strong on this 19th day at sea, I haven’t really seen the time go by. I miss my loved ones a lot, but there are always things to do which keep me busy. On board, I make sure I take time for myself, to read a book, watch a film, sleep. I make the most of it, as I'll have less opportunities to do so in the next few days!”
          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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          • #35
            Surgery At Sea For Linked Out



            As second placed Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) completed surgery to his port foil yesterday and scaled his mast again to sort out his various issues, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) leads the 32 boat Vendée Globe fleet into the south with a margin, already at 200 nautical miles, which looks set to grow.

            Dalin’s yellow hulled Verdier design is at the gateway to the Roaring Forties this morning and should pick up speed eastbound over the course of the day. Meantime Ruyant nearly 170 miles to the north still slowed in the South Atlantic high pressure.

            Ruyant said this morning “It was a busy night trying to get out of the centre of the anticyclone and to the south where I will be soon I hope. It is all good and sorted on board. Yesterday morning I climbed my mast to finish sorting the little problem at the top of my mast and got to work on my port foil. I cut a bit to limit its power. It was quite fragile, it was cracked. And so we took the decision to reduce the power. There is a bit left that comes out the hull. But it is done, it is the Vendée and this is not my specialism. It was not easy. I cut two metres from the tip.”




            Meanwhile Alex Thomson was also slowed through yesterday evening relative to the boats around him and HUGO BOSS is 12th this morning. Speed in the late afternoon and evening was 18-19kts and overnight 6-7kts. At the same time Sam Davies and Louis Burton actually pulled miles back on Dalin, now averaging 18kts compared with the leader’s 10-12.

            Today and the weekend looks set to be crucial to the rest of the race, even though the leaders have covered only one fifth of the 24,295 nautical miles that make up this Vendée Globe course

            At the front of the fleet, as the leaders light up in the stronger winds now at boatspeed averages around 20kts, others will still be slowed in the sticky South Atlantic. Note the temperature differential between front and back, Jérémie Beyou still has 30 deg C in the Doldrums while leader Charlie Dalin (Apivia) is in fleece layers and hats in the first of the Roaring Forties, 10 deg C at night and by the time he gets to the Kerguelens it will be barely 3 deg C.

            The lead group have already seen their first albatross, but so too there are bird species when the sailors pass nearer land, petrels, terns and shearwaters close to the Nightingale Islands, Gough, Inaccessible, Trsitan de Cunha islands. The skies are different, the stars are brighter and the light is more piercing, the sea darker and more threatening. This is the South.


            TRACKER


            And this is it. The Roaring Forties now last a long time. From here to the exit at Drake’s Passage at the very tip of South America, there are 12,000 lonely miles between the yellow bow of Dalin’s Apivia – and Cape Horn. He is now well ahead of a peloton which now extends more than 1,000 miles back to Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans).

            The Saint Helena anticyclone is still proving problematic for some, Thomas Ruyant and Jean Le Cam are the last to plunge south towards the Forties.

            Three days ago, Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) was the first to break south in an attempt to get out of the clutches of the High followed a few hours later by Briton Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur). Others followed on this curve, tracing the curve of the high pressure’s contours it’s anticlockwise wind fields.

            Who is going to do the best? Those who are furthest south soonest, no question. As the high will finally be broken up by a depression finally rumbling south east from Argentina, pressing the high eastwards to Africa, those furthest to the south most probably will catch the eastbound ride, ahead of the front Davies and Burton, a few hours behind Sébastien Simon and then the Herrmann-Escoffier-Bestaven a half day later.

            Behind them (Dutreux-Pedote-Seguin, and even further, Joschke, Sorel, Attanasio, Roura, Crémer) there is another low for them but it will not be until after the weekend. As Ruyant, entangled in the last of the anticyclone he will see Dalin race away (this morning he is already 200 miles ahead). And meanwhile Jean Le Cam must wriggle south as best he can.

            And so it will be early next week before the fleet takes a shape which, all things being equal, will be the imprint for the next month in the south. Already thousands of miles separate Dalin from the tribe off Brazil. Amedeo, Barrier and Merron. The North Atlantic made the cracks, the South Atlantic opened them much further.
            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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            • #36
              The Boss Right Rudder Broken



              At approximately 19:00 UTC this evening (Friday 27th November) – 19 days into the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race – Alex Thomson notified his technical team on shore of damage to the starboard rudder of his HUGO BOSS boat.

              The team immediately advised Thomson to disconnect the rudder to regain steerage. He now has control of the yacht with one rudder, and is safe and in no danger onboard.

              The team is working to assess the extent of the damage. A further update will be released on Saturday 28th November.

              ***************
              UPDATE:

              Alex Thomson ceases racing in the Vendée Globe



              November 28, 2020. After incurring damage to the starboard rudder of his boat, British sailor Alex Thomson has ceased racing in the Vendée Globe and is now sailing his boat towards Cape Town.



              Thomson last night disconnected the starboard rudder and has since been sailing the yacht with just one rudder. After assessing the situation today, the skipper and his team have decided that the only course of action is to cease racing and sail the boat to Cape Town.



              Thomson said: “Unfortunately, a repair is not possible. We therefore accept that this will be the end of the race for us. Myself, my team and our partners are of course deeply disappointed. We believe the best was yet to come in this race”.



              The incident occurred on what was Thomson’s 19th day of racing in the round-the-world Vendée Globe yacht race, which began on Sunday 8th November from Les Sables-d’Olonne on France’s west coast.



              Alex Thomson is currently approximately 1,800 nautical miles from Cape Town and it is expected to take the skipper around seven days to make the journey. He’ll do so without the use of his starboard rudder and so will proceed safely and cautiously. Thomson’s technical team will travel to Cape Town to meet the yacht upon arrival.
              Last edited by Photoboy; 11-28-2020, 10:44 AM.
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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              • #37
                Oh SNAP! =(

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                • #38
                  "If it were not for bad luck, I would have no luck at all"

                  ~eyore~

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Charlie Tuna View Post
                    "If it were not for bad luck, I would have no luck at all"

                    ~eyore~
                    Aint that the truth!

                    One less english speaking participant to boot!

                    Somebody buy Alex an excorcist!

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                    • #40
                      The Entire Fleet Now In The Southern Hemisphere





                      With Jérémie Beyou ( Charal ) crossing the equator , the entire racing fleet now stretches out into the South Atlantic. And if Charlie Dalin ( Apivia ) has conquered a quarter of the road and is on the way to free himself from the pangs of this ocean to negotiate with the harshness of another, the Indian, from tomorrow, the rest of the fleet will also have lived the road which separates South America from South Africa with the awareness of change.

                      Since Jérémie Beyou, guest of the Vendée Live this afternoon, crossed the imaginary border from the equator to his Charal , 32 of the 33 IMOCAs entered in this Vendée Globe have reached the southern hemisphere. The only thing missing is CORUM L'Epargne , which was stopped in Cape Verde by dismasting.

                      The southern hemisphere is a descent with irregular steps, shaped this year by thwarted trade winds, veins of erratic winds along the Brazilian coast, a Saint Helena high of double mood, so much so that Charlie Dalin, leader for nearly a week , should therefore tackle the first of the three legendary Vendée Globe capes with a significant delay on the unofficial record set by Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS ) in 2016: 17 days 22 hours and 58 minutes.


                      TRACKER


                      Monday at lunchtime, Charlie Dalin should cross his Apivia the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope after more or less 22 days of racing, to within a few hours, i.e. a time slightly less than that which took Armel Le Cléac'h to complete the same section in 2012.

                      At a pace made slow by the wind conditions, the Le Havre skipper has nonetheless already erased a quarter of the distance separating him from Les Sables d'Olonne since… the start from Les Sables d'Olonne on 8 November at 2:20 pm. In front of the bow of his IMOCA, 18,000 miles remained to be covered this Sunday at 3 pm. In theory, the leader had already covered 6,245 miles at the same time.

                      This little trot - the image is exaggerated, of course - will not have spared the solo sailors from technical problems and heat waves. Between recalcitrant hooks, oil leaks from the keel cylinder (Alan Roura on Saturday), heap starts (Benjamin Dutreux), foil delamination (to port at Thomas Rettant), structural repairs ( Charal at the start of the race, Alex Thomson the along South America, Bureau Vallée 2 a little later) and irreparable technical breakdowns (Alex Thomson's starboard rudder on Friday, condemned to be withdrawn), the Vendée Globe will not have spared the fleet.

                      And yet, for three days for the leaders, two days for the gruppetto and soon for the third group, it's a whole different adventure that opens as soon as the boats take the helm in the East with, in the viewfinder, the Cape of Good Hope.

                      12 th Benjamin Dutreux ( Omia - Water Family ) summed up the general feeling: " The holidays are over! Finally there is a bit of a 'snow holiday' atmosphere. It is cooler, it is around ten degrees. I attacked hard at the start and little by little, I'm trying to be a little more reasonable, to take my foot off the accelerator a little. We touch the first bouts of depression. I try to listen to the boat to know how far I can push it. I try to keep my things dry, to find solutions for sleeping, I brought out the sleeping bag. I try to adapt ”.

                      The British sailor Pip Hare ( Medallia ) , 24 th of the fleet is not yet in the famous South, but it is preparing psychologically and tactically: " We have just entered the fourth week of race and this week, I'm going to take a leap into the unknown. When I turn left and head east and towards the Southern Ocean, I will step into the unknown. It's new to me and I'm nervous. The route to the South is far from simple and every day I have watched with interest the trajectories of the front of the fleet ”.

                      Carried by the clarity of the full moon over the Atlantic, Maxime Sorel ( V and B - Mayenne )shared his moods in a long and charming, writing: " I who, on the ground, spend my time chasing after time telling myself that 24 hours is a bit short for a day, there I have to face what I flee the most on the ground while I am confined in a carbon box that is constantly shaken, alone thousands of kilometers in the middle of the oceans! (…) There, alone on board, alone in front of myself, without any possibility of escaping my mind (at least much more difficult than on land), when something obscures me, I have to deal. At that point, no more cheating, no more concessions. No other choice but to face yourself. (…) Confinement (…) offers us the possibility of an interior journey which will not cost us a cent and which will be worth more spiritually than any journey. I discovered it like this: the Vendée Globe route, ".













                      **********************************




                      Pip Hare writes from Medallia, "Tonight has been just perfect. Conditions have just slightly altered, enough to allow me to power Medallia up and get her drive back and after days of kicking and thrashing we got our act together and shot off through the night. I hardly needed to lift a finger, just set it up and the autopilot did the rest. What a relief to be moving again, I must admit I thought I was going to be stuck doing 12 knots for the rest of the planet. Just a change in wind direction of 10 degrees has taken the hand brake off and made all the difference."

                      "To top it all we had a full moon early in the evening and this is something truly beautiful to experience at sea. When there is no other light pollution the moon is an incredible source of light. It lights the deck, the sails, it's path across the sea glitters silver, everything is bathed it's light, there are no need for torches, the world is lit up in monochrome. It was still cloudy so I could see few stars, the moon would disappear behind a cloud, not doing a very good job of hiding as it's light burned through the cloud edges making them look like they were full of energy and about to explode, the world would go dark for a few minutes then burst into light again as the cloud moved on. As Medallia's bow broke through the waves the water coming down the deck looked like molten silver. Just being on deck and experiencing these colours and sensations was a privilege.

                      I was on squall standby all evening, the radar checking ahead for any cloud action, but after a few hours dressed in my foul weather gear top, head torch on waiting for the action, my dozes became longer and it would appear I have been given the night off from any such activities. And so I sit while Medallia delivers me South and for the first time in days have a cup of tea, which I have realised I really missed.

                      We are just entering week 4 of the race, and this week I will leap off into the unknown, the point at which we turn left and make our way East and down into the Southern ocean is the point at which I will be entering the unknown. It's new territory for me and I am not a little bit nervous for what lies ahead. The route down to the south is looking far from simple and every day I have watched with interest the tracks of the front of the fleet, still battling high pressure when they expected to be riding the lows. I'm pleased this night has been a good one, I feel more rested and yesterday spent quite a bit of time working on Medallia, making small jobs and checks, putting things in order, tying up loose ends so when we get the opportunity to ride south in a couple of days I will be able to give it my full attention.

                      Meanwhile I am thankful to be out here in this beautiful ocean. Sure we have to deal with some intense and difficult situations in the ocean but we also get to see nature in it's most unadulterated form. The ocean is a stunningly beautiful place and I know I am lucky to see it in this way."








                      *********************************

                      My first real Southern Ocean night - in the conditions behind the front. Air temperature 10°C. I gybed just before Gough Island, in the clement zone close behind the front -25knt TWS - but rapidly the breeze built and the instability arrived. It felt a little bit close to Gough Island
                      for comfort so I furled the A7 in order to sail a clear enough course to pass safely to the South West of Gough.


                      My feeling was correct as rapidly I encountered the first big gust - 40 knots of wind. The sea state has built. When the breeze goes from 25 to 40 in the middle of the night for the first time, you get caught by a big surprise! So a little "wipe out" (thank goodness the A7 was already furled!) and Initiatives Coeur lay flat on her side with a nice cold wave breaking over her!

                      Ease all the sheets and back on our feet (that too is a scary manouver as you have to bear away but not too far so as to avoid a Chinese Gybe on the way out!)

                      So then the tricky bit is to find a trim and sail set-up for 22 to 42 knots of wind speed! That's not easy, when you are sailing solo and you need to rest a little and not stay all night in the cockpit with the sheets in your (cold) hands! It's a frustrating compromise with a lot of time "down speed" and other heart-palpitating moments of extreme acceleration down waves with a little too much wind.

                      Inevitably, I did a few more little wipeouts, but the night is over, nothing is broken and the average wind speed is starting to drop... later I should be able to deploy a bigger sail and get going a bit
                      faster. The albatrosses that are gliding around in my wake are having fun! In the meantime, I am going to put a thicker pair of socks on because my feet are blocks of ice!

                      Bonne journee!

                      Sam / Initiativers-Coeur







                      ******************************************

                      One of the six women in this ninth edition of the Vendée Globe Alexia Barrier is sailing on the oldest of this race's IMOCA monohulls, the former Penguin that Catherine Chabaud raced around the world in 2000. Since then, this Lombard design raced many more times around the globe. Alexia Barrier seems to be particularly happy on this mythical monohull!
                      "There's quite a strong wind off Brazil and it's still unstable in strength and direction, with squalls... Yesterday, it gave me the chance me to make good make up good ground with my new sails: I went quite fast! Then last night I wanted to take a reef out of the mainsail and it got stuck on the second. I have struggled but will wait for daylight to try again because I have already spent two hours on the end of the boom in the middle of the night, and it's not very comfortable or to work on.

                      We have a magical moon, and that changes everything for sailing! It is especially great as I haven't had my deck searchlight since the first week for all the manoeuvres and sail checks. I am trying to not think too far ahead to avoid getting stressed and am just doing things one after the other and so now I'm taking advantage of this pretty moon. Especially as the sea is much nicer than in the north of Brazil where we had very unpleasant cross seas. It is still quite unstable on the South with squalls...

                      I have Miranda (Merron) next to me and we're keeping similar speeds although yesterday I was a bit faster. It's really nice because it means you push the boat, it's motivating to go faster. And behind me, I have Clément (Giraud) who is coming back and even further back, there is Ari (Huusela) and Sébastien (Destremau): we're a small group at the back of the fleet and it's rather reassuring for the moment when we reach the Cape of Good Hope and the Southern Ocean. It's not bad not to find that we are not alone in these far flung places!

                      My boat is the oldest in the fleet since it was built for Catherine Chabaud in 1998. I should be going 30% slower than the others, and in reality, I manage to hold on, and that's pretty cool! It is a very physical monohull because there are still some old systems on board. I have total confidence in my boat even if it's very wet because there's no coach roof.

                      Yesterday I plugged the water drains in the cockpit to give myself a five minute swim! I took advantage of it and I'm in great shape after the Northern Hemisphere trade winds and the Doldrums. I'm finally managing to sleep well as I need to regain my strength to get around the St. Helena High, which is proving to be strategically complicated.

                      **********************
                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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                      • #41
                        Dalin Expected To Pass Cape Of Good Hope Monday




                        After more than twenty days of sailing, the pecking order is becoming clearer with the leader Charlie Dalin expected to pass the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope on Monday. The South Atlantic has not been very kind for more than ten days, but the weather pattern concerning the St. Helena high is now allowing the two groups of chasers not to lose any more ground. The first Southern low-pressure system is meanwhile developing off Cape Town…

                        The Cape of Good Hope is coming up for the leaders at least. They are now wondering how to tackle this headland which is never the most welcoming. This is the first of the three capes in the round the world voyage before Cape Leeuwin (S.W. Australia) and the Horn (at the southern tip of South America).

                        After more than three weeks of racing to round South Africa, the leader has not smashed any records, as the reference time between Les Sables d’Olonne and the Cape of Good Hope is still held by Alex Thomson with a time of 17 days 22 hours and 58 minutes since 2016. But just four years earlier in 2012, it took Armel Le Cléac’h almost 23 days to reach the tip of Africa…




                        Shine a light
                        As the leader enters the gateway to the Indian Ocean (Charlie Dalin with a lead of 250 miles), what are the conditions like in the South Atlantic? With Jérémie Beyou (Charal) crossing the Equator this morning, there are no longer any competitors left in the Northern Hemisphere this afternoon (Sunday). Given the tricky weather, the fourth week starts today with the important advantage of shorter nights and a well-lit sky.

                        The Moon shines brightly every 29 and a half days on its journey around the Earth. The full moon lights up both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Moon rises in the East and sets in the West lighting up the ocean at night. It offers a magnificent sight to the sailors as in the absence of clouds in the sky, they are able to make out the shadows of all the marine life.




                        From Brazil to South Africa – very different conditions

                        That is indeed the case for the “Brazilians”: the third group led by Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet) on the oldest of the IMOCA monohulls. She is currently sailing off Salvador da Bahia in the trade winds, which have finally turned further east. With the wind on the beam, this group which also includes Miranda Merron (Campagne de France), Clément Giraud (Compagnie du Lit-Jiliti) and the Finnish sailor, Ari Huusela (STARK) and Sébastien Destremau (merci) a hundred miles further back, can look forward to reaching the Forties in the middle of the week.

                        As for the group ahead of them with Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle), Didac Costa (One planet-One ocean), Manuel Cousin (Groupe SÉTIN) and Pip Hare (Medallia), they are able to enjoy quieter conditions in the Atlantic with a gentle, yet more stable NE’ly breeze, before a new low-pressure system develops out of Uruguay. They are a long way from the leading group, which is hanging on to the first Southern low.

                        The leader at the Cape of Good Hope on Monday

                        Some like Sam Davies (Initiatives Cœur) and Damien Seguin (Groupe APICIL) are already behind the cold front, so on rougher seas in a fresh to strong SW’ly air stream (25-30 knots), forcing them to sail towards the edge of the Ice Exclusion Zone at around 45°S. The others out in front are still ahead of the cold front and working hard to stay there for as long as possible. That is the case for Sébastien Simon (ARKEA-PAPREC) who is speeding along and even overtaken Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-YC de Monaco) and now has his sights on Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Kevin Escoffier (PRB).

                        Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) has dropped back from third place and is likely to fall further back in the coming hours with an attack from the foilers from more or less the latest generation, but out in front it is still the two Verdier designed boats setting the pace. In spite of a shortened port foil, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) is managing to keep up an average speed of around twenty knots, just like Charlie Dalin (Apivia), who is keeping the chasing boats in check on a very straight course towards the Cape of Good Hope. From now on, it will be the gybes behind the cold front that will determine the rankings that follow.





                        ******************************
                        The leaders of the Vendée Globe fleet are now in a strong south-westerly flow approaching the Cape of Good Hope. Leader Charlie Dalin, is expected to cross the first great Cape this afternoon. The weather for the pacemakers is much colder and this passage under South Africa promises to be quite tough with a breeze contrary to the Agulhas current which flows down the east side of the African continent, marking the western edge of the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean.

                        For the leaders who are now mostly in the SW’ly air flow the temperatures are much colder, around 7 deg C, unstable winds 25kts gusting to 35kts on big, unruly seas which sluice over the deck, water temperature no more than 8 dec C. They are racing behind the front and dropping south-eastwards towards the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. After the first three weeks of racing this is a first cold, wet wake up call to the joys of the big south. The sun cannot break through the cloud cover and the first big southern storm is on its way, and of course the colder air is much more dense and so each gust feels much more powerful than the recorded windspeed.

                        Dalin has had to route more to the north, to 38 degrees, where the race leader will have to negotiate the gyres, the circulation of the Agulhas current which will cause big, crossed seas with the wind blowing against the current. Behind him the chasing pack of six, riding the wheel of second placed Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) who is a little slower at times because of his chopped port foil. That said in the big seas the foilers will not be drawing on all their power and righting moment right now and so Ruyant and Jean Le Cam on his trusty daggerboard Yes We Cam will scarcely be disadvantaged.



                        As the Saint Helena high pressure slips to the south east after his hydraulic oil problems of the weekend Alan Roura (La Fabrique) has been caught by it again and has a hard time off Tristan da Cunha. Clarisse Crémer (Banque Populaire X) was down during the night passing the island of Gough and with Romain Attanasio (PURE-Best Western Hotels & Resorts) in her east Cremer will do well to dive quickly towards the south east so as not to be swallowed up by the high pressure and light winds again.



                        Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans) finally sees the end of his own light winds tunnel with a welcome northerly breeze after the calm he has suffered over recent days and he begins to slant more to the south east. Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) was the first to go south and look to bypass the high pressure cell at 35 ° North. In his wake now, the three amigos (Cousin-Costa-Hare) have a foiler on their hips in Armel Tripon (L'Occitane en Provence) who is now certainly going faster in these more active conditions. Tripon will still find it difficult to follow the new big southern depression which is moving very quickly and will reach the leaders, and maybe force them to slow right down or climb out of its way in some three days time, between Cape Town and the Kerguelens.



                        At the back Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One) is outpacing Sébastien Destremau (Merci) in the Brazilian trade winds which are quite easterly. These conditions also suit Jérémie Beyou (Charal) who can lengthen his stride off Recife and who should come back verystrongly in the coming days in ideal conditions to cut miles back on the leaders.

                        Kevin Escoffier (PRB) third this morning, “

                        "There is definitely quite a bit more sea now and this is just the start. I looked at the nav last night to find a route that takes into account a lot of different parameters: the state of the sea, the Agulhas current, not going too far to the north and take a bashing with the wind against the current , and also the wind. We have a first blow, but it is especially the second with the next frontal passage that really influences our routing decisions.

                        The weather files are not yet agreed on the passage of this new southern depression: you have to position yourself for the first but really well for the second one. You don’t want too much wind bit need to not lose too much distance on my competitors. With my group here we made the choice not to be too close to Good Hope and the waves and the current of the Agulhas. Charlie Dalin should avoid the second depression, but we, the chasing group, are going to get it. The passage of the front on December 4th is likely to be quite big. We will have our first gale with 35 knots and six meters of waves. We already have four meters of waves with a fairly irregular wind that goes from 20 to 30 knots.

                        On the temperature side, it's still OK but I'm starting to layer up with fleeces. And the water has is cooler for sure. You really feel the difference from being in the Saint Helena high pressure system. But I still spend some time outside, trimming, I see some of my rivals are sailing higher so I need to change sails.”
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                        • #42
                          PRB Dismasts, Le Cam Diverts To Assist



                          UPDATE #3

                          Here is what has happened since Kevin Escoffier triggered the distress beacon on his IMOCA PRB on Monday November 30 at 2:46 p.m. in the Roaring Forties, on the 22 nd race day of the Vendée Globe. Triggered immediately by the race director, the research initiated by Jean Le Cam, first to arrive in the area, is continuing with the support of three IMOCAs who were also confused.

                          Since Kevin Escoffier warned his shore team that a waterway had broken out in the IMOCA PRB this Monday at 2:46 p.m., rescue operations have been deployed, and they continue to expand. Before leaving the edge, Kevin Escoffier triggered the boat's distress beacon, signaled at position 40 ° 55 South 9 ° 18 East when it was activated.

                          In fact, Jean Le Cam was the first to be confused by the race management. At 5 pm, the skipper of Yes We Cam! arrives on the zone, guided by the race director who gives him in real time the positioning of Kevin Escoffier's personal beacon (AIS MOB Man Over Board).

                          Jean Le Cam sails with 3 reefs in the mainsail, in order to remain mobile in winds of 20 knots, and troughs of 5 meters. Eye contact is made; the skipper of Port-la-Forêt sees the life raft, he also sees his competition partner, probably equipped with his TPS survival suit, and a voice exchange takes place between the two men.

                          The time to make a maneuver to get back as close as possible to the raft, Jean le Cam will lose visual contact with Kevin Escoffier, in this very rough sea and in the dark. Since then, the skipper of Yes We Cam! did not cease his efforts, but could no longer locate the raft with Kevin on board and did not pick up the AIS signal, the range of which was reduced due to heavy seas.

                          In order to reinforce the research, the race director confused three skippers who were racing in the same peloton: Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer - Yacht de Monaco), Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ), then Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC) in order to facilitate the research crisscrossing the area. On site, Jean Le Cam shares information on the state of the sea, wind and currents with the DC.

                          At 9.45 p.m., Yannick Bestaven joined the area. Boris Herrmann is expected to arrive around 11 p.m. Sébastien Simon is expected a little later. All will respect the protocol established by the race director in conjunction with Jean Le Cam on site, ie an approach with three reefs in the mainsail and the engine unhooked. A fine grid process for the area has been established and will be carried out by the four IMOCAs who have come to provide assistance.

                          The PRB shore team specified that, in addition to his AIS MOB, Kevin Escoffier also had something to signal his presence in the liferaft. The day will rise tomorrow morning around 4:40 am HF in the investigation area.
                          Research continues.


                          This press release was written jointly by the Vendée Globe teams and Team PRB.


                          ********************

                          Kevin Escoffier, 40, who is racing in third place in the Vendée Globe solo non-stop around the world race, positioned some 550 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, has triggered his distress beacon. He was racing in a strong SW’ly air stream on starboard tack behind a weather front.



                          At 1346hrs (UTC), he managed to send a message to his shore team, explaining that he had an ingress of water into his boat. The rescue team (MRCC Cape Town and CROSS Griz Nez) is preparing an action plan in collaboration with his PRB shore team, with Jacques Caraës and the Vendée Globe Race Direction team. Jean Le Cam, the nearest competitor, has changed course to sail to the last position given by the boat when the beacon was triggered (40°55 S 9°18 E).
                          He is expected to reach the area at around 1600hrs UTC. More information to follow.

                          ******************

                          Jean le Cam has arrived in the area and has seen Kevin in his life raft. He is under engine preparing to recover Escoffier. More info to come.

                          UPDATE:

                          Jean le Cam has arrived in the area and sees Kevin Escoffier in his liferaft. Yannick Bestaven, Boris Herrmann and Sébastien Simon arrive as reinforcements.

                          Info from 8:30 p.m.
                          The race director asked Sébastien Simon ( ARKEA PAPREC ) to change his mind .

                          7:15 pm Info
                          In order to reinforce Jean Le Cam ( Yes We Cam! ), The Race Direction asked Yannick Bestaven ( Master CoQ IV ) and Boris Herrmann ( Seaexplorer-YC of Monaco ) to change their minds. The two solo sailors are currently heading towards Kevin Escoffier ( PRB ).

                          5:00 pm Info.
                          Alerted and invited to be diverted by the Race Direction, while he was sailing less than 20 miles from PRB , Jean Le Cam arrived in the area at 5:00 pm. It was then advancing at a little over 15 knots, in permanent contact with the Race Direction. Jean le Cam saw PRB's life raft , then its skipper inside.

                          Info 16:45
                          Kevin Escoffier was changing 3 th position in the Vendée Globe in 22 th day when race triggered his distress beacon (mayday). It was advancing on starboard tack behind a front in a sustained southwesterly flow. At 2:46 p.m. (French time), he was able to send a message to his shore team, explaining that there was water in the boat.

                          Rescue services (CROSS de Gris-Nez, MRCC Cape Town) are set up in conjunction with the PRB shore team , with Jacques Caraës and the Vendée Globe Race Direction team. Jean Le Cam, the closest competitor, was diverted to approach the last known position of the boat when the beacon was triggered (40 ° 55 South 9 ° 18 East). He should arrive in the area around 5 p.m. (HF).
                          Last edited by Photoboy; 11-30-2020, 06:04 PM.
                          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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                          • #43
                            Escoffier Rescued!




                            At 2:18 am French time, the PRB team was informed of the rescue of Kevin Escoffier by Jean Le Cam. At the HQ since the beginning of the evening, the President of PRB, Jean-Jacques Laurent, assisted minute after minute with the race director Jacques Caraës and the entire race management team in all the rescue operations deployed for meet the skipper, forced to leave the edge around 14:46 French time.

                            "He's on board with Jean!" We just saw it ”. A few quick words without more detail arose in the dead of night. A huge relief for the whole team, Kevin's family and all those involved in the Vendée Globe at sea, but also on land. The hours since Kevin's last message just before he urgently boarded his liferaft have been endless. Everything has been done to find the Malouin tossed around in his life raft on the border with the Indian Ocean, 600 miles southwest of the Cape of Good Hope.

                            Kevin has so far only been seen aboard YesWeCam! via a live video because Jean Le Cam had connected his video system during all the search operations. No one has yet been able to chat with the PRB skipper who just appeared smiling, bundled up in his survival suit alongside Jean Le Cam.


                            © Jean-Marie Liot / Alea / VG2020
                            Jacques Caraës, the clerk of the course said: “We sent Jean back to a position received by the CROSS Gris Nez, a position sent by the distress beacon on board EPIRB. Météo France's drift simulation also corresponded to this trace. Jean set off at 12:15 GMT (1:15 French time) on our order to reach this point at reduced speed. He did not find anyone at the given position. He then resumed his journey south-east for three-quarters of an hour - an hour.
                            As he was making headway at 1.5 knots in a 20-25 knot wind under very reduced canopy (3 reefs in the mainsail and no motor), he disappeared from the screen and we heard him speak. We no longer saw anyone. Then, a few minutes after 1:06 UT, or 2:06 French time (time at which he must have precisely retrieved Kevin on board), Jean went back down to the chart table, then we saw Kevin arrive behind his back in a survival suit. They appeared seconds, both fit before the video cut. He is fine. Everyone is well. They are recovering! " .

                            On January 6, 2009, during the Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou, then skipper of PRB , saved Jean Le Cam off Cape Horn. This time, the "King Jean" succeeds in his turn to come out of a very bad step Kevin Escoffier. The incredible story of an extraordinary rescue in a decidedly extraordinary race!

                            The entire Team PRB sincerely thanks Jean Le Cam and the three other skippers, Boris Herrmann, Yannick Bestaven and Sébastien Simon who have worked heroically and tirelessly to find Kevin, as well as the race director, the CROSS Gris Nez. and the MRCC Cape Town, which carried out the search operations remarkably.

                            More information to come.
                            This press release has been drawn up jointly by the Vendée Globe teams and the PRB Team.
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                            • #44
                              The Rescue Of Kevin Escoffier In Detail




                              After eleven and a half hours in his liferaft since being forced to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB in strong winds and big seas 840 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, Vendée Globe skipper Kevin Escoffier was dramatically rescued by fellow competitor Jean Le Cam at around 0118hrs UTC this Tuesday morning.

                              Escoffier was racing in third place on the 22nd day of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race in 25-30kts SWly winds and big seas when his boat nosedived into a wave and, he reported after his rescue, literally broke in two, giving him minutes to grab his survival suit and take to his liferaft.

                              His boat’s emergency distress beacon was automatically activated. The emergency signal was transmitted to CROSS Griz Nez which immediately alerted Vendée Globe Race Direction in Les Sables d’Olonne.

                              At the same time 40 year old Escoffier from Saint Malo, a very experienced southern ocean racer who has won the crewed Volvo Ocean Race and held the Trophée Jules Verne record for the crewed speed record round the world, called his technical team with the terse message "I need assistance. I am sinking. This is not a joke."

                              Race Direction called on Jean Le Cam, the racer closest to PRB’s position, to divert his course immediately to the zone. The veteran 61 year old who is on his fifth Vendée Globe race, arrived at around 1615hrs UTC and located Escoffier’s liferaft, establishing visual and voice contact despite the big, unruly seas and winds gusting to 35kts.

                              But Le Cam's repeated initial efforts failed and Race Direction had to escalate the operation.

                              Remarkably it was hours later, only when Escoffier appeared in the background of a video call that Le Cam had left running through the entire proceedure, that Race Direction fully realised Le Cam had rescued the stricken solo racer.

                              Le Cam recalled “Because I had a good position. I told him I will be back there was no need to rush things. I had just the main with two reefs in 30-32 knots with the rough seas it was not easy to manoeuvre. I came back to the spot where I left him but there was no one there.” Le Cam reported early this morning, “ I went there (looking for him) five or six times which means I had to tack five or six times because of the mishaps that happened all the time, the sea state and so on, I ended up going backwards and lost sight of him.”

                              Because of the pitch black night and the bad wind and sea conditions, Race Direction requested three other skippers to divert to the rescue zone, Germany’s Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco), Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC).

                              Race Direction drew up a search protocol using Meteo France’s MOTHY (Modèle Océanique de Transport d'HYdrocarbures). drift prediction programme and engaged the three solo skippers in a triangle search pattern. They had intermittent distress beacon signals which appeared to follow no pattern.

                              Race Director Jacques Caraës explained, “We always had a signal. The only position we were getting was the MOB but we did not know if it was attached to Kevin as it appeared to be quite random and moving a lot from one place to another. And so we did not know if the EPIRB was in the liferaft or close to the boat or what. At some point we thought we thought the EPIRB could be in the liferaft, it could be with him, the EPRB could be drifting in the water or it could be attached to the IMOCA (yacht). And so it was not easy. But when we saw that the EPIRB position was lining up with the drift prediction track we sent Jean to that point.”

                              “We had organised a triangle search scan pattern with Yannick Bestaven, who went seven miles away, then Boris was closer and Sébastien was closer. They did seven miles across by 0.3 of a mile apart on each scan. They sailed with three reefs. Jean Le Cam recommended that because it was a battle. The wind was dropping a bit. But at the beginning when Jean saw Kevin the weather was bad. Jean did seven scans.”





                              Speaking on a video link this morning a relieved Le Cam said, “I arrived, it was all good, I saw him. Kevin in his liferaft. Because I had a good position. I told him I will be back there was no need to rush things. I had just the main with two reefs in 30-32 knots with the rough seas it was not easy to manoeuvre. I came back to the spot where I left him but there was no one there. I went there (looking for him) five or six times which means I had to tack five or six times because of the mishaps that happened all the time, the sea state and so on, I ended up going backwards.”

                              “I told myself I would stay on standby and wait for daylight. Then I thought that in the dark it might be easier to see his light. One moment when I was on deck I saw a flash, but in fact it was a reflection that glinted off a wave. But the more I got closer to the light I saw it more and more. It is amazing because you switch from despair to an unreal moment in an instant.”




                              “I put myself to windward of him, I saw Kevin. Kevin asked me ‘will you be back?’ I said, ‘No we are doing this now!’ Then at one point the boat was falling backwards too fast in reverse and he was just there, two metres off the stern, and thank goodness I had prepared the red life ring that is usually in the cockpit. I throw it to him, and he catches it.I threw him the life ring. And he caught it and then he managed to pull himself in to catch the transmission bar (rudder link arm). And that was it.”

                              Escoffier described the moment the boat literally folded from the bow, “You see the images of shipwrecks? It was like that, but worse. In four seconds the boat nosedived, the bow folded at 90°. I put my head down in the cockpit, a wave was coming. I had time to send one text before the wave fried the electronics. It was completely crazy. It folded the boat in two. I’ve seen a lot before but this one…”

                              Caraës praised his team and the collaboration of the rescue authorities and Jean-Jacques Laurent the CEO of PRB, a long time sponsor of entries into the Vendée Globe who was at Race HQ all night, assisting and supporting the mission,
                              “It is the outcome we were hoping for. It was pitch black, not easy conditions but finally the outcome is almost a miracle. It was not easy to pick Kevin up in the middle of the night, Jean is an extremely experienced sailor and he always followed our instructions to the letter. And we were lucky enough to have experts helping us on all sides, Meteo France with their drift simulation programme that corresponded with our EPIRB tracking. But we had lots of unknowns, lots of different positions. We had to be positive all the time and believe in things. We were lucky, luck was on our side. It is a very happy outcome and we at Race Direction are very happy.”


                              This amazing rescue reverses roles played out between 5th and 6th January 2009, during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. Vincent Riou, the then the skipper of PRB, rescued Jean Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA 60 which had capsized 200 miles west of Cape Horn. Le Cam was trapped inside his upturned VM Materiaux for 16 hours during which time it was not known for certain if Le Cam was safe inside his boat or not.

                              Asked this morning if he was scared or worried during his ordeal in his liferaft Escoffier replied, “No. As soon as I had seen Jean I was sure I would be saved.”

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                              • #45
                                The Hits Keep Coming

                                UPDATE:


                                Since this morning and the shock with an UFO that occurred at 9:20 am HF, Sébastien Simon has put the race on hold. It progresses with the mainsail lowered (only the horn remains) and under storm surge (small storm sail). Safety is now the priority on board ARKEA PAPREC.

                                Given the very tough sailing conditions to come (more than 30-35 knots of wind, 5 meters of hollow), Sébastien, in agreement with his team, decided to head north to get away from the strongest wind. and the sea. For this night, it is a question of being able to secure the boat as much as possible, damaged at the starboard foil. The objective is to request ARKEA PAPREC as little as possible by limiting its speed of progression and the associated constraints during the passage of the front this evening and to escape the bulk of the depression this night. Tomorrow, in an area where the 60-footer will be less battered by waves and strong winds, Sébastien will then be able to more calmly study the possibilities for repairs and set up the various scenarios under study with his team on land.




                                This morning at 9:20 am HF, ARKEA PAPREC hit a UFO. This shock caused significant damage to the starboard foil. The situation is taken in hand by the skipper and his team ashore. Sébastien is not injured.
                                While sailing in 4th position in the Vendée Globe to 436 miles from the leader Charlie Dalin, ARKEA PAPREC collided with a UFO. The impact took place with the starboard foil. The skipper quickly established an inventory which he shared with his shore team and the race director to warn them of the situation.



                                The starboard foil is damaged. The low wedge (low fulcrum of the foil, junction between the foil and the boat) and the foil well (it is in this well that the foil crosses the boat) are no longer attached to the boat. Sébastien is doing everything he can to get the situation under control, particularly in anticipation of heavy seas and sustained winds to come next night. He laid the boat down to limit the entry of water, the importance of which is not yet known.



                                Remember that Sébastien was among the baffled boats to go and rescue Kevin Escoffier the day before last night. He was able to resume his route in the race at the end of the rescue operations, at 2:24 HF in the night from Monday to Tuesday. Since then, he has adorned the Cape of Good Hope, the first highly symbolic passage of this solo round-the-world trip. It was 3:30 am HF last night. She was sailing on port tack at 17.6 knots instantaneous speed in the 9:00 HF ranking in about 20 knots from the west and rough seas with troughs of 3 to 4 meters.
                                Last edited by Photoboy; 12-02-2020, 12:58 PM.
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