• Breaking Things Is Easy To Do

    Latest update from Boris Herrmann.

    At 07.25 utc Boris Herrmann on Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco had an issue onboard. The main headboard car broke and the main came down. Boris is fine and needs no assistance but he will be slower for the rest of the race. He has secured everything and at the moment is still sailing with the head sail and a much smaller main. He is trying to fix the issue with spares we have on board and he aims to continue the race but he will be much slower. The race management have been notified and are monitoring the situation.

    The terrific trio of Beyou/Ruyant/Dalin reformed in the early hours and is now leading the hunt for the Gallimard mark at full tilt. The race is very intense in every one of the groups, which have launched into a drag race for this final waypoint. That is with the exception of Isabelle Joschke whose boat was damaged this morning.

    At first light on this 7th day of racing, Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) reformed their threesome and are now embroiled in a frenzied waltz, adjusting their steps to the rhythm of the weather systems. It is a well-oiled choreography involving the reduction of sail area, stacking and changes of tack, all carried out in just a matter of hours. At around midday, the trio had tacked after the passage of a small front and are now en route towards the Gallimard waypoint on a south-easterly heading, making an average of 15/20 knots. “It’s quick and we’ve been sailing cleanly since the start. It’s important not to make a mistake,” commented Jérémie briefly this afternoon, barely audible amidst the deafening din aboard the black boat.
    A long sprint for the Gallimard mark


    The skipper of Charal was the first to push the helm at noon today and lead off on the long starboard tack spanning nearly 500 miles, where the intensity of the air seems very fickle. Just minutes after Charal’s change of heading, Apivia and LinkedOut followed suit, lining themselves up for the same goal: the win.
    At the start of the afternoon, PRB and Initiatives-Cœur mirrored this move. Then it was the turn of SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco and Maître CoQ IV. Today, with the exception of the four boats bringing up the rear, furthest out to the east, everyone is navigating the same system: passage of a front, change of tack and another stretch of reaching lifting them towards the final course mark in this Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne, which the front runners should round overnight on 12 through into 13 July.

    In each of the groups which have formed over the course of the race, the battle is intense. “Everyone is flat out and pushing the boat hard, much more so than usual,” admitted Kevin Escoffier (PRB) this afternoon. “We’re really on the attack, resulting in some very interesting speed duels. However, it’s hard for us to compete with the Formula 1s out front. Their turbo drive works differently to ours.”Although… by late afternoon, the chasing pack to leeward of the leaders was posting much faster speeds!
    Isabelle Joschke deprived of her mainsail

    This morning, when Boris Herrmann’s mainsail headboard car gave up the ghost, he had to put his attacking instinct on hold. For several hours, SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco was making slow headway under reduced sail area. However, the German skipper has managed to reset his mainsail with two reefs and was back in the match by the end of the day.
    For Isabelle Joschke, the situation is more serious. “I’m still in the race and though I feel a massive sense of disappointment, I’m here for the experience,” she lamented, clearly emotional in a video sent out early this afternoon. This morning, at around 09:00 hours, the boom of MACSF broke in two for no apparent reason. For now, the mainsail has been dumped on the deck and the Franco-German sailor is making headway under small headsail. She’s going to have her work cut out disconnecting the boom from the mainsail. Next, “there’s a possibility of rehoisting it to the second reef without using the boom”, explains her team manager Alain Gautier. Isabelle Joschke has no intention of throwing in the towel: she has to finish the race to qualify for the Vendée Globe.

    Up till now, ‘Isa’ had been posting a dazzling performance aboard her foiling 2007 VPLP design and was a regular face in the top 6. In this demanding exercise to prepare for the Vendée Globe, the four female sailors making their way towards Les Sables d’Olonne are really making a splash. Indeed, they represent 23% of the fleet in this Vendée-Arctique and they’re sailing an absolute blinder. Starting with Samantha Davies (Initiatives-Cœur), whose wealth of experience and know-how in solo format on this type of boat is really being brought to the fore today, to the extent that she is able to cut it with the best of them. Meantime, Clarisse Crémer (Banque Populaire X) is enjoying an extraordinary baptism of fire and is really excelling herself. Finally, Miranda Merron is demonstrating great seamanship by managing to keep up with the pace aboard Campagne de France, one of the oldest monohulls in the fleet. In sport, it is rare to find athletes of both sexes competing on the same start line for the same ranking. However, this is the norm in offshore racing where women and men compete on a level playing field. The female promotion of the solo round the world race promises to be brilliant…
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne Is On started by Photoboy View original post