• Hare Today: Cape Passage Gone Tomorrow

    Tough week to the Horn for Pip, 25 year dream realised for Cape Horner Tripon, Seguin second
    18 miles between Suguin 2nd and Ruyant 4th

    With 1300 miles to sail to Cape Horn this next week will be the toughest of British skipper Pip Hare’s Vendée Globe. With her autopilot system compromised due to the lack of true wind direction and strength data input, Hare is having to constantly adjust her course manually using the pilot’s remote keypad which means she is on high alert all the time, leaving her little time to sleep and eat.

    But the 46 year old from Poole in England remains totally resolute, determined to look after her 20 year old IMOCA Medallia in order that the evergreen raceboat which is on its fifth round the world racing circumnavigation in turn looks after her.
    Racing behind a South Pacific low pressure system in 35-45 knots of wind and big, crossed seas Hare is focused on pinprick of light at the end of the long tunnel to her first Cape Horn rounding. Forecasts suggest that there will be no let up in the strong winds between now and the remote cape.
    “It is hard for me just now because the course is very downwind, and so I can’t just put the pilot on and have a snooze. If I surf down a big wave or the wind changes direction then there is a crash gybe. And so I have the autopilot control always attached to me, no matter what I do. I am so sensitive to everything. We are going OK. The down side right now is that I don’t sleep. I have done ten minutes here and there, dozes but I am hoping in six hours it will die down a bit, I will gybe and return back up a bit, then get south again on a more stable angle and I will get a snooze. We are doing alright. I just have to keep doing what I am doing.” Said Hare today.
    Her race – and her colourful and factual communication of it – has won her legions of fans and followers of all ages and all around the globe, increasingly in France.
    “The thing is that I have so many friends who are not sailing and people following us who are not into sailing who have no understanding of what I am doing out here, it is good to be able to share the experience.” Said Hare today before doing her first Live show in French.

    The passage of Cape Horn this morning at 0801hrs UTC was the realisation of a 25 year dream for Armel Tripon on L’Occitaine en Provence. In 13th place he was the first skipper so far on this race to be able to pass so close – a matter of three miles off – that he was able to clearly see the iconic outline of the rock on his misty horizon.

    After Romain Attanasio later this evening or early tomorrow, Hare could be next to Cape Horn but has the fast moving Jérémie Beyou on the foiling Charal – who had to restart 9 days after the start - around 400 miles behind. Beyou was less than happy with the Pacific conditions, again. In 2016 he was subjected to a big Pacific storm along with Yann Eliès, Jean Le Cam and Jean-Pierre Dick.

    "I don't know who invented the name Pacific, because I've never seen it peaceful in three circumnavigations of the world..." grimaced Beyou today from 18th position.

    And for the skippers on the climb up the Atlantic, they are savouring their re-entry from the vast, windswept plains of solitary greyness, returning to the technicolour world and sights and smells of land and humanity. Benjamin Dutreux was thrilled to be overflown by a plane returning to RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands. Sixth placed Dutreux had just climbed his mast to get his J2 operational again. Meantime in 10th Maxime Sorel was close enough to the Falklands that he could smell the land. “It is just great to be here.” He remarked. “That said while I am enjoying the relative peace and quiet of these sailing conditions. I'm scratching my head quite a bit I have just drawn down the weather files and the routing offers me three different options.”

    The ascent of the Atlantic is complicated at least to the latitude of Rio. Increasingly it seems this is an edition of the Vendée Globe which has offered very, very few fast and easy miles.

    Maître Coq IV skipper Yannick Bestaven is the only competitor to have broken out of the high pressure system to get into new East-South-East flow of wind which will soon be reinforced by his hooking into a low pressure system.

    Bestaven has increased his lead to 245 nautical miles) while behind him the going has been slow and very slow. Near the centre of the high Charlie Dalin in second was doing just 2.5kts and was being caught by Damien Seguin who overtook Thomas Ruyant for third place, even if Ruyant and Seguin are 225 miles apart on opposite sides of the anticyclone. But in terms of distance to the next waypoint there are now just 35 miles between second placed Dalin and fourth placed Ruyant.


    Miranda Merron, Campagne de France, "Yesterday before nightfall, the B&G autopilot, which has been almost faultless for weeks, started misbehaving in wind mode, pushing the helm hard over each way four times every time the boat slowed a bit in the waves in 25+ knots. It was highly unnerving, not to mention dangerous as the boat slewed perilously close to crash gybing one way and wiping out the other.

    I tried compass mode which worked for a while until it too started doing the same thing, but only 2 helm hard over rather than 4. I didn't dare switch to the NKE as the compass heading it displayed bore no reality to either magnetic or true, and I wasn't quite sure what it would do. It was too rough to use in wind mode as there is a loose connection or something somewhere aloft.
    In amongst all this, I had to gybe, which involves furling the headsail, going dead downwind and unfurling again on the new side to take the pressure off the mainsail and gybe it and the runners without wiping out. I only had time to move half the interior as the wind was shifting. It was pretty full-on trying to keep the boat in a straight line dead downwind as the autopilot didn't take kindly to the lower speed and was steering all over the place. Luckily the wind had dropped for a few minutes, only to kick in at 30 knots straight afterwards. Naturally it was the middle of the night, but it's never quite dark here. Having not slept, I had a siesta on the floor of the boat with it slewing wildly from time to time. Philippe Roger tried to help out before dawn, to no avail. At daybreak, I contacted B&G and NKE for the respective issues, and touch wood, both pilots are working.
    Thank you to David at NKE for the quick fix of the compass heading bug, and to Felix and the team at B&G for their trouble-shooting.
    Easy conditions now, and just trying ot work out how to tackle the nasty low that on its way in a couple of days. The only thing I'm sure about is having plenty of runway, a long way from the forbidden ice zone.

    Miranda Merron / Campagne de France


    Here are the times at Cape Horn.

    Saturday 2 January 2021

    1- Maître CoQ IV (Yannick Bestaven) at 13h42 UTC after 55d 00h 22min

    Sunday 3 January 2021

    2- Apivia (Charlie Dalin) at 04h39 UTC after 55d 15h 19min

    14h 56min after the leader

    Monday 4 January 2021

    3- LinkedOut (Thomas Ruyant) at 00h40 UTC after 56d 11h 20min

    1d 10h 57min after the leader ; 20h 00min after Apivia

    4- Groupe APICIL (Damien Seguin) at 02h40 UTC after 56d 13h 20min

    1j 12h 58min after the leader ; 02h 00min after LinkedOut

    5 - OMIA - Water Family (Benjamin Dutreux) at 14h52 UTC after 57d 01h 32min

    2d 01h 10min after the leader ; 12h 12min after Groupe APICIL

    6 - Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton) at 17h14 UTC after 57d 03h 54min

    2d 03h 31min after the leader ; 02h 21min after OMIA - Water Family

    7- Yes We Cam! (Jean Le Cam) at 20h18 UTC after 57d 06h 58min

    2s 06h 35min after the leader ; 03h 04min after Bureau Vallée 2

    Tuesday 5 January 2021

    8 - V And B-Mayenne (Maxime Sorel) at 00h16 UTC after 57d 10h 56min

    2d 10h 34min after the leader ; 03h 58min after Yes We Cam!

    9 - Prysmian Group (Giancarlo Pedote) at 01h12 UTC after 57d 11h 52min

    2d 11h 29min after the leader ; 55min after V and B - Mayenne

    10 - Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco (Boris Herrmann) at 02h27 UTC after 57d 13h 07min

    2d 12h 44min after the leader ; 01h 15min after Prysmian Group

    11 - MACSF (Isabelle Joschke) at 04h01 UTC after 57d 14h 41min

    2d 14h 18min after leader ; 01h 34min after Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco

    12 - Banque Populaire X (Clarisse Crémer) at 22h18 UTC after 58d 08h 58min

    3d 08h 36min after the leader ; 18h 17min after MACSF

    Wednesday 6 January 2021

    13 - L'Occitane en Provence (Armel Tripon) at 08h01 UTC after 58d 18h 41min

    3d 18h 18min after the leader ; 09h 42min after Banque Populaire X



    Thomas Ruyant, in third place in his more westerly position, is the clear winner in terms of miles this morning as the skipper of LinkedOut is quicker while Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) have been struggling in lighter airs. But longtime leader Bestaven – who has been top of the rankings since Christmas Day – is on the verge of breaking into a new weather system to his NE which could give the ‘red rooster’ wings and allow him to escape the chasing group still more.

    The weather charts show Bestaven about 50-70 miles from the southerly rotation of the low which will send him on his way. About 200 miles from Bestaven, Charlie Dalin is still in gentle airs and took the chance in the calm conditions to climb to the top of Apivia's mast and repair a wind vane, a small win for the skipper of the yellow hulled IMOCA.

    And Thomas Ruyant had a smile on his face. "I'm a bit off piste but I'm pretty happy, it's not so bad." Confided the skipper from Dunkirk. Ruyant was making quick progress this morning, at nearly 18 knots, on port tack, so on the side of his good foil, but he is objective: "Even if I don't have much hope of catching up with Yannick. I can come back at Charlie. I'm trying to find a way and get closer to the first two."

    The Horn, deliverance!
    Clarisse Cremer passed Cape Horn last night at 2218hrs UTC. It is the first time for the 32 year old sailor who has only been in the IMOCA class since 2018 when she was selected to the Banque Popualaire team to be fast tracked to the Vendée Globe. The release at the Horn, moving into the Atlantic was a relief for Cremer who admitted yesterday that she was "fed up" with the erratic and wild conditions of the low pressure which she rode to the Horn. After more than a month in the big South it will be a relieved and happy Cremer on board Banque Populaire in 12th place this morning. Romain Attanasio, should pass the last cape tomorrow evening looks forward to his second rounding: "A calm sea changes everything. You sleep longer and easier, without anxiety. The Southern Ocean is hairy, we are happy to get out of it."

    Next to pass the Horn will be Armel Tripon on his black and yellow L’Occitaine this morning Wednesday. The skipper from Nantes is sailing a direct course and should pass the lighthouse quite close, ideal for a first time rounding as it is for Tripon.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2020-2021 Vendee Globe PD Coverage Central started by Photoboy View original post