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Thread: 2012 Vendee Globe

  1. #1

    2012 Vendee Globe

    News in English is limited for this Franco dominated event. Let's get this party started with a few nice videos:

    Team Plastique


    How the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered aerial image bank was shot.

    The leadup to the the start!
    Last edited by PD Staff; 11-10-2012 at 09:12 AM. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  2. #2
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Bruce Schwab Live @ Start!

    I arrived on the channel (Olonna side) at 0630 to meet my friends Sandrine & Laurence, the crowd is already huge! They saved me a spot and will try to keep it if I go to the pontoon (where it is impossible to get an access pass unless you are on a boat crew, or have done the race before...heh heh). But that will be rather impossible. It is crazy how many people are here.

    Where will they all go to the toilet? I see no porta-johns anywhere?

    The first boat leaves the harbor at 0930, one at a time they will be cheered by this rabid masses...I remember what it was like heading out the channel on OceanPlanet eight years ago!

    There was just a lot of cheering for a coast guard boat heading out...

    The people here are stunned that I'm a former Vendee finisher and that I'm here, on the channel. One asked "why are you not on the pontoon?!" When I explained that my friends were here on the channel he was impressed..."ah, you are a good man!"

    It is now 0720, the sky is getting light. We are across the channel from a great castle that is both a landmark and a lighthouse. I think it's called the Arundel Tower.

    At noon I need to get to the other side of the harbor/channel as I'll be doing English commentary on the France TV/online network "France 24". Probably more people will be watching the start of this race than watch the Super Bowl. Seriously, think about that...

    Out for now, more later...

    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  3. #3
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    The 20 boats are towed out of the Sable d'Olonne harbor, live on Youtube, saturday morning before the start of the Vendée Globe 2012 2013.
    The 20 competitors will take the start at 13h02 European time.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  4. #4

    Next Stop, Les Sables!

    Nineteen of the 20 skippers entered for the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe solo race around the world took the start line of the 24,048 miles, three months circumnavigation race at 1302hrs local time off Les Sables d’Olonne, France today.

    all photos © Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

    A small collision with his support team’s rigid inflatable boat required Bertrand de Broc to return to port even before the start to make a repair to a small puncture in the hull of his IMOCA Open 60 Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets.

    Starting in 12-14kts of westerly wind under grey skies with rain threatening there was no quarter given on the start line. With the prospect of a direct, straight line 300 miles course to Finisterre and no real tactical options every early metre gained might be critical. Pushing hard to the line proved to be an expensive early mistake for five skippers who jumped the start gun and had to return and start again. Along with Poland’s Zbigniew Gutkowski on Energa were four French favourites PRB (Vincent Riou), Macif (François Gabart) Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant) and Armel le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), all had to turn back and recross the line, the first time that so many boats have been over the start line in a Vendée Globe start.

    In fact it was Marc Guillemot on Safran, the peoples’ hero of the last 2008-9 race, who opened the course, forging ahead early in the close reaching conditions. Spain’s Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso on Acciona 100% Eco Powered, and the youngest skipper in the race 27 year old Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée and Tanguy de Lamotte on Initatives Couer all had their moments of early glory, forming the vanguard of this Vendée Globe fleet as they headed out for the open ocean, progressively shaking off the huge spectator fleet of hundreds of craft of all shapes and sizes.

    Perhaps ominously it appeared to be Cheminées Poujoulat, the very powerful new Juan Kouyoumdjian design of Bernard Stamm which steadily climbed through to the front of the fleet, up alongside Safran around one hour after the start gun. British skippers Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss and Mike Golding on Gamesa made safe, solid openings.

    Tears in the rain
    When the time comes to consider releasing the dock lines, emotions around the Port Olona pontoons are hard to suppress, even for the hardened skippers who are have been through this farewells process many times before. Leaving his four months old baby son, also named Javier, was visibly a wrench for Spanish skipper Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso. Samantha Davies was pleased to finally find sanctuary from the intensity of the media and public interest when she skipped lightly aboard Saveol. British skipper Alex Thomson had his Hugo Boss sunglasses on throughout the dock out despite the overcast conditions, hiding his feelings for the final departure.

    If these are the challenging personal moments made public, minutes later there is the massive euphoria of the legendary passage down the channel where hundreds of thousands line the walls to bid adieu to the skippers. Among the heartfelt messages painted on bedsheets held up by the crowd that advertise the public spirit of the Vendée Globe this time: ‘You Make Us Dream’ and ‘Whose turn this time?’

    Compared with previous races the Vendée Globe skippers this time are looking at a relatively straightforward first 24-36 hours. A fast course to Finisterre will test reaching speed primarily, but with the prospect of some brisk downwind sailing on the Portuguese coast with many manoeuvres, quite a lot of changing sail sizes and intense trimming for speed, skippers will have to carefully manage their own sleep and energy regime as they settle into race mode. By Wednesday there is the prospect of a low pressure system bringing some upwind conditions.

    A fast passage to the equator appears to be possible, an essential component of any challenge to break the race course record of 84 days 03 hours 09 minutes set in 2009 by Michel Desjoyeaux.


    Bertrand de Broc, FRA, Votre Nom Autor du Monde avec EDM Projets: “ I asked a RIB to help us, so maybe it’s my fault in a way. We asked that RIB to help us turn, the bow, but it caught a wave and then bang! That was 25 minutes before the start. I think it will only take a few hours to fix and if we can, we’ll go back at sea with tonight's tide (editor’s note: 3AM) or in 24 hours. We’ll go as soon as everything has dried out. It’s not that bad, but it will cost us a day… I received a text message from Marc Guillemot, saying: ‘‘One day out of 90 is no big deal. Stay positive!”. I thought that was really nice of him.”

    Jean-Piere Dick, FRA, Virbac-Paprec 3: “ You want to think about yourself and to protect yourself throughout the race because you really want to come back and see all these faces again. I’m going to do my best to avoid dangerous situations. But on the other hand, I’ll do my best to do really well in this race. It’s an amazing race and I’m so proud to represent my two sponsors, who are also my friends. I don’t feel pressure to reach particular goals.I’m just happy to be here today. It's all good!

    Zbigniew Gutkowski POL, Energia: “ I am a little stressed, but I slept all night. The weather is looking good for everyone, reaching to Cape Finisterre, for me too. For the first 24 hours I just want to be in the fleet. I am not sure if I will have the speed to do that, but I have to check everything in the first hours, just trying to not lose contact with the leaders and after that see what it is going to be like but mostly I just want to be in one piece on the finish line. I did not really have breakfast, just this can of Red Bull at the moment.”

    Jérémie Beyou FRA, Maitre Coq: “ I am not going to cry, but it is hard when you have so many friends and family here, sponsors. It is very difficult. I guess the little front will be to the south of us then it might be a bit easier. I want to just to go fast and to make sure we get the best updated forecast for the first night.”

    Tanguy de Lamotte, FRA, Initatives Couer: “ I am pretty emotional. It is intense. Today is a big day. I am more confident about the weather and going sailing, that is what I know how to do. But I think there are good conditions for the start, except maybe for the rain, but otherwise it is good. I hope everyone enjoys it. I never felt I would always get here one day, that was all quite quick and I have enjoyed every minute of the project so far since the beginning in January 2012. And now I do what I want to do.

    Javier Sanso, ESP, Acciona 100% Eco Powered: “I just want to get going and to have the stress of racing, not having the stress of before the race. The weather is the same for everybody and it could be a lot worse so I am not complaining. This is a race I have wanted to do since I was a kid, so this is a dream come true.”

    Sam Davies, GBR, Saveol: “I am looking forwards to it, to finally get going. The weather looks good and so we should get a good crossing of Biscay. It is an emotional day but I am so really proud of the whole team and just so pleased to be here.”

    Alex Thomson, GBR, Hugo Boss: “ It is always a bit tense when you are leaving. The weather is very simple the wind might be a little left to start but I think most will go straight for the corner, I will just try and do what most other people are doing. It will be a fetch and just get broader as we go. When we get to Finisterre there is a very slim option to go west, but very slim. Then we go from a reach to a run down the coast, a gybe out across a ridge quickly getting into some southerly wind. It could be quite quick to the equator. Simple is good. I think it will be really tough for us, the number of sail changes we are looking and around Finisterre we go inside the traffic separation zone then we have the ships going up and down, it will be very hard work in terms of sleep-wise for all the skippers, so managing that and no getting over-tired. I will just be trying to stay safe and do everything well. I think that in this case if you push too hard in the first day or so you are just going to go slower. So, managing sleep will be important.
    I slept well last night and then you wake up this morning and there are people everywhere, it is amazing.”

    Mike Golding, GBR, Gamesa: "It looks like pretty good conditions, a little breezy now with threatening skies, but the forecast looks fairly reasonable for the first 24 hours. There is a little depression that comes to us mid week and it looks quite fruity, which might be a bit of a sorting hat for the fleet, but otherwise we should have a good get away. There's a great atmosphere here and I'm now just focusing on the off and getting out of here.
    It is tough, tough for the family and the whole build up is so intense. We have been here for three weeks, the visitors have been coming here in their hundreds of thousands, it's an amazing build up and it is hard not to get caught up in that. The reality is that all the teams now have to turn our attention to the race course, which happens as soon as we are out of the channel. There is always a bit of nerves at the start line, we are very conscious that we are all sailing solo, in a restricted area, we don't want any catastrophes But after a couple of hours, once you are over the start line, you start settling down. You have your first drink, first food and you get your head round the mission ahead.
    I got good sleep last night, in my mode. Waking every 20-30 minutes, walking around the room and back to bed. I had a simple breakfast - Cornflakes and fruit, that's it. Just nice light breakfast, you don't want anything too much to start the Vendée. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  5. #5
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Safran Returns With Broken Keel

    image © Christophe Favreau

    Marc Guillemot has been forced to retire from the Vendee Globe after keel breaks off during first evening of the race.

    At 1745 hrs CET (1645 hrs GMT) on Saturday 10th November, Marc Guillemot called his shore team to inform them that he had hit something and that there had been a loud noise, after which the boat suddenly heeled over. After making the boat safe, the skipper of Safran decided to head back to Les Sables d’Olonne in order to inspect the damage.

    Marc Guillemot arrived in the port of Les Sables this morning (Sunday) at 0300hrs local time. His shore team immediately examined the boat and saw that the keel had broken off under the waterline.

    As they do not have a spare keel, Safran is unable to set off again in the race.

    On Monday morning, 13th November, the monohull will be towed to La Trinité-sur-Mer, where she will be taken out of the water.

    Metallurgical tests will be carried out on the keel head in order to determine the causes of the damage.

    Here are the highlights of day 2 of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, Sunday, November 11,
    with Marc Guillemot withdrawing, Bertrand de Broc's second start and the joy of today's leader, François Gabart.

    The Safran group has been alongside Marc Guillemot for 7 years and fully supports him at this difficult time.

    A press briefing with Marc Guillemot is due to take place at the esapce Galilée in front of the Vendée Globe media centre in Les Sables d’Olonne at 1100hrs (local time) on Sunday 11th November.

    2012-2013 Vendee Globe Tracking


    François Gabart a steady leader of the Vendée Globe after fast crossing of Biscay

    Marc Guillemot forced out by broken keel after less than six hours racing

    Briton Alex Thomson up to fifth, building speed

    Rather than the strong gales which often prevail on the Bay of Biscay it was irregular, unsettled winds and big squalls which set a high work rate for the solo skippers through their first night of the Vendée Globe solo race around the world.

    Sailing a direct SWly course from Les Sables d’Olonne to pass Cape Finisterre, the first 24 hours of racing have been a straight boatspeed test, dealing with big, at times confused seas and using the variations in both wind strength and direction to best effect. But the rewards for those at the front of the fleet will be greatest as they will reach the fast downwind conditions of the Portuguese tradewinds soonest.

    As the leaders passed the infamous Cape Finisterre late this afternoon it remains Francois Gabart on Macif who has already built a useful margin, sailing consistently quicker than his nearest rivals. During the late evening hours of Saturday, Gabart and Armel le Cléac’h, sailing sister-ship Banque Populaire, were consistently 1 to 1.5 knots faster.

    Briton Sam Davies is just one of the skippers who found the variable breezes tough, with big squalls bringing very heavy rain. She reported that she had seen everything from seven to more than 40 knots of wind during the night.

    Steadily the gaps have opened in the 19 boat fleet as reality bites. As it stands now it is a clutch of the newest boats, driven by a posse of skippers who have trained hardest as a group which are setting the pace. Gabart’s lead on the late afternoon, 1500hrs UTC rankings, was at 11 miles ahead of Vincent Riou on PRB who had 1.1 miles in hand over third placed Le Cléac’h.

    The leading trio have established a cushion of 12 miles to Switzerland’s Bernard Stamm on Cheminées Poujoulat. Briton Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss is starting to show his customary pace, polled fastest of the fleet this afternoon along with Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac-Paprec 3. Thomson had risen to fifth place this afternoon and had less than one mile to catch Stamm. He will be quietly pleased to have passed the point where he had to turn back in the 2008-9 race when he suffered hull damage. This trio now compose a second group, at around 24-25 miles behind the leaders.

    Another 12 miles back Jean Le Cam in seventh heads a third pack of boats with six miles separating his SynerCiel from Mike Golding in Gamesa in tenth.

    Guillemot retires
    The Vendée Globe habitually seems compelled to deal the toughest blows to some of the nicest, most popular and deserving skippers.

    After enduring one of the most compelling races of the last edition – standing by the injured Yann Eliès, repeatedly climbing his mast to try and fix a damaged mast track which meant he sailed much of the course with two reefs in his mainsail and then sailing the last 1000 miles to finish in third place into Les Sables d’Olonne with no keel - after it snapped off - Marc Guillemot might have considered he had earned the right to better luck this time.

    But the Safran skipper became the first to be forced out of this Vendée Globe when his titanium fin keel snapped off less than six hours into this race. Inspection back in the start port this morning revealed that just 30cms of the keel stub remained. Guillemot reported hearing two bangs in quick succession before his IMOCA Open 60 heeled alarmingly.

    “I don’t know if we hit something or not. We are trying to know what happened. We will tell you what we discover. We won’t hide anything.” Guillemot told a press conference in Les Sables d’Olonne this morning.

    “The keel had done between 23,000 and 25,000 miles. We trained with it before the last Transat Jacques Vabre in 2011, we did the B2B, went around the British Isles, and then four or five thousand miles in conditions which were not always easy. So, given that all it had been through, I left with confidence and no competitor would consider leaving without a lot of confidence in your keel.”

    Since starting his race at around 0300hrs local time this morning Bertrand De Broc has been facing a more complex weather picture than had been gifted to the other 18 Vendée Globe soloists. The French skipper had to about-turn and go back to port before he had even started the race in order to make an express repair on a small puncture hole in the hull of his Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets.

    11/11 - 11:11 P.M.

    1 - François Gabart
    [ Macif ]
    FRA, 23652 nms to finish

    2 - Vincent Riou
    [PRB ]
    FRA, + 11 miles to leader

    3 - Armel Le Cléac’h
    [Banque Populaire ]
    FRA, +12.6 miles to leader

    4 - Berrnard Stamm
    [Cheminées Poujoulat ]
    SUI, +24 miles to leader

    5 - Alex Thomson
    [Hugo Boss]
    GBR, +24.2 miles to leader

    THEY SAID...

    I'm a little disappointed not to be further up [the fleet], I didn't do anything wrong, so it is difficult to understand why there is such a split in the fleet, but clearly it is a drag race, so not encouraging when you are losing a drag race like that, but hopefully just an anomaly, but those miles come and go a bit.
We are going to get a shoot down the coast [of Portugal] and the big decision the fleet will have to make is when to strike to the west. There is a low pressure coming in that will give us quite strong head winds which we will have to go through before we get into a proper progression in the trade winds. It's a little more complicated than we would like to get straight on the road south. It is going to provide some opportunities.
It is very squally right now. I am full main and solent at the moment and playing with the ballast, really. When we are at the corner we can look at J3, it's little bit too squally to make that choice now. I am just trying to keep the boat in one piece and keep on going.

    Mike Golding, GBR, Gamesa

    I still don’t know at this time if I hit something or not. If it was not a collision it might be a case of metal fatigue, a design thing or calculation thing it is hard to know. But it is certain that being 50 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne it was relatively safe as the fleet was still quite tightly bunched. It is better than being in 35kts of wind in the south at the Kerguelens for example. But I am disappointed for our sponsor and for the team also. At the moment I am in the phase of trying to find out and understand what happened Nothing will be hidden. Even if it hurts us. And we will communicate what has happened. The keel had done between 23,000 and 25,00 miles. We trained with it before the last Transat Jacques Vabre in 2011, we did the B2B, went around the British Isles, and then four or five thousand miles in conditions which were not always easy. So, given that all it had been through, I left with confidence and no competitor would consider leaving without a lot of confidence in your keel.

    Marc Guillemot, FRA, Safran

    I'm fine, in tough condition in 10-25 knots of wind. I saw Marc in the canal (as they crossed )The other guys are already far away and so I'm way behind. The conditions won't help me catch up with them. My team worked hard to fix my hull. Twelve hours behind is hard, and it could be 24 hours soon. But the repairs are perfect.

    Bertrand De Broc, FRA, Votre Nom Autour Du Monde avec EDM Projets
    Last edited by Photoboy; 11-11-2012 at 01:59 PM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  6. #6
    Unbeleivable that Guillemot could break so soon. I this a precurser to what the other Imoca's have in store?

  7. #7
    20 boats depart, 10 boats finish, you read it here 1st.

  8. #8

    Groupe Bel Smashed By Trawler

    “I am cursed. The Vendée Globe is not for me. ” That was the conclusion of the bitterly disappointed Kito de Pavant this Monday afternoon, despairing at the harsh reality that his challenge to complete the Vendée Globe is, again, very prematurely over.

    Photo © © Kito de Pavant / Groupe Bel

    For the second successive edition of the race this charismatic, twinkle eyed skipper from Port Camargue in the Mediterranean is having to withdraw.

    His Groupe Bel suffered serious damage when he was hit by a fishing trawler whilst racing in 11th place, around 45 miles off the Portuguese coast about 75 miles NW of Cascais at around 1000hrs CET this morning.

    De Pavant described it as a ‘stupid accident’ grabbing some minutes of sleep when he was awoken by a bang. With damage to Groupe Bel’s outrigger – the deck spreader which supports the rig – losing his bowsprit and sustaining a hole in the hull and deck he announced his retirement this afternoon.

    The Groupe Bel skipper’s second attempt at the Vendée Globe effectively ended a little more than 68 hours after the start, a cruel reprise after he lost his mast within 24 hours of the start of the 2008-9 race.

    He is unhurt and was making to Cascais where he was expected to arrive this Tuesday evening.

    “ All of that energy spent over months and years to prepare, all this is terrible. There is no bowsprit, there is a hole in the front of the hull but the boat itself is safe.To leave the Vendée Globe again, after just two days of racing, is not even possible, not even possible.” De Pavant told his team this afternoon.

    A snapshot of life’s extremes
    This Monday, two full days into the race, has been nothing more than a snapshot of life through the fleet. The huge disappointment of De Pavant, the second skipper of 20 starters to abandon, is contrasted sharply with the simple joie de vie of both Sam Davies and Tanguy de Lamotte aboard their respective IMOCA Open 60’s in 15th and 16th places. (Neither had heard the news of De Pavant)

    Davies was positively singing in her daily video report from Savéol and Lamotte’s pleasure at being well settled on his evergreen Initiatives Couer into his dream race which he had previously worked as shore support crew for Ellen MacArthur and Nick Moloney.

    While the relative distances between the groups are opening still more through the fleet, so too the private duels and races within the races are starting to take shape.

    At the top of the standings since Saturday night François Gabart has extended again with his VPLP Verdier Macif with his regular ‘running mate’ Armel Le Cléac’h now up to second on the near identical sistership Banque Populaire. The closely matched duo raced cheek by jowl all the way across the Atlantic in last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre with Le Cléac’h finishing less than two hours ahead after 16 days of racing.

    Gabart leads by 13 miles this afternoon, gaining nine miles over the course of today. The three leading boats, Macif, Banque Populaire and PRB were separated laterally by about 52 miles as they slanted south west.

    Into the pack Arnaud Boissières on eleventh placed Akena Vérandas was happy to be duelling with Louis Burton on Bureau Valley. On similar Owen –Clark designs Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso was less than a mile behind Mike Golding, though the British skipper had passed Jean Le Cam to gain eighth place this afternoon. And speaking to the radio vacs this afternoon Polish skipper Zbigniew Gutkowski confirmed tha,t even though his Energa was in light winds and well to the back of the fleet, he was taking on De Lamotte who was just a handful of miles ahead in terms of distance to the finish.

    With a low pressure system building to the NW of the fleet the options to get west and use it and to avoid a roadblock of light, unsettled winds between the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are being taken through the middle of the fleet. This first strategic choice of the race so far may reshape upper middle order.

    François Gabart, FRA, Macif: I am very happy with the beginning of the race, even though the start isn’t the most important bit. There has been quite a lot of wind and waves, but it should get calmer later today. I am not too tired. I had some good sleep, it was so dark so it wasn’t really worth staying at the helm, the autopilot was on. And so I feel well rested.I’ll stay in this north northwest wind for a few hours and then I’ll see what to do. I was expecting more traffic, there were still a lot of cargo ships at Cape Finisterre.I really do enjoy being the leader, I have good feelings on MACIF.I am currently at 22 knots, but that is irregular, dropping back to 15kts at times.

    Zbigniew Gutkowski, POL, Energa: “Right now we have light winds. There are two different sets of GRIB files but they both tell me I have to go west. It is not possible for me to go south like the others. I have to go west and find the low pressure. I’ll get past the centre of the low pressure and then be able to go directly south. There is no chance for me to go directly with the fleet. Right now I have had good sleep and have been eating well. I got two hours because it is really light conditions. And the wind direction is stable. And so it is good for me and it has given the boat a rest and I have been able to check over everything. For me the boat is quite new, so I have to learn a little bit more and don’t want to make a maximum risk going at the same speed as the others. I just want to keep going and be looking to the future. Right now the winds are light but I find I go better when there is more wind.”

    Javier Sanso, ESP, Acciona 100% Eco Powered: “Right now we are getting south at a good pace. The weather is looking a little bit tricky over the next 24 hours, I am in the middle with some good boats and so I am happy so far. I started pretty well and then I took the wrong decision to go a little bit south. But now I am here with everybody and so it is good. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  9. #9
    That's 3 in 3 days! At least the 1st one was minor.

    Are they all packing bananas?

  10. #10

    Day 4 MACIF Dives South

    Alex Thomson, GBR, Hugo Boss: “It is always a shock to go from Les Sables d’Olonne right into the Vendée Globe the first 24 hours are very hard, pretty stressful and you don’t get much sleep. But I feel like I am good shape.

    I did no think about it much but when you see what happened to Kito it is very, very hard on Kito and of course I was in a similar situation. And actually I was alongside Safran and looking directly at the boat when the keel fell off. And I have to say for Marco if he had not have eased the sheets so quickly the boat would have gone over.

    I was only about half a mile away. And I was looking directly when I saw the boat heel violently and thought there was a big gust coming. And when it stayed over I thought oh shit maybe his keel hydraulics have gone, you don’t really think of the possibility of the keel falling off.

    The agenda today is to try and get through the high pressure. It is very light now we have not had more than four or five knots and just trying to keep the boat as far west as possible and hopefully get a couple of jobs done as possible.

    I managed to blow a lid off the ballast tank, the lid broke and so I took the remains of one that is left and stuck a new one on it. It must have filled too fast and blown the lid off, it is just a little plastic inspection hatch so it took me about half an hour.

    I feel OK. Once the new boats do get going it is very difficult to keep pace with them. I think it will be interesting to see what happens in this situation. The routing has been showing that we should go west and cross the ridge and then go into the low pressure, cross the centre through the front and then head south. I have run routes for all the boats that are to the north of me, and it kind of looks like it is all going to come out fairly equal or similar. The only difference is that the boats that are trying to cross the ridge now, that is PRB, Banque Populaire, myself and Maitre Coq are going to end up further west than the boats which are south. I considered the southerly route and Macif are doing it, it looks a bit more risky, the ridge can be a little more wider. But if I was Vincent on PRB I’d be fairly happy where I am now.”

    I am very sorry that my night message is late!

    For very good reasons of course!

    I have been sleeping all night - a block of about six 40 minute sleeps.

    I was very disappointed to sleep and miss such a beautiful night - lovely downwind sailing under a starry sky. As the night began, I had Jupiter shining into the boat through the cockpit hatch and it was amazing. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end and as the wind began to drop I shook out the reef in the main - only to discover that my halyard jammer no longer holds the load, and coupled with that the end of the jammer connecting the control lines to open and close the jammer had broken off. Very disappointing to say the least!

    So, a temporary fix to be able to block the halyard with one reef for the night with a roving jammer and I had to start the plans to fix the problem.... not easy as the jammer is inside the mast (at the bottom - phew!) and to change its "jaws" I will have to drop the main completely. Luckily I have a "weather window" in wich I can attempt the repair as I am sailing through the small ridge of high pressure before the thundery low that is heading my way!

    So that is why I got so much sleep last night to prepare for a day of work.... which will also include several sail changes as I pass these weather systems. I will let you know how I go tomorrow! In the meantime here are a couple of photos of the lovely sunset last night and a nice ship off Portugal!

    Sam x ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

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