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Thread: 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre

  1. #11
    Looks like Alex is back on track!

  2. #12
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Hugo Back Tracks




    Alex Thomson Racing Transat Jacques Vabre Update


    Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre made the decision to hove to at 15.00 UT this afternoon. They have some technical problems which need immediate attention. The skippers will spend the next few hours attempting to make the repairs at sea and then will evaluate the situation with the technical team.
    Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing says “It is important that we ensure the repairs are made before continuing across the Atlantic. The skippers are well and working hard to ensure a swift solution to the problem if possible.’



    Alex Thomson Racing will keep everyone updated on our website

    www.AlexThomsonracing.com

    http://tracking.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  3. #13
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    Different Directions



    Tracker


    The leading pair of Ultime multihulls, opening the 5400 miles Transat Jacques Vabre course from Le Havre to Itajaí, are fighting through light winds just a few miles off the West African coast between Western Sahara and Mauritania while the last of the Class 40s are contemplating another Biscay bashing still 220 miles NW of Cape Finisterre. In the IMOCA Class Britain’s Alex Thomson and Spanish co-skipper had been hove to since 1530hrs this afternoon trying to deal with an unspecified technical problem.

    Since 1530hrs HUGO BOSS (Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill) have been struggling with a technical problem which they are trying to solve. They have slowed their boat. The two skippers are in regular contact with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction and with their own Technical Team ashore.

    Stewart Hosford Managing Director of Alex Thomson Racing says “It is important that we ensure the repairs are made before continuing across the Atlantic. The skippers are well and working hard to ensure a swift solution to the problem if possible.’

    As the leaders of the IMOCA class passed the latitude of Cape Finisterre this afternoon, hopefully with the worst of the weather left behind in Biscay, the leaderboard has a very familiar look as the teams from the Pole Finisterre occupy the top four places. Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin on Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir lead PRB 4 by 12 miles with Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly up to third on the new Banque Populaire VIII as they reach again in WNWly winds The foil assisted Banque Populaire was quickest these afternoon by 1.5 to two knots 16 miles behind Queguiner. And so to date Banque Populaire is the only one of the latest ‘foil’ generation to have not reported any technical issues so far.

    A broad swathe of light airs caused by an elongated Azores high pressure ridge has forced Sodebo Ultim’ and Macif to the skirt the coast to avoid the no-go area which bars the most direct route. This Wednesday afternoon the race leaders, Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias on Sodebo Ultim’ were only three miles off the beach, gybing downwind in 10-12kts of SE’ly breeze. They are south of the latitude of Madeira, still making good speeds. In the lighter airs the newer, lighter Macif had caught back some miles on Sodebo Ultim’ but Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry were still over 34 miles astern and on the opposite gybe from the leaders. Both will almost certainly pass east of, or through the Canary Islands.

    Life may appear easier for the two leading giants. They have done their time scything through the depressions to their north, indeed largely outrunning the worst of the conditions, but the smaller Class 40s still have bad weather to come before they can escape Biscay. After the retirement of Team Concise yesterday with structural damage this morning it was their Frenc sparring partners Nico Troussel and Corentin Horeau who confirmed they have had to retire. Persistent problems with the autopilots on Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite had rendered the duo exhausted. A gashed lip for Horeau this morning only served to underline how beyond tired they were and with no possible fix the pair which had lead the race until yesterday had no choice but to tell Race Direction of their retirement.

    Class 40 has been pared back to a head to head match race at the front of the 12 boat fleet. 2011 winner Yannick Bestaven on Le Conservateur with Pierre Brasseur have Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on the 2015 Manuard design V & B five miles off their starboard hip but seeming to be significantly quicker on the mid afternoon position report.

    Speaking late last night Lionel Lemonchois told of the capsize of and subsequent helicopter rescue from the upturned Prince de Bretagne, the 80ft tri he was racing with Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain.

    “It is the sky falling on your head.” Double Route du Rhum winner Lemonchois said, “The helicopter arrived above us and then a guy lifted us off, one after the other, Bilou first and then me. In total, it lasted twenty minutes. It was very impressive to see it after its cable swung around above the boat swung in all directions, but soon we could see they do this kind of thing all the time because it was very slick and very professional. "

    They said:
    Vincent Riou, PRB skipper IMOCA: "Like every day, it's war. The boat is making 20kts and we have to be on it all the time. Last night we had a slightly quieter time, 20-25kts of wind and we made two tacks. And here, again we have the SW’ly win. It should drop again quickly but we are not at all comfortable at this speed. On board life is simple. We rest, we push, we rest. The thing that is getting us down is the wetness. We have been soaked since Sunday. We are upwind and we should have better conditions than those who are behind us. It will not be so windy tonight with a small calmer zone to pass through. In fact I think there will be wind all the time. We work at it all the time, pushing to and finding the limits, staying reasonable. We make some manoeuvres, course changes. The worst is behind us now. We have two days on starboard, some sail changes to manage. I start looking to the Azores, which side to pass – windward or leeward – what is clear is that we will pass close to the islands. It is going well on PRB, for the moment, we’ll keep it up!”

    Charlie Dalin, co-skipper of Queguiner - Leukemia Hope (IMOCA): "To move around the boat on deck you are soaked. There was a lot of wind, between 30 and 40 knots. We are very happy with our position, everything is fine on board. We sleep well since the start of the race even if sometimes a little one gets "airtime" in the bunks, like this morning banging my forehead with a cross sea. To sleep in such conditions is not simple. We still have a few hours of strong wind with gusts which hit regularly. We are at over 20 knots, but it will ease in the next 3 to 4 hours. Then we will enter a zone of light winds before it strengthens with another strong depression with 40 knots, maybe more. All is well on board Queguiner, we were able to repair all the problems, the boat is 100%. "

    Tanguy de Lamotte, skipper Initiatives Heart (IMOCA): "It is going well. Let’s say it's pretty invigorating sailing conditions. You are jumping waves when you are over 20kts. We have 2-3 small minor problems, little damages on the boat, like a damaged hydro (generator) and one reef. But we are happy to be where we are. The wind is set to drop in the day. It was a nice introduction to the race, well tough conditions. Now now we're going South. It’s good for morale. I eat better now. I struggled to eat but I feel better. We are not so far from the three big guns. We are happy with our position. We are in good shape. Sam is pushing the boat, we are making over 20kt averages. There is a lot of waves and the boat is submerged every 15 seconds. The sea is white and above it bobs our white boat.”

    Renato Auraujo, co-skipper of Zetra BRA (Class40)
    "We are completely wet. There are really a lot of water on the boat. Last night was not so quiet, like the first, the wind blew hard. We already expected for this condition on the Bay of Biscay. The last hours have been very hard for us, but the boat is still all good. In theory, the worst has already happened! "
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #14
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    Hugo Boss Update

    **Update on HUGO BOSS**
    After several hours at sea Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill onboard HUGO BOSS made the difficult decision to return ashore. After attempting to address the issue onboard it has not been possible to ensure a sufficient repair whilst at sea to withstand an Atlantic crossing. Alex and Guillermo have made a suitable repair to get to the nearest port where they can analyse the situation. The current sea state and weather forecast have not aided the situation onboard.

    The technical team are currently enroute to Vigo, Spain, where the boat will be repaired and hope to be back racing shortly.

    Technical Director Ross Daniel explains; 'It is disappointing that the current sea state and approaching weather system have forced us to return to land to make the repair. But it is early days in our training programme as we understand the new boat and work towards the start of the Vendee Globe 2016. We will do everything we can to try and return to the Transat Jacques Vabre as soon as possible.'
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  5. #15
    That Hugo Boss program can't buy a break.

  6. #16
    Snake bit. Alex needs an intervention with an exorcist or a shaman.

  7. #17
    Somehow, Hugo Boss is still getting more than their share of publicity!

  8. #18
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    From The Fleet 10/29 Updates



    Tracker


    While the leading duo of Ultimes, Sodebo Ultim and Macif, pass between the Canary Islands and the Moroccan coast in light winds last night and this morning, there was a welcome pause for the remainder of the fleet last night as they encountered a small light winds bubble. But a new depression over the Azores is going to make life tough for the next 24 hours.

    Because the Azores high is displaced and squeezed the two leaders face the prospect of light winds and having to stick with the African coast where the best corridor of stronger winds are. There is even a passage through the Doldrums which is very east.

    The contrast is marked for the rest of the fleet. After two depressions in three days they face another, a potent cocktail at the Azores mixing a cold mass of air from Labrador and hot Caribbean air to form a malicious low which will sweep the islands before spinning up towards Ireland.

    The co-skipper pairs got a break last night, winds dropped to five knots which allowed some respite and perhaps the chance to rapidly tackle any repairs or try and create some order on board. But before dawn this morning this next low looked set to bring winds of over 30kts. At the latitude of the Azores the leaders are likely to pass to the East of the islands rather than through. From here it will be 400 hard miles to the latitude of Madeira before getting to more manageable conditions.






    The top four IMOCAs are now lead by PRB, Vincent Riou and Seb Col overhauling Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir, Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin, during the night to now be 3.5 miles ahead. They have Banque Populaire VIII 12 miles behind them and SMA, Paul Meilhat and Michel Desjoyeaux 17 miles behind Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly. 150 miles further north the back markers will have half day more suffering the brunt of the depression.

    And for Class 40 the break is perhaps more welcomed. They face even longer in these testing conditions before they can break south. The leading duo are less than a mile apart, tracking west in upwind conditions. Yannick Bestaven and Pierre Brasseur on Le Conservateur still have V & B nicely in their pocket, leading directly in front of their rivals whilst this top two have a lead of over 30 miles. Of the internationals Brazilian duo Eduardo Penido and Eduardo Araujo lie seventh on their first big Class 40 race with Pip Hare and Philippa Hutton-Squire in ninth.

    They said, 5am calls:

    Jean Luc Nélias, co-skipper of Sobébo Ultim '(Ultime) “We pass between Fuerteventura and Tarfaya (Morocco). Yesterday we saw a fisherman without AIS, we need to take great care. We stick to the Moroccan coast but finally gybe away. This is my fifth passage of the Doldrums and it's different every time but it is always painful. We have had lots of maneuvering from the beginning, this is the first night it’s been quieter.”

    Yann Elies, skipper Quequiner - Leukemia Espoir (IMOCA): “"We are at 20 knots and getting back into building seas and wind. Us and the boat are already quite used to this. It is hoped that this depression is not going to be too bad. When looking at the files it can potentially be complicated. With PRB, we are going well even if SMA and Banque Populaire are not far away. We must push hard now, at some point it will be war. "

    Pierre Brasseur, co-skipper of Le Conservatoire (CLASS40): “It was a quieter we could fix things. A new depression will return in the evening, this is the way out. It will be active and spread quickly. Behind the front, high pressure will relocate and the trade winds will build. We broke a few things but we managed to keep the boat at almost 100%. Conditions allow us to rest regularly, but we can not sleep, it bangs and bounces too much”


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





    Armel Le Cléac'h, Banque Populaire skipper VIII (IMOCA): " The conditions were difficult at first. Now it is a little bit better. We will soon have sustained, settled wind and be able to get south. There is a small area to pass in which it is quite windy. We will get through this transition period with bigger seas and lots of manoeuvres. But we are much more into regatta mode, the classic rhytym of the race. We are keeping a close eye on everything with this new Banque Populaire. The start was hard, the sea conditions have been complicated. Everything is not just perfect but it works. And some time soon we will be able to remove the foul weather gear and the boots. And the boat? Well it is still an IMOCA, it is wet and noisy, it is no drier than the old boat from that perspective. Each manouvre or change we are on the deck. We struggled a bit when conditions were hard, but we have a good atmosphere now. We put our shoulders to the wheel together for each manouevre. We enjoy it together. We know we will share some better days."

    Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper co-SMA (IMOCA): "Right now we are moving well. The the wind is very variable, from 30 to 14 knots and right now it is 20 knots. I have my breakfast and and I hope my jam will stay on my bread! These are conditions now are much more fun than yesterday. It was really shaking and bashing. This morning it is going well, we should stay ahead of the strong wind that is getting up. If we can time it well and push it we should be OK. We're only thirty miles from the leading boats. The horizon clears. The route opens and it is looking better. There are things thrown around and broken. The satellite phone handset was an early casualty. Everything works fine. It's a bit wet from time to time. But mostly we are quite well protected. We had strong winds but it was reaching and so pretty good. Paul seems to enjoy it all. So far we never had these kind of conditions on board SMA, and so it is a good baptism of fire. We have many feelings, working on settings and speed. We look forwards and anticpate the changes when we can, but all is well. We are happy, we eat, we sleep, we sail!!

    Kito de Pavant, skipper Bastide-Otio (IMOCA): "It's a bugger. We have big communication problems from the start and it is not fun. It is difficult, we had the big seas for three days, a lot of manoeuvres, we do not know where we are going, we can not share information with our partners, it's super frustrating. From the beginning it was the Fleet (broadband) that would not work. That is a handicap for the race. We have no information, I think the competitors are in the West, I do not know what to do. "

    Pascal Bidégorry, co-skipper of Macif (Ultime) "It is 15 knots, downwind, the wind got up after a quiet night now builds between slightly between 25 and 30 knots. We went very near the Canaries at dawn and it was beautiful. With a moonrise last night it was pretty special. We got close, not for sightseeing but to get some more wind than Sodebo, who have been a little better off than us. We will look for the wind, a little to the west but we will find out in due course. The boat is fine, no problem, we had small electronic worries after Cape Finisterre but no big problems on the boat. It works well on the side where there is the foil, so on port tack. We have not done much on port since we left. The boat is young, a good job has been done. It it is quite satisfactory. The pace is good, it's going pretty well. Macif is a big boat, no denying it, the boat is demanding. The conditions are nice, the sea is good, 25-30 knots downwind. I am in my little cabin, I look out the windows and can see François, he needs to put on some suncream! Really it's good. We have friends behind who are suffering....."
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  9. #19
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    Mast Track Issues Force O' Canada To Reconsider




    UPDATE: O Canada pauses racing in Transat Jacques Vabre due to damage.

    Message 2 from Skipper Eric Holden 1500 UTC:

    On deck again after a long day up the rig. We have lost a section of our track at the 2nd reef point. We have now got sails up again but only can hoist the main up to 3rd reef. Wind has picked up again so working up the mast has had to stop.

    Of course the wind is on the nose, close hauled on starboard tack at the moment can only do 120 heading. We have not retired yet and we are assessing if a technical stop will be required to complete repairs. We will have discussions with our team and decide what is the best course of action for us.

    Message 1 from Skipper Eric Holden:

    We have suffered damage to the mast track where part of the mast track has broken off the mast near the second reef point. I have ascended the mast to detach the headboard as the headboard car is jammed where the track is broken, so we have been able to lower the mainsail.

    We are in calm winds but the sea state is very uncomfortable for working aloft. We are assessing the situation and what our options are. Daylight in a couple hours. Will keep you posted.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  10. #20
    And the hits keep coming!

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