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Thread: 2020-2021 Vendee Globe PD Coverage Central

  1. #21
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    Fast, But No Record!




    By crossing the demarcation line between the two hemispheres this Wednesday November 18 at 2:19 p.m., Alex Thomson is far from improving the reference time: the skipper of HUGO BOSS thus took 9 days 23 hours 59 minutes to reach the equator at the start des Sables d'Olonne. His pursuers are now more than one hundred miles (except for Thomas Rettant and Charlie Dalin), or even more than 1,000 miles from the twentieth ranked solo!

    There are straight lines, broken lines… and imaginary lines. The one which “separates” the Northern hemisphere from the Southern hemisphere is indeed a virtual “barrier” which surrounds the Earth (inclined 23 ° 26) and which measures 40,075 kilometers, or 21,638 miles, the initial distance retained for the Vendée Globe. This parallel is therefore the longest of all the Earth and marks the origin of its “colleagues”, from 0 ° at the equator to 90 ° at the pole (North or South).




    A very average crossing time

    Passing from one hemisphere to another on Wednesday 18 November, Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS) will have taken 9 days 23 hours 59 minutes since the start from Les Sables d'Olonne on Sunday 8 November at 2:20 p.m. And if this is not the best time since the creation of the round the world solo and nonstop, it is still a remarkable score given the three depressions (including a tropical one!) That the competitors had to face. before touching the Cape Verdean trade winds ...

    Let us recall all the same that the leaders of the sixth day of racing of this edition were more than 500 miles behind Armel Le Cléac'h's time in 2016: when Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson were still battling at the end of Theta, off the Canary Islands, the winner of the previous edition was already in the heart of the Cape Verde archipelago! This shows if the trade winds acceleration was substantial this year with the foilers as soon as the breezes in the eastern sector set in ...

    Crossing the equator

    1989: 5d 12h (Titouan Lamazou- Écureuil d'Aquitaine II )

    1992: 5d 9pm (Alain Gautier- Superior Baggage )

    1996 11j 08h (Christophe Auguin- Géodis )

    2000: 14d 03h 49 '(Yves Parlier- Aquitaine Innovations )

    2004: 10d 11h 28 '(Jean Le Cam- Bonduelle )

    2008: 12d 08h 58 '(Loïck Peyron- Gitana Eighty )

    2012: 10j 19h 18 '(Armel Le Cléac'h- Banque Populaire )

    2016: 9j 7h 03 '(Alex Thomson- Hugo Boss )

    2020: 9d 23h 59 '(Alex Thomson- HUGO BOSS )

    Already cracked fractures!

    But what especially marks this passage from one hemisphere to another are the gaps that are growing visibly! There were already fracture premises after passing around Theta, but early this eleventh day of racing, deltas become colossal Kevin Escoffier ( PRB , 5 th !) Is already nearly 200 miles behind leader, Italian Giancarlo Pedote ( Prysmian Group , 13 th ) to more than 400 miles, the Diraison Stéphane ( Time for Oceans 19 th ) to more than 700 miles from Columbia, Costa Didac ( One planet-One ocean , 20 th ) just passes the Cape Verde Islands with Pipe Hare ( Medallia), Arnaud Boissières ( La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Manuel Cousin ( Groupe SÉTIN ) while seven solo sailors are still off the Canary Islands 1,500 miles from the equator while Jérémie Beyou ( Charal ) tackles at the exit from the Bay of Biscay, more than 2,800 miles from the first!

    This would still be “acceptable” for a marathon runner, but the weather configuration for the next few days is frankly very favorable to the leaders and very unfavorable to the pursuers… Because Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS ) and a dozen solo sailors to follow will be able to get around the race. high pressure from Saint Helena quickly enough and far enough from the Brazilian coast to reach the tropic of Capricorn, then the Roaring Forties ... But the high pressures of the southern hemisphere will disperse next week in several cells, which will then make the very complicated crossing of the South Atlantic for the pursuers!

    And if Alex Thomson will have trouble improving Armel Le Cléac'h's reference time as he crosses the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, he should further increase his room for maneuver, at least vis-à-vis the peloton: the eleven current pursuers still able to destabilize the leader, should indeed dig an insurmountable furrow vis-à-vis the other loners; to the point that in the south of South Africa, there should be at least five groups of two to seven skippers scattered over more than 2,000 miles, not counting the two sailors who returned to Les Sables d'Olonne: Fabrice Amedeo ( Newrest -Art & Fenêtres ) and Jérémie Beyou ( Charal ) will take many days to pick up the tail of the fleet ...

    In short, besides the fact that the first to cross the equator will be able to accelerate in the trade winds of the southern hemisphere while his pursuers will still be entangled in a Doldrums, certainly cooperative, but all the same under development and development. activity, this line of demarcation becomes a line of flight: the Briton will inexorably escape! However, the eight previous editions of the Vendée Globe all have one thing in common: the winner of the non-stop solo round the world race was always one of the first ten to cross the equator ...



    Vendée Globe editor / Dominic Bourgeois
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #22
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    Thomas Ruyant Reeling In Thomson

    Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS ) still in the lead although having conceded ground on Thomas Reyant ( LinkedOut ) and Charlie Dalin ( Apivia ); unanswered questions about the leader's tempo; three IMOCAs with "straight drifts" already in the southern hemisphere; Nicolas Troussel safely ... Here is information for this 11 th day of the Vendée Globe.

    For a few hours, a doubt floated in the bow of HUGO BOSS . In fact, in 48 hours, between crossing the equator as the leader, with 78 miles ahead of LinkedOut , his runner-up , and this Thursday, Alex Thomson saw his lead shrink like snow in the Brazilian sun: he no longer counted. only 15.4 miles ahead of Thomas Rettant in the standings by 15 hours and 44.8 over Charlie Dalin ( Apivia ), more than 160 miles at the start of the week.


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


    https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/ranking

    Crisis of faith? Technical concerns? Small secrecy? Difficult to say, the English skipper unable to answer the morning shift. In the game of theories, let us push in bulk and in disorder that of the big DIY session, planned for the doldrums - but ultimately postponed since, doldrums, there was hardly any for the leaders -; that of the downsizing the time to carry out a complete train of checks and small repairs; that of the difference in performance between HUGO BOSS on the one hand and LinkedOut and Apivia on the other, proposed by Marcus Hutchinson ( LinkedOut team manager ) and which, in substance during the English version of the Vendée Live program, underlined that different designs corresponded to different peaks of performance; and then that of Yann Elies , interviewed as an expert at the daily show, the Vendée Live on Thursday noon and indirectly entrusted the keys of the performance of Alex Thomson Nicolas Troussel: " Does is this the configuration of HUGO BOSS foils ? It's possible. But it is also possible that the sailors have eased off from ( what lived ) Nicolas Troussel. We ask ourselves a lot of questions about dismasting ( from CORUM L'Epargne , Monday morning, editor's note ), it is urgent to pay attention to the tension we are putting in the rigging at the moment ".




    In short, many questions, scenarios for a temporary slowdown, Alex Thomson having put the gum back in recent hours. However, the results of the expert appraisals currently being carried out on the circumstances of Nicolas Troussel's dismasting, under acceptable sailing conditions, are eagerly awaited. This dismasting raises questions in all the teams, all equipped with one of the one-design masts imposed by the IMOCA Class in order to secure the fleet - and the result has been convincing for several years. Flows of data sent by CORUM L'Epargne will provide useful information for the collective.

    HUGO BOSS , LinkedOut and Apivia are therefore sailing tight-knit? Yes and no, since 70 miles in longitude separate Alex Thomson, very to the West, from the duo of "Frenchies". There, Alex Thomson found winds a little less sustained, but which allowed him to slide due south, while reserving the possibility of attacking the crossing of the South Atlantic when he saw fit. Calés further east, Thomas Rettant, Charlie Dalin and their Verdier plans were still gaining ground in recent hours.

    12 in the South!

    23 hours and 37 minutes after Alex Thomson, Damien Seguin in turn crossed the equator . The skipper of Groupe Apicil is the 12 th to enter the southern hemisphere at this edition. Seaexplorer - Yacht Club De Monaco, Initiatives - Cœur, Maître CoQ IV, OMIA - Water Family and ARKEA PAPREC had preceded him. At this time, nine of the twelve “Southerners” are foilers, but the “straight daggerboards” are holding up! It cites as evidence the 10 th place of Benjamin Dutreux sacred sailor on Omia - Water Family , and inevitably the 4 th place of Jean Le Cam,still and always. 135 miles north of the leader, the dean of the race still maintains a remarkable pace, fueled by his impressive knowledge. Kevin Escoffier ( PRB ) and Louis Burton ( Bureau Vallée 2 ) are 5 th and 6 th , about 200 miles from the lead.

    Within 24 hours, they should be six more upside down. These skippers will then have gotten rid of the doldrums, which Alan Roura ( La Fabrique ) dreams of, in a hurry to be able to stick a good nap without having to fear a brutal calm or a gale force (read below), or even Clarisse Crémer ( Banque Populaire X) who worries about having nothing to do when there is not a small adjustment to install.



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




    " It's the washing machine here. I have between 25 and 28 knots of wind, nice waves to surf, I put my boat in moped mode with the J3 and two reefs in the mainsail. "

    I took care of myself and it worked well. I have the fishing now, I can't wait for the day to break. I'm making good progress, between 13 and sometimes 20 knots in the surf. I can't wait to find the flying fish.

    Alexia Barrier / TSE - 4myplanet

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





    The fleet of thirty-two IMOCA monohulls is sailing this Thursday, November 19 in pleasant conditions with a south-easterly trade wind for the former, a little active doldrums for the peloton and a north-easterly trade wind for the latter.

    While Stéphane le Diraison on Time For Oceans attacked a doldrums this morning that was still just as lenient, the leaders will spend the day off Recife. They are sailing in beautiful conditions with a well established trade wind, which allows the foilers of the latest generation to express themselves.

    The Saint Helena anticyclone is currently located in the eastern part of the South Atlantic. A small “low pressure” axis is located between Salvador de Bahia in Brazil and the central South Atlantic.

    By the end of the week, the strategy of the first competitors will be to slip into the downwind corridor in the southwest of the Saint Helena high. The objective for the moment is to keep a curved trajectory to navigate with fast wind angles and to gradually curve the route when the wind turns to the north.




    In the ideal scenario, it would be necessary to stay in this corridor until the Forties. This low pressure axis is unfortunately less and less active next week. The wind should therefore ease and it is not certain that the competitors will be able to keep a sustained wind as long as they would like. The models that will be released in the next few days will bring more visibility in the long term and on the scenario as the Cape of Good Hope approaches, which could become complex with many possible options. The time for important choices could be Sunday, November 22.

    The trade winds are still in place for all the competitors who are north of the latitude of Cape Verde. They take advantage of good sailing conditions and can repair minor injuries. On the other hand, conditions in the doldrums could deteriorate slightly from Friday with weaker winds and more squalls.

    Christian Dumard / Great Circle

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




    Troussel at anchor in Mindelo
    Nicolas Troussel has secured his CORUM - L'Epargne, now at anchor in front of the port of Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vincente. After three days to the east with the engine, following the dismasting of CORUM L'Epargne on Monday morning, the skipper of the bay of Morlaix awaits the arrival of his team ashore to moor his monohull at the pontoons of Mindelo, the second largest Cape Verde city.

    His team should join him in the coming hours. Together, they will then manage the landing of CORUM L'Epargne in this port where there is no water everywhere for IMOCAs with a draft of 4.5m.

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



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  3. #23
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    Top 3 In Tight Competition




    Risky Route to the South?
    Big Split To Advantage Top Three
    Comebacks Are In

    Racing at the latitude of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil this morning British skipper Alex Thomson, leader of the Vendée Globe, today emphasized that he feels under no pressure from his nearest two French rivals Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) who have both cut miles from his lead since their exit from the Doldrums three days ago.


    TRACKER


    The top trio are each trying to plot their best route down the South Atlantic to catch a fast moving low pressure system and the strong, favourable winds which would catapult them eastwards into the Southern Ocean. While the weather situation for them is very enticing right now, offering a fast slide down the face of a cold front, at the bottom of the ride there is a potentially lethal transition zone which might evolve into a period of very light winds.

    Should today’s weather modelling work out as predicted, according to the Vendée Globe’s weather expert Christian Dumard, the three leaders would gain such an advantage that they might be as much as two days ahead of fourth place and the chasing group by the time they pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope.
    Asked on this afternoon’s LIVE show Thomson said, “I am trying to find my way to the Southern Ocean, I am not really being affected by what they are doing. I am clear what we have to do over the next couple of days, I am positioned well so I don’t feel too much pressure. I don’t feel under pressure.”
    He responded to suppositions that life in the tropics, living and working inside his boat all the time as opposed to on deck, might be hotter and more tiring, “In terms of the heat I would say it is cooler in here than it is outside. Much the same as the others I am probably drinking four litres of electrolyte a day. It was a struggle to stay hydrated but over the last day or so it is becoming better. I am trying to sleep as much as possible, I am still in debt for sure, so wherever I feel the urge, whenever I can I get my head down and get to sleep. Eating is a constant process for me. I am constantly going to the cupboard and grabbing a snack or a meal.”

    Asked about the small miles Thomson has lost in recent days, the naval architect from VPLP who co-designed HUGO BOSS with significant input from Alex Thomson Racing’s own design team, Quentin Lucet suggested, “I think Alex has been sleeping a bit more recently and just not feel the need to push too hard for the moment. Maybe he is more in a controlling aspect on his followers. And maybe in terms of design there might be some slight performance differences due to the real wind they have just now. For now we have no alarm saying Alex has any issues. Probably he just does not see a real need to be accelerating just now.”





    Double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux on the French show confirmed that he is a big fan of Thomson’s option to the west, 115 miles closer to the Brazilian shore than Ruyant.

    “For sure the changes near the lead are due to a combination of the packages the various leaders have. Foils, sails and hull shape. Also there is a difference to what we see here on land as per the forecasts and what the sailor might actually get on the ocean. I think the further West you go the better the angle you will have to then come back and catch up. And so for me the two behind Alex really need to put their foot down to try and catch him now because the passage towards the Cape of Good Hope is going to give Alex quite a lead. If you look at the projected routing it is now that they need to make the most ground up because after the lead will extend a lot.”

    Indeed as the angles have opened to broader reaching angles HUGO BOSS has been quicker than Apivia and LinkedOut, Thomson averaging more than 23 kts. Once again there are some anomalies on the official rankings because the positions are taken from a moving, rather than fixed waypoint. The late afternoon rankings maybe show Ruyant as leader but Thomson continues to be about 40 miles further south.

    The breakaway trio are now more than 160 miles clear of fourth placed Jean Le Cam, who has the fast moving Saint Malo skipper Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée approaching in his wake. Burton is racing the IMOCA 60 which holds the current 74 days 3 hours solo round the world record and moved up to fifth today holding definite designs on fourth.

    The comeback kids
    Also coming back fast after their own particular technical problems since the start are Sébastien Simon on ARKÉA-Paprec who, in tenth, is chasing Briton Sam Davies hard at 27 miles behind. The 2018 La Solitaire champion, one of four skippers in the race who live in Les Sables d’Olonne, has been consistently fast over the last couple of days since he had to climb the mast of his Juan K design. And Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi is back in the race with an operational mainsail on DMH MORI. Four days of repairs to a tear at the top of his sail and batten repairs are completed, even if the Asian skipper must sail with one reef from now on. He was sailing directly west this afternoon away from the Cape Verde islands which might have provided additional refuge had he needed it. And Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest Amedeo) has nearly completed his comeback after a three day pitstop back in Les Sables d’Olonne to repair a hairline crack at the top if his mast.

    They said:
    Sébastien Simon (ARKÉA PAPREC): “I’ve had a pretty good 24 hours, I'm not far from the group with Maître CoQ, Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco, and Initiatives-Cœur. It's good, it's going to challenge me a bit. I’m happy. What's hard to manage are the boat’s sudden flights, but that’s what allows me to go fast because the boat is very powerful. It can take off very quickly - sometimes it rests still on the water’s surface depending on the sea and wind conditions, other times it flies off, and if it flies quite high you really have to cling on when it falls back down, and that's what requires energy. Otherwise it’s going pretty well. I managed to sleep last night because I've been working a lot on trimming over the last 48 hours.

    I sleep in my bunk - it's a mattress on the floor with two pillows to support my head, it's pretty comfortable. But the last two days have been so hot! It was pretty suffocating in the boat, I was sweating profusely when I was recharging the engine. With the cockpit closed, the air doesn't get in, and the little air that does get in is a salty fog. But last night it was bearable. In the South Atlantic, there won't be record conditions. We have this high pressure zone to get around, that's why we are heading towards Brazil. Then we’ll have a front to deal with, so it's going to be a pretty extreme southern route. I’m sure we’ll reach the ice zone much earlier than the Cape of Good Hope. In any case, it won't be a very direct route. I'm enjoying being alone on the boat, I’m not really noticing the time going by, but I do like hearing news from on land, it calms me down a bit. I even allow myself the luxury every night to take a shower before going to bed, it makes me feel a little more human! I’m making the most of it now because I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to do it in the Deep South. I haven't yet found a solution for my weather vanes. "











    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #24
    Great race thus far, what are the odds that Charal can catch up?

  5. #25
    I hear that it easier to lead from the front.

    Having never been there, I cannot confirm.

  6. #26
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    The Boss Gets A Setback



    HUGO BOSS is making slowed speeds SE’wards down the race course early this morning after Alex Thomson’s team last night alerted Race Direction of the Vendée Globe to a possible structural issue on board Thomson’s black and pink IMOCA when it was lying in second place, racing 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro.

    The British skipper has reduced speed to lessen the loading on the boat while a solution was being sought in consultation with the designers VPLP and engineers. He alerted his team of his concerns at around 1900hrs UTC last night, Saturday, and the Alex Thomson Racing Team issued a short statement which was published around midnight UTC.

    Since last night’s 2100hrs rankings report HUGO BOSS made 42 nautical miles overnight, averaging six knots, around half the speed of race leader Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) who passed about 23 nautical miles to windward of HUGO BOSS around midnight, the French skipper taking over second place in the race.



    TRACKER



    The leading trio are racing in light, variable winds. Just before the alert was made to Race Direction, Thomson had been averaging around 16kts, the forecast swell being around 1.7m. Overnight he has conceded around thirty miles to the leader Ruyant. More information will be shared during Sunday.

    The leaders are looking to wriggle through a zone of lighter, unsettled airs to reach the stronger conditions at the fringe of the Southern Ocean. Speaking at 0400hrs this morning Charlie Dalin had not yet learned of his British rival's problem. "I hope it's not too bad and the extent of the damage is limited. Most of all I hope that this does not mean the end of the Vendée Globe for him. We are having a great race with him. Alex being part of this trio is very stimulating ”

    Talking of the weather Dalin said, “I have the impression that I am reliving a doldrums passage but it is even more bizarre. I found some pretty strange variable winds, sudden changes in direction and force, I really didn't expect that. I even got gusts from the NW yesterday. This morning, the sea is flatter and there is a beautiful starry sky, it is beautiful ".

    As the leaders slow down in these light conditions so there has been a small gain by the chasing group, Ruyant and Dalin making around 12kts to fourth placed Jean Le Cam’s overnight average of 14kts, the gap reducing by some 25 miles to 274 this morning.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  7. #27
    Boy, does Alex ever get a break?

  8. #28
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Fortunes Might Vary




    British Vendée Globe skipper Alex Thomson has today been forced to slow his HUGO BOSS to a crawl as he attempts to make a technical repair to a longitudinal beam in the bow of his IMOCA 60.

    Thomson alerted his team to the problem around 1900hrs TU Saturday evening after a routine inspection raised immediate concerns as he raced south-eastwards towards the Southern Ocean part of the leading trio of boats racing south-eastwards some 850 nautical miles east of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

    With the imminent requirement to plunge south for more than one month in the inhospitable waters between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, the 46 year old British skipper will want to have complete faith in the repairs and in his IMOCA. But a statement issued by his Alex Thomson Racing Team this morning confirms he has the materials and the methods to effect the necessary repairs and aims to be back on course as quickly as possible.



    TRACKER


    “Alex has now put the boat into a safe position to manage the sea state in order to reduce movement onboard while he carries out the repair. He has all the necessary materials onboard, a detailed plan to follow, and a team of world class engineers advising him. We are therefore confident in his ability to complete the repair. Our objective is to carry out the necessary repair swiftly and effectively, in order to minimise the miles lost and resume racing again.” Said Alex Thomson’s Racing’s Technical Director Ross Daniel.




    Having been in second place in the 33 boat fleet during Saturday, averaging 16kts at times and some 25 nautical miles behind leader Thomas Ruyant , Thomson’s pause had already cost him 150 miles on Ruyant and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) who passed into second 23 miles to windward of the British skipper around midnight last night.

    “Supposing it takes Alex 24 hours to effect a repair and get going again he would rejoin the chasing group with Arkéa Paprec, Initiatives Couer and PRB, he would lose quite a bit as that would put him 1000 miles behind at Cape of Good Hope. But I have been looking at the history of the race as well and remember that last time on the last race he rounded Cape Horn 800 miles behind Armel Le Cléac’h and so I would not call this ‘game over’.’ Suggested Yoann Richomme, winner of the last Route du Rhum in Class40 and double winner of La Solitaire du Figaro when he was today’s guest on the Vendée Globe LIVE English programme.

    Talking about the latest generation of fast foilers Richomme, renowned as a meticulous technician, explained, “These new boats are really tough to sail, they are really hard to engineer and are slamming into the waves with a lot of power, which is most likely happened to Alex. What is hard is that we know that they took their feet off the gas a little in the south on the last race to preserve the boats last time, and I think they will be doing that again. From the scenario we are seeing they need to preserve the boats. When these boats start taking off, they were slamming the hulls a little bit further back but now these boats are fully foiling, flying a lot of the time, it is now the bows which are hitting the waves in front, from 2-3m high at times and the impact on the bows is huge and we know a lot of the boats in France had reinforcements in the bow. We saw Corum in September have a two week repair in their bow. They are discovering new problems and we are hoping they have covered off most of them.”

    At two weeks since the race started off Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday 8th Novmember there are many repairs, small and not so small, critical and almost incidental, that skipper need to make. Contemplating the descent into the Southern Ocean race leader Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) had to climb the 28m mast of his IMOCA after his spare halyard broke. The two leading IMOCAs, LinkedOut and Apivia are side by side 10 miles apart setting out on a gybing match up as they drop south-eastwards towards an area of unstable air, described by Dalin as ‘mousehole’ through which they must pass to get to the Southern Ocean and a fast ride east towards the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope.









    Now the Vendée Globe fleet stretches for more than 3000 miles, Jérémie Beyou in 32nd, has lengthened his stride in the south of the Canaries. Listening to the skippers on the daily calls or reading the messages sent from on board, whatever the age of the boat or its position on the Atlantic chessboard, every day brings its share of problems. Yesterday it was a weather vane for ninth placed Sébastien Simon, today a composite repair on a part of the foil well for Armel Tripon on L’Occitaine and that week long repair to the mainsail of the Japanese Kojiro Shiraishi. Big or small the problems prevail through the fleet.

    Armel Tripon, the self styled philosopher skipper of L’Occitane en Provence, reflects, “The boats want to go fast, the chase their predicted speeds and they are built for that and the teams and the architects are pushing all the time to go fast. Now it's up to each of us to sail with our soul and our own peace of mind. ".









    They said:
    Kevin Escoffier, PRB “We all lost a bit of sleep on the first week of the race. Now I am sleeping well and looking after myself. Doing a few little odd jobs and checking the boat over. I will try and make the most of the calm conditions we are about to have to do another full boat check.
    I tend to look ahead and try to not push my boat too hard. PRB is a boat from 2009 to which we have added foils, so you have to be careful and keep an eye on the structure. It is for this reason that I chose to round the tropical storm and not go too far in to shore. I will continue to sail in this way. I will still take my chances and keep looking ahead and work to keep the ones behind me, behind. I know that Thomas (Ruyant) has had halyard issues and I know from the experience on the Volvo and then on the TJV once, that going up the mast and fixing things is always very complicated to do. With regards to Alex, I really hope that he can repair, he is doing a great race and it would be a shame if it had to end so soon for him. He is in the right place to be able to repair. It is sometimes better to have the mainsail up when you go up the mast because it stabilises the boat and it also gives you an anchoring point. It is a bit less like being a cork floating on the sea, however climbs are always stressful and you need to find the best possible moment and mentally prepare for climbs.”

    Armel Tripon, L'Occitane en Provence: ""I'm approaching the Doldrums and will be entering them soon. It's still windy, I'm still making progress and it won't be long before the wind backs a bit. There are not too many clouds. It should be better than we expected three days ago. There has to be some sailing without having problems!


    I have just heard about Alex Thomson's structural problem. This is a mechanical sport so there are bound to be problems, these boats are still new and we haven't sailed with them for a long periods at high speeds. We will discover things as we go along. We are all taking care and not pushing our boats like we could be. There are a lot of situations where we don't know how the boat will react in the long run and it's true that with the foils, it brings new load constraints and we can’t control everything. It's a new way of sailing. The boat just needs to accelerate and the teams and architects are pushing to go fast. Now it is up to each sailor to sail with his or her peace of mind. I have a lot of small issues to deal with, problems appear before I can detect them. I go around and check regularly, after the boat has been subjected to stress. Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time making composite on a piece of the foil well that had torn off, so it had to be sanded, ground, glued, it was a day spent in the workshop! But overall the boat is very well prepared, my technical team did an exceptional job. We're going to eat up the miles, with hours of sailing and it is only natural that things will crop up. I can't wait to get to the southern hemisphere. We are figuratively changing worlds, we're going to pass to the South, and focus on how to get round the Saint Helena high. It is the first

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

    It’s a morning of mixed emotions for Isabelle Joschke, who admits enjoying the surfing on her foils and not slamming into the waves, however she is unsettled by the damage sustained to her pushpit that has left her feeling a little unsafe on board.

    "I have recovered from last night's drama and have had a good rest last night, the sailing conditions are very sedate so it helps to put things into perspective and to feel good at sea. It's pretty cool this morning: the conditions are good for my foils. Crosswind, medium and a flat sea: for the past 24 hours, the boat has been making very little noise.It shakes a lot an it is impossible to write, or tap away. This pace is going to continue, which is no bad thing: it means I make headway. I'm not at the optimum of my speed potential, but it's going fast enough and it allows me to recharge the batteries.


    There is a list of technical issues to work on, which I can't deal with while boat is advancing on a port tack, because the area to work on is under the area being sprayed by the water. It will either have to calm down or slow down for me to do the repairs. I'm mainly talking about my pushpit, which needs to be be fixed and the gennaker block that needs be put back in place properly and safely. I also have a lot of other little annoying breakages.

    Repairing the pushpit, technically speaking, is a big job. The deck stanchions are torn off, the hooks are in the bottom and the aim is to rebuild the railing and fasten it well to the deck. I speak with the shore team a lot looking to find simple and sturdy solutions. The guys know the areas they have reinforced and if I were to try and decide on my own, I would make possible risky choices.

    The pushpit is needed for safety and it has been a hard blow to the sense of morale. I have had a series of issues and damage since the start of the race. I had to stop the boat several times, which is very hard for a competitor. But the pushpit is also what you attach to the boat with. It’s not the same without it and I need to feel safe before heading into the Southern Ocean. Right now, as I go to the stern, I clip on, which would not usually be needed.

    Are there any positive things? Plenty, but I'm right now I am frustrated, annoyed and I do not feel like saying everything is fine when it is not. On the competitive side of things, I am disappointed and I do not want to hide how I feel.”
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  9. #29
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Damage Report From The Boss




    In this video just landed Alex Thomson takes us into the front of HUGO BOSS and shows the extent of the damage to the internal longitudinal framing which he is currently repairing.
    He says he has the materials and a detailed plan and is confident he will be able to continue!
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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