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semelis

Route Du Rhum

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Joyon or Coville 2nd?

 

:rolleyes: we'll see but ...

 

Le Cleac'h also looks as taking a gamble in IMOCA

 

if you buy that grib, he is sailing straight through the high at almost 9 knots. Strange.

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Race Exel datas have those ETAs:

Idec 5 hrs ahead of Sodebo

Brit Air, Virbac P. (+6h), Veolia (+8h);

Lepesqueux, Troussel (+9h), Ruyant (+14h)

 

(based on I don't know what)

 

Strange !! Is this somekind of hidden file or fully accessible through a site link ?

 

edit : ok I've seen it, fully accessible, quite strange

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They now have Sodebo coming in 15 minutes ahead of IDEC.

 

Personally I would prefer to be in IDEC's postiion given that the forecast are predicting a constant southerly for the next few days. If Sodebo is tacking through the same angles as G3 then he could be out there for a fair bit more time.

 

The race website is excellent - the tracker is on a totally different level to the Velux Race.

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I think IDEC will pull it out. Wow.

 

Goss in 40s going south again rather than consolidating his gains. Makings of a huge shift in leader board from a few days ago. Wonder his thoughts way back when he first made the move. Wild gamble or calculated risk. He does seem to want to be the left most boat.

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And Lionel Lemonchois is making quite a comeback too.

Of course having the 2 favorites limping with broken boats helps, but never the less !!

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Awesome acheivement by Cammas. He was racing against some unbelievable talent and still managed to make it look relatively easy.

 

In the Class 40 fleet, I think the game is almost over. The southern fleet did indeed manage to capitalize on the high pressure system that sat on top of the northern fleet, by taking miles out of the northern fleet and moving up the leader board. However... not enough. The front of the Northern fleet has the high in their rear view mirror and is accelerating again. I would say that if Ruyunt and company slide just a little bit south, maybe 15 miles or so, they will skirt the souther edge of the predicted highs that still lay in their path and will still be in greater pressure than the southern fleet has to look forward to for the next 66 hours. Absent breakage, I think the top 5 are pretty much set in stone at this point. In the next 5, I think there will be some exchange of positions in the next 36 hours after which point we will have pretty much a stable leader board.

 

Take it all with a grain of salt... I had thought that Nanni and Colman would be able to sneak over the top of the high and I was completely wrong about that as they and Grimont ultimately headed south. Given their current boat speeds, they might have been better off staying north and then coming down the west side.

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Rail Meat, thanks for your posts, they are a massive aid to understanding the race!

 

Right on!

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My pleasure. Just typing up the analysis helps me to improve my own understanding of the weather.

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Is anyone willing to bet against Desjoyeaux in the IMOCA? I wouldn't even though he is 470 Nm behind. A big area of calm will open up ahead of the leaders and then they will have upwind work from there. While Foncia will have to skirt the calms ahead but then it will be downwind.

 

Maybe he is too far behind, but I don't think it is over yet!

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Is anyone willing to bet against Desjoyeaux in the IMOCA?

 

I'm afraid the professor is out, but Haji stepped up to take the blame (along with the rest of you) for placing the jinx on him.

 

Is it me, or does Stamm sail really well, but maybe breaks his boat a little too much?

 

Congratulations to Joyon for strong finish!

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Is anyone willing to bet against Desjoyeaux in the IMOCA?

 

I'm afraid the professor is out, but Haji stepped up to take the blame (along with the rest of you) for placing the jinx on him.

 

Is it me, or does Stamm sail really well, but maybe breaks his boat a little too much?

 

Congratulations to Joyon for strong finish!

 

TM,

sad but true. Well maybe we can reverse his fate if we predict he will be last. Because he is fighting tooth and nail not to be last at this stage.

 

I am so impressed with BritAir, sticking the nose straight into apparent H pressure and keeping the speed on. Must be bad grib files we are seeing.

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I don't know about that... perhaps the GRIBs have been off for the IMOCAs which I have not been following as closely. But the GRIBs for the area of the ocean the Class 40's have been sailing in seem to have been spot on.

 

Those GRIBs show that Marco and Conrad are just getting crushed by the same High that we have been talking about for 3 days. Conrad is pulling the reverse Pac Man, slipping down the rankings as quickly as he had moved up them. The loss of his spinnaker has hurt him something fierce, and just shows how challenging it is to deal with the 8 sail limit the class imposes. He has it repaired and hopefully that will arrest his descent.

 

The next couple of days look uncertain. The tropical low in the Caribbean is throwing off energy, and there is a frontal system coming from the west out towards the fleet which will have an impact on the boats. It is hard for me to predict the impact.

 

In the meantime, this is some tough racing. The winds are quite variable, which means lots of sail changes. And the little rain squalls create situations where the skippers are dodging the black clouds all day long and then working like hell to get out from under them when they get caught. Very hard work, and it is starting to get very warm so it is hot, sweaty work.

 

To update my running list of damages, check out the new items in bold.

 

  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - referred to some damage but I can't figure out what it might be. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a split and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

 

So far, this list reinforces some of the lessons I picked up from last year's Solidaire du Chocolat.


  1.  
  2. Make absolutely certain you have your pilots working 100% when you leave, and make sure you have two completely redundant pilots
  3. Install two anenometers, and make sure their mount points are as secure as you can make them. Loss of wind data seems to be a very common problem.
  4. Have a comprehensive and substantial repair pack on board for sail repairs. Both Spinnaker and laminate sail material, plus adhesive and something to clean and dry the sail.
  5. Have new halyards when you start the race, although actually make them halyards that you have at least a few hundred miles of sailing on so you know the splices are good. And for a race like this, run back-up mouse lines for the key halyards so you don't have to go up the mast to replace a halyard. And carry back up haylards.
  6. Have a back up GPS antenna. And back up components to your primary navigational system (e.g. CPU, keyboard, ethernet hub)
  7. Have plenty of dynema on board in a couple of different diameters to use as lashing.
  8. Have replacement batten pockets on board. It has not apparently been an issue in this race, but in the Solidaire du Chocolat it was one of the most common problems.

 

By the way - Marco Nanni has some of the best posts out of the entire fleet. Great sense of humor. And he is one of the few guys to make the effort to post both in English and in French.

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rail what's the Nannini link again? Gonna run your damage piece on the front page tonight along with a Nannini shoutout. Thanks for making the 40s so understandable to us all - 46 boats is otherwise totally fucking overwhelming.

 

Oh, and GO THE BILOU.

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RM, great stuff keep it coming.

 

How bad is the damage to Tanguy? Staggered that he's so far back - perhaps he's sailing with reefed mainsail if it's so badly damaged? He was in my top 5 deffo and if I'd had to pick before the race I'd probably have gone with him.

 

Yup, Marco's one of those sailors who realises the value of getting his pr right - doing a fantastic job. Saw him on the Saturday night before the start and he was pretty excited!

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rail what's the Nannini link again? Gonna run your damage piece on the front page tonight along with a Nannini shoutout. Thanks for making the 40s so understandable to us all - 46 boats is otherwise totally fucking overwhelming.

 

Oh, and GO THE BILOU.

 

Right on Clean! Rail is totally making this easier to keep up with. Thanks! Time to get a 50' Tri...

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Thomas Coville 3rd, Joyon's southern route payed off nicely in the end.

 

L. Lemonchois is closing on L. Roucayrol, with a faster boat (Lalou's is designed with a round the world the wrong way in mind ) but while Laperche is still 3rd with his north option and a 20 years old boat, I wouldn't rule out the southists, specially after Joyon's come back and how the GRIB looks now.

 

Loosing ground to Anne Caseneuve, J-F Lilti has concerns with his remaining rudder - he has already lost one from his brand new 50' cat !

Either he can clone himself and takes a hint from Victorien Erussard on how to sail a multi 50 'with no rudder for 2100 miles across the Atlantic, or hi gets a hint on 100 year's of experience in rudderless beach-cats .

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RM, great stuff keep it coming.

 

How bad is the damage to Tanguy? Staggered that he's so far back - perhaps he's sailing with reefed mainsail if it's so badly damaged? He was in my top 5 deffo and if I'd had to pick before the race I'd probably have gone with him.

 

Yup, Marco's one of those sailors who realises the value of getting his pr right - doing a fantastic job. Saw him on the Saturday night before the start and he was pretty excited!

 

 

Tanguy has no Code 0 at this point, tore it from luff to leech. There is a video on the race site from two days back that shows the damage to the main sail and it is pretty substantial... a raggedy-ass tear from leech to about half way across the sail and definitely not on a seam line. I suspect it won't be able to be repaired underway so he is sailing with a reefed main. Hard to tell from the video how deeply it is reefed.

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rail what's the Nannini link again? Gonna run your damage piece on the front page tonight along with a Nannini shoutout. Thanks for making the 40s so understandable to us all - 46 boats is otherwise totally fucking overwhelming.

 

Oh, and GO THE BILOU.

 

 

Sorry for the delayed response - day job distractions. It looks like some one else already ponied up the link to Marco's blogs.

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rail what's the Nannini link again? Gonna run your damage piece on the front page tonight along with a Nannini shoutout. Thanks for making the 40s so understandable to us all - 46 boats is otherwise totally fucking overwhelming.

 

Oh, and GO THE BILOU.

 

 

Sorry for the delayed response - day job distractions. It looks like some one else already ponied up the link to Marco's blogs.

 

RM,

 

please try and stay focussed on what matters! :P:-p

 

Do you have any comments on what it means for Sam Manuard to come out with what I think is a relatively new boat (AFAIK V+ is the first out of the mould} and to have avoided the pitfalls in the list you have made? Does he have the backups you mention because it is so new? Or is it something else, like his MT experience?

 

I am giving Goss his props for going to the southern corner. He has kahunas.

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The Rhum is once again turning on the interest. Even with all the modern aids and weather routers, this track down through the Atlantic with the 'holes in the wind' always throws up many challenges and options.

 

Class 40 tracks are amazing, just can't wait to see if PG banging the left corner works out.

 

And can't express thanks enough to RM for his great analysis, your day job should be on the next RdR...

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Bilou pulled ahead of Armel by 40 miles this morning. COME ON! YOU CAN DO IT!!

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rail what's the Nannini link again? Gonna run your damage piece on the front page tonight along with a Nannini shoutout. Thanks for making the 40s so understandable to us all - 46 boats is otherwise totally fucking overwhelming.

 

Oh, and GO THE BILOU.

 

 

Sorry for the delayed response - day job distractions. It looks like some one else already ponied up the link to Marco's blogs.

 

RM,

 

please try and stay focussed on what matters! :P:-p

 

Do you have any comments on what it means for Sam Manuard to come out with what I think is a relatively new boat (AFAIK V+ is the first out of the mould} and to have avoided the pitfalls in the list you have made? Does he have the backups you mention because it is so new? Or is it something else, like his MT experience?

 

I am giving Goss his props for going to the southern corner. He has kahunas.

 

 

If only...

 

Any comments I have with regard to Sam's boat and prep is purely speculation and could easily apply to some of the other very new boats such as Samien Grimont's.

 

Bottom line, it is a combination of prep and knowing what to lavish extra attention on. If there was one single thing I learned from the exercise of getting my own boat launched and worked up, the exercise is like a giant jig saw puzzle. The better organized and better prepared you are, the more likely it is that all the pieces fit together with minimal drama.

 

But then beyond that, there is the level of knowledge and experience that goes into knowing how to anticipate where the weak links are and reinforcing those weak links with great care.

 

Sam (and Damien for that matter) have personally been there before and know the drill. I also don't know who they had helping as preparateur but I am willing to bet good money that whom ever they used those people were top notch.

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Ah, Marco - where art thou? You and Conrad are sure paying for missing the gybe.

 

This part of the race is getting really interesting. Ruyant failed to read my prior post about getting 15 miles or so more to the south, and headed a bit north instead. Just goes to show with what regard I am held by Tomas! As it happens, I got lucky and was correct on this call... his northern position is costing him.... he is making 2 knots and the pack of Manuard, Grimont and Noblet are making 8 knots. It also looks like the ridge that holds Ruyant in its grips just might miss those three completely or maybe just give them a glancing blow, leaving them in breeze. Will it be enough? Probably not since they seem to hold this advantage for only 15 hours or so before Ruyant gets some wind back, and they have between 75 and 150 miles to make up. But... then behind that Ruyant's current track shows less wind than their track does so they may continue to have some advantage. I suspect that at the very least Noblet and Ruyant will be within site of each other and will be crossing tacks as they fight their way through the last 50 to 100 miles of the race.

 

More interesting still is Riechers, Criquioche and Troussel. While all three still lag Ruyant, all of them hold a significant advantage over the leaders of the northern pack, which is wind angle. They are going to be reaching as opposed to the northern pack's beating. The wind forecasts seem to indicate that they don't have any deep holes of no wind that they might fall into, but it also indicates that they are not going to have a lot of pressure. Will there be enough pressure to allow them to capitalize on their wind angle advantage? Very, very hard to make a prediction on this one and it is leading to some nail biting tension as these guys start to converge on Guadeloupe.

 

Goss is banging the far south corner, and I am guessing that he is doing so because it differentiates him from the pack and thus opens up the odds that he can pull a rabbit out of the hat. Given the forecast, it is not a crazy bet. The entire fleet is faced with a tricky effort to thread their way between the turbulent and often light air rippling its way east out of the Caribbean. By going south, he has as good a chance of any for missing those bands. He also almost guarantees that he will be coming into Guadeloupe at the hottest angle of the entire fleet. Just as Joyon enjoyed his last 24 hours on a reach/run as opposed to Coville's beat, so too will Goss pick up ground on the fleet as a result of his angle. The question will be if the cunning plan works, and unfortunately I think while he is going to do pretty well in the rankings he won't be able to pull off a November surprise.

 

We are reaching the part of the race where reports of spinnaker damage start to pour in like tropical rain. One reason is that the boats are able to actually use their spinnakers and thus more opportunity to blow them up. But also the shifty, gusty conditions lead to problems. When it goes light the boats move around on the swells and fill/empty/fill/empty the spinnkers repeatedly until the pop like a baloon. As they flop around, the cloth hits spreaders and stanchions and picks up small tears that then lead to big tears and bad days. And then of course there is the joy of wrapping the the entire shebang. More than anything else, losing your spinnaker in this Class and this race can cost you any chance of finishing well. The Class limit of 8 sails mean that virtually no one has used up one of their slots for an extra runner, which means when you lose the big kite you either make do with a code or what can sometimes be a fractional or flat reaching kite.

 

To update my running list of damages, check out the new items in bold.

 


  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. I also forgot to mention that his top rudder bearings are leaking which lets water collect in the rudder compartment. I know from personal experience that if you fail to notice that, it can drown your hydraulic ram motors for your autopilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - referred to some damage but I can't figure out what it might be. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a splint and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

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Ah, Marco - where art thou? You and Conrad are sure paying for missing the gybe.

 

This part of the race is getting really interesting. Ruyant failed to read my prior post about getting 15 miles or so more to the south, and headed a bit north instead. Just goes to show with what regard I am held by Tomas! As it happens, I got lucky and was correct on this call... his northern position is costing him.... he is making 2 knots and the pack of Manuard, Grimont and Noblet are making 8 knots. It also looks like the ridge that holds Ruyant in its grips just might miss those three completely or maybe just give them a glancing blow, leaving them in breeze. Will it be enough? Probably not since they seem to hold this advantage for only 15 hours or so before Ruyant gets some wind back, and they have between 75 and 150 miles to make up. But... then behind that Ruyant's current track shows less wind than their track does so they may continue to have some advantage. I suspect that at the very least Noblet and Ruyant are within site of each other and are crossing tacks as they fight their way through the last 50 to 100 miles of the race.

 

More interesting still is Riechers, Criquioche and Troussel. While all three still lag Ruyant, all of them hold a significant advantage over the leaders of the northern pack, which is wind angle. They are going to be reaching as opposed to the northern pack's beating. The wind forecasts seem to indicate that they don't have any deep holes of no wind that they might fall into, but it also indicates that they are not going to have a lot of pressure. Will there be enough pressure to allow them to capitalize on their wind angle advantage? Very, very hard to make a prediction on this one and it is leading to some nail biting tension as these guys start to converge on Guadeloupe.

 

Goss is banging the far south corner, and I am guessing that he is doing so because it differentiates him from the pack and thus opens up the odds that he can pull a rabbit out of the hat. Given the forecast, it is not a crazy bet. The entire fleet is faced with a tricky effort to thread their way between the turbulent and often light air rippling its way east out of the Caribbean. By going south, he has as good a chance of any for missing those bands. He also almost guarantees that he will be coming into Guadeloupe at the hottest angle of the entire fleet. Just as Joyon enjoyed his last 24 hours on a reach/run as opposed to Coville's beat, so too will Goss pick up ground on the fleet as a result of his angle. The question will be if the cunning plan works, and unfortunately I think while he is going to do pretty well in the rankings he won't be able to pull off a November surprise.

 

We are reaching the part of the race where reports of spinnaker damage start to pour in like tropical rain. One reason is that the boats are able to actually use their spinnakers and thus more opportunity to blow them up. But also the shifty, gusty conditions lead to problems. When it goes light the boats move around on the swells and fill/empty/fill/empty the spinnkers repeatedly until the pop like a baloon. As they flop around, the cloth hits spreaders and stanchions and picks up small tears that then lead to big tears and bad days. And then of course there is the joy of wrapping the the entire shebang. More than anything else, losing your spinnaker in this Class and this race can cost you any chance of finishing well. The Class limit of 8 sails mean that virtually no one has used up one of their slots for an extra runner, which means when you lose the big kite you either make do with a code or what can sometimes be a fractional or flat reaching kite.

 

To update my running list of damages, check out the new items in bold.

 


  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. I also forgot to mention that his top rudder bearings are leaking which lets water collect in the rudder compartment. I know from personal experience that if you fail to notice that, it can drown your hydraulic ram motors for your autopilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - referred to some damage but I can't figure out what it might be. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a split and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

 

Does anyone know who carries what hardware in terms of pilots? Would be interesting to see failure rate against total number in fleet between NKE, B&G, Raymarine etc.

 

Have to say given the relatively short amount of time Marco has had Unicredit his performance is fantastic.

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Does anyone know who carries what hardware in terms of pilots? Would be interesting to see failure rate against total number in fleet between NKE, B&G, Raymarine etc.

 

Have to say given the relatively short amount of time Marco has had Unicredit his performance is fantastic.

 

I actually don't know what this fleet has specifically. At the 2007 TJV I checked for every boat and the vast majority of the Class 40's were NKE. The balance (maybe 20% if memory serves) were B&G and there were no Raymarine pilots.

 

I am 99.999% positive that Ruyant, Noblet and Goss have NKE's HR Pilot, the top-of-the-line version that NKE has for the IMOCA 60's. Noblet inherited his when he bought the boat from Gio and Ruyant had one on his Mini when he won last year so I would assume he acquired one for this Class 40. Based on the comments that Goss made on the RdR site, I am guessing he has one as well. Likewise, I am also guessing that most or all of the rest have NKE's standard pilot.

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Does anyone know who carries what hardware in terms of pilots? Would be interesting to see failure rate against total number in fleet between NKE, B&G, Raymarine etc.

 

Have to say given the relatively short amount of time Marco has had Unicredit his performance is fantastic.

 

I actually don't know what this fleet has specifically. At the 2007 TJV I checked for every boat and the vast majority of the Class 40's were NKE. The balance (maybe 20% if memory serves) were B&G and there were no Raymarine pilots.

 

I am 99.999% positive that Ruyant, Noblet and Goss have NKE's HR Pilot, the top-of-the-line version that NKE has for the IMOCA 60's. Noblet inherited his when he bought the boat from Gio and Ruyant had one on his Mini when he won last year so I would assume he acquired one for this Class 40. Based on the comments that Goss made on the RdR site, I am guessing he has one as well. Likewise, I am also guessing that most or all of the rest have NKE's standard pilot.

 

Thanks for that, am pretty sure ICAP ORCA has Raymarine..

 

Removing anenometer true wind pilot issues ( I guess the pilot itself cannot be blamed for that ) I think that fault rate is not so bad given the challenge being undertaken. Thoughts ??

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RM - thanks for the great work!

 

 

Some info about Dimitry Topalov - White Swallow

 

This RdR is his first ever singlehanded race(!) He is a great, tough guy, but really has some bad luck in this race on top of his lack of experience..

Had a tough first night of the race - first pilot failure - causing an unexpected gybe - got the masthead spi under the boat - a big mess close to shore. Besides the spinaker, lost the Code0 furler and 36 hours to clean the mess and get the electronics sorted.

On the 7th in the evening (the low just came down to his position) the carbo wind malfunctioned (probably from slamming - it is still on the mast(?) , causing all the instruments and pilots black out, 3 knock downs. - another hard night for him... The wind was gusting to 45kts at the time. He managed to get the instruments running by disconnecting the carbowind from the bus.

Damage - virtually all the batten pockets between the 3rd reef and headboard cars, 2 battens, main blocked at 3rd reef. Some bruises on his chest.

He is making a quick stop in Horta to sort out the main sail issues and hopefully get the wind data to his pilots somehow. He is determined to continue racing..

 

So, at least 3 lessons from your list stand in his case:

 

  • Make absolutely certain you have your pilots working 100% when you leave, and make sure you have two completely redundant pilots
  • Install two anenometers, and make sure their mount points are as secure as you can make them. Loss of wind data seems to be a very common problem. Make it possible to disconnect the non functioning anemometer quickly and easily (night, rough sea) + make the connection of the second anemometer to the system easy.
  • Have replacement batten pockets on board. It has not apparently been an issue in this race, but in the Solidaire du Chocolat it was one of the most common problems.

 

All this said: GO DIMITRY!

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Btw, did you notice that First Class 40 is only about 200 miles behind MichDesj. This will hurt.

 

I saw that...Pretty cool!

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Does anyone know who carries what hardware in terms of pilots? Would be interesting to see failure rate against total number in fleet between NKE, B&G, Raymarine etc.

 

Have to say given the relatively short amount of time Marco has had Unicredit his performance is fantastic.

 

I actually don't know what this fleet has specifically. At the 2007 TJV I checked for every boat and the vast majority of the Class 40's were NKE. The balance (maybe 20% if memory serves) were B&G and there were no Raymarine pilots.

 

I am 99.999% positive that Ruyant, Noblet and Goss have NKE's HR Pilot, the top-of-the-line version that NKE has for the IMOCA 60's. Noblet inherited his when he bought the boat from Gio and Ruyant had one on his Mini when he won last year so I would assume he acquired one for this Class 40. Based on the comments that Goss made on the RdR site, I am guessing he has one as well. Likewise, I am also guessing that most or all of the rest have NKE's standard pilot.

 

Thanks for that, am pretty sure ICAP ORCA has Raymarine..

 

Removing anenometer true wind pilot issues ( I guess the pilot itself cannot be blamed for that ) I think that fault rate is not so bad given the challenge being undertaken. Thoughts ??

 

I believe that with the update on Dimitry we have 7 of the Class 40's that have lost their wind data because of anenometer problems.

 

We also have 2 Class 40's that have had complete failure of their pilots (Aasberg/Solo and Rompannen/Tieto Passion) and that led to their dropping out of the race. I do not know what kind of pilots these guys had, nor if they had a back up pilot. Defert also has had some pilot issues, although the details are not clear. And then Marco had an issue with his pilot where the bus "lost" the master. This particular problem has happened to me in the past, and there are a couple of different causes. He fixed his problem pretty quickly.

 

So 4 guys with pilot issues, two of which were able to recover. That to me is not very bad numbers. The anenometer issue is more problematic, with something like 15% of the fleet having the issue. And the loss of the ability to steer by True and Apparent wind is a huge problem, one that can easily take you out of contention for any podium finish. The pilot steers for 95% of the race. The IMOCA 60's all have two mast head units and some have a provision to stern mount a back-up. A good number of the Class 40's have two mast head units, but some go without the back-up unit. I don't know what the situation is with these 7 boats in terms of back-up anenometers.

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Little tweak to Conrad's list. The day after his big spi blew up, a while ago now, he also lost his code zero. He didn't mention it, but it's beyond repair.

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Little tweak to Conrad's list. The day after his big spi blew up, a while ago now, he also lost his code zero. He didn't mention it, but it's beyond repair.

 

Well that just rots. Hate it when that happens...

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Bad news about that Code 0. Looking 72 hours down the road and I think that he is really going to miss that sail.

 

Let me just say that my money is now on Troussel. Noblet is going to be even with Ruyant, maybe even by the time we wake up in the morning. the trio of Manuard, Grimont and Noblet are going to have a rough time of it tonight in light air. There is some chance that Noblet is even with Ruyant by lunch time tomorrow, since Noblet has the better angle. But I think all of them will suffer from head winds where Trousell is looing good with better wind angle for the next two days.

 

The real kicker, however, is 70 hours down the road when there is no wind at all in the vicinity of Guadeloup. We may have a restart within 50 miles of the finish line, and the light air boats that still have light air sails will be the victors.

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Bad news about that Code 0. Looking 72 hours down the road and I think that he is really going to miss that sail.

 

Let me just say that my money is now on Troussel. Noblet is going to be even with Ruyant, maybe even by the time we wake up in the morning. the trio of Manuard, Grimont and Noblet are going to have a rough time of it tonight in light air. There is some chance that Noblet is even with Ruyant by lunch time tomorrow, since Noblet has the better angle. But I think all of them will suffer from head winds where Trousell is looing good with better wind angle for the next two days.

 

The real kicker, however, is 70 hours down the road when there is no wind at all in the vicinity of Guadeloup. We may have a restart within 50 miles of the finish line, and the light air boats that still have light air sails will be the victors.

 

RM, Noblet has been running near the front for this entire race, but he's been a mid-pack runner every past race I've noticed. Can the acquisition of Soldini's Verdier have made that much difference?

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wow. Marco's blog is fucking awesome. He just gained another fan.

Marco's musings on the life and death of a flying fish

Today a flying fish committed suicide on my boat, wife had left him, lots of gambling debts. He took the jump. But let's think Darwin for a second, it takes you million of years to develop your fins into wings so as a fish can fly out above the water away from your predators, you jumped thousands of times, blu skies and pretty clouds, gray skies and dark clouds. Can someone do the maths for me, what are the chances that in the north atlantic ocean you land on a 40 by 12 foot racing boat. So i buried my unlucky fellow, it was quite an emotional ceremony, none of his family attended, i think it was the gambling.

 

So yesterday my bad luck with the high pressure pushed above my head by Uncle Ben's uber evil twin brother Hurricane Thomas was over, i enjoyed a night of riding the waves, and went on to pass the stick to flying fish, who i think was dealt a much harsher hand of cards.

Yesterday was theatre night and was a bit nervous as with the racing I didnt have much time to rehearse, we played a greek tragedy called Thalassotherapy in which i'm Entangolos, a boy who gets caught trying a low pass on Aeolus daughter Azorea Highya, gets chained in punishment but eventually manages to find freedom, his love for Azorea Highya is unrequited so he just presses on to Guadalupeikos where the booze is cheap. I have attached a photo of the key scene in the final act where Entangolos disentangles from Aeolus chains.

 

I know in London it's been rain and hauling misery, so i will stick to the facts and wont rub it in, it is now officially so hot and moist in this southwesterly there is a lady handing over steam room towels in the cockpit, i actually feel a bit sluggish for it, you go for a breath of fresh air and it's like sticking your head in a clothes dryer mid cycle.

 

Talking of cycles, last night the wind was good, but i think it was that time of the month as it showed little consistency in it's intentions, as we're on holiday i didnt want to start an argument, so i responded to every whim, changing sails as and when without muttering too much, i was so exhausted after a while i went for a nap and slept so solid i only woke up when my teddy bear gave me CPR.

 

I really have to thank you all for the messages you sent through www.marconannini.com/sms, i wish i could reply to all but you have been the barbequed marsh mallows of my camping trip so far, including those so generous as to offer me Rolex replica watches for a tenner or to transfer 10 million USD (TEN MILION AMERIGAN DOLARS) from their account in Nigeria. Really you dont have to.

 

Lastly, what to expect over the next few days, Thomas 'the Stig' Ruyant has been the first to hit the front which will give Yvan the Restless Nobletski a chance for catching up, but then it'll his turn to go through, there will be gains and losses to be made by pure pot luck, how fast you can get through the windless area behind the front. The idea of keeping going west is dictated by a head wind to start with, lack of established trades to the south east and the promise of some following wind in june 2014. Yes, we'll be beating for the next 4 days, so much so for the Route du Rhum, so far i have used the spinnaker more in my OSTAR last year.

 

I am one of those furthest west, so will hit the front as early as tonight, i'm already been headed and pushed west, i should lose to my rivals until i find the new wind and in a couple of days the wind will start to free for me while they will still have to go through the front, so i will be most likely slipping further in the ranking and will only have some respite, maybe, later if the forecast stays true. Paradoxically the routeing says i'm better placed than my ranking neighbours as once through i should be doing better VMG, but i trust this as Sheffield miners did Margaret Thacher.

 

So let me go back to my state of denial, where i can play guitar rather good and can climb the ranking of this fantastic race.

 

Guy is brilliant, good on him.

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I believe that with the update on Dimitry we have 7 of the Class 40's that have lost their wind data because of anenometer problems.

 

We also have 2 Class 40's that have had complete failure of their pilots (Aasberg/Solo and Rompannen/Tieto Passion) and that led to their dropping out of the race. I do not know what kind of pilots these guys had, nor if they had a back up pilot. Defert also has had some pilot issues, although the details are not clear. And then Marco had an issue with his pilot where the bus "lost" the master. This particular problem has happened to me in the past, and there are a couple of different causes. He fixed his problem pretty quickly.

 

So 4 guys with pilot issues, two of which were able to recover. That to me is not very bad numbers. The anenometer issue is more problematic, with something like 15% of the fleet having the issue. And the loss of the ability to steer by True and Apparent wind is a huge problem, one that can easily take you out of contention for any podium finish. The pilot steers for 95% of the race. The IMOCA 60's all have two mast head units and some have a provision to stern mount a back-up. A good number of the Class 40's have two mast head units, but some go without the back-up unit. I don't know what the situation is with these 7 boats in terms of back-up anenometers.

 

I have an NKE installation and to date have been lucky with my anenometer. I wonder if an AIRMAR (http://www.airmartechnology.com/airmar2005/ex20/RMProducts/ElectCat.asp?ProdID=105&Page=Marine) on the stern might serve as a suitable backup. Self contained with no moving parts and able to be interfaced with my NKE pilot and my Raymarine backup. Anyone got any experience of this product ??

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Ah, Marco - where art thou? You and Conrad are sure paying for missing the gybe.

 

 

To update my running list of damages, check out the new items in bold.

 

  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. I also forgot to mention that his top rudder bearings are leaking which lets water collect in the rudder compartment. I know from personal experience that if you fail to notice that, it can drown your hydraulic ram motors for your autopilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - referred to some damage but I can't figure out what it might be. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a splint and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

 

To complete your fine list a bit, Fabrice Amedeo has had a pilot failure around the sixth day of the race. He had to helm the boat in fast reaching (wind around 40 knts) conditions for more than 16 hours!! Despite that, and knowing that he is far from a pro (he is a journalist for Le Figaro, the french daily.) he is having a fantastic race! He is 26th at the moment.

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Bad news about that Code 0. Looking 72 hours down the road and I think that he is really going to miss that sail.

 

Let me just say that my money is now on Troussel. Noblet is going to be even with Ruyant, maybe even by the time we wake up in the morning. the trio of Manuard, Grimont and Noblet are going to have a rough time of it tonight in light air. There is some chance that Noblet is even with Ruyant by lunch time tomorrow, since Noblet has the better angle. But I think all of them will suffer from head winds where Trousell is looing good with better wind angle for the next two days.

 

The real kicker, however, is 70 hours down the road when there is no wind at all in the vicinity of Guadeloup. We may have a restart within 50 miles of the finish line, and the light air boats that still have light air sails will be the victors.

 

RM, Noblet has been running near the front for this entire race, but he's been a mid-pack runner every past race I've noticed. Can the acquisition of Soldini's Verdier have made that much difference?

 

Noblet has a lot of miles on his old boat,and has gotten a chance to get to know the new boat well over this past summer.

 

His old boat was (if I remember correctly) home built and a very early 1st generation boat. Lots of chines, wood core and pretty heavy. I honestly can't remember his performance in other races other than during the Transat in 2009 he was doing pretty well until he started to suffer some hull delamination and had to retire to St. Pierre.

 

So yes.... I think the acquisition of Gio's boat has allowed Noblet to demonstrate that he really does have the kind of experience that merits him being up with the front runners.

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I believe that with the update on Dimitry we have 7 of the Class 40's that have lost their wind data because of anenometer problems.

 

We also have 2 Class 40's that have had complete failure of their pilots (Aasberg/Solo and Rompannen/Tieto Passion) and that led to their dropping out of the race. I do not know what kind of pilots these guys had, nor if they had a back up pilot. Defert also has had some pilot issues, although the details are not clear. And then Marco had an issue with his pilot where the bus "lost" the master. This particular problem has happened to me in the past, and there are a couple of different causes. He fixed his problem pretty quickly.

 

So 4 guys with pilot issues, two of which were able to recover. That to me is not very bad numbers. The anenometer issue is more problematic, with something like 15% of the fleet having the issue. And the loss of the ability to steer by True and Apparent wind is a huge problem, one that can easily take you out of contention for any podium finish. The pilot steers for 95% of the race. The IMOCA 60's all have two mast head units and some have a provision to stern mount a back-up. A good number of the Class 40's have two mast head units, but some go without the back-up unit. I don't know what the situation is with these 7 boats in terms of back-up anenometers.

 

I have an NKE installation and to date have been lucky with my anenometer. I wonder if an AIRMAR (http://www.airmartechnology.com/airmar2005/ex20/RMProducts/ElectCat.asp?ProdID=105&Page=Marine) on the stern might serve as a suitable backup. Self contained with no moving parts and able to be interfaced with my NKE pilot and my Raymarine backup. Anyone got any experience of this product ??

 

I don't know too much about those sensors, other than the fact that they had some issues with humidty early on and then subsequently got it fixed. The issue with a stern mount of any sort will be that it won't be reading very clean air. But... in a world of dodgy wind data versus no wind data I think I would take the dodgy wind data.

 

For the NYYC Transatlantic next year, I personally am going to augment my singe anenometer with a second unit at the mast head and make certain that the mounts are solid.

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Noblet pulled close and now is sliding back as Ruyant broke free of the ridge that Noblet is now entering. The chasing pack of Manuard and Grimont will hit the same light air soon. Still to be seen if Jorg is far enough south to miss the effect. Meanwhile, Trousell still has a speed and angle advantage on Ruyant is and is making a couple of knots better speed. He has about 1100 miles left to make up 100 miles... not a huge deficit. There are 7 boats within 150 miles of the leader and the very real possibility that the front end of the fleet will accordian into each other about 50 to 100 miles off of Guadeloup as they all enter a zone of persistently light air that looks like it will be surrounding the finish line just as they get there.

 

Thank you to every one who provided additional items for our running inventory of Class 40 damage. The past 24 hours have been fairly kind to the fleet and not too many new items to report other than catching up with the additional reports of damage that we had not known about before. As always, new items are in bold.

 


  • Dimitar Topalov (White Swallow) - Damaged his spinnaker on the first night, not clear if it is usable. Lost his Code 0 furler and presumably can't use his Code sail. Experienced a pilot failure in the first day or two. Has now lost his anenometer and has no wind data which limits his pilot from steering to true or apparent wind modes. Broken all his batten pockets from the 3rd reef to the top of the main. Made a stop for essential repairs and continues to race.
  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing. Also tore his Code 0, beyond repair.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Spent time last night trying to sew up his torn head sail. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. His top rudder bearings are leaking which lets water collect in the rudder compartment. I know from personal experience that if you fail to notice that, it can drown your hydraulic ram motors for your autopilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover. Managed to repair his Code 0 with 9 meters of sewing and is pressing it back into service.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - Experienced pilot failure on the 6th day and had to hand steer for 16 hours in 40 knot reaching conditions. Apparently now has a functioning pilot. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a splint and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

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Lemonchois, the 2006 overall winner, has taken the lead in Multi 50 ! Even after his early main sail problem that cost him nearly a day near Cape Finisterre (easy to sea on his track), he never let go and kept going even though the race seemed lost to him. He is really amazing. I would really have loved to see what he could have done again on Gitana XI against the bigger boats. Yann Guichard seems a nice guy, but his race was quite disappointing, to say the least.

 

The IMOCA finish is going to be tricky till the end for Bilou. Guillemot has made up a lot of time and his the only one with a different wind than Bilou. Every sailor is saying the weather forecasts are very inaccurate at the moment around Gaudeloupe. Could be interesting...

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RM, Noblet has been running near the front for this entire race, but he's been a mid-pack runner every past race I've noticed. Can the acquisition of Soldini's Verdier have made that much difference?

Solidini's boat is light years better than Yvan's old 40 - IIRC it was a first generation Ker design but heavy and slow. Think he won the AZAB Class 40 race on it several years ago.

 

Really nice guy Yvan....

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Ask NKE about the anemometer directly, ty to get hte tech guy there. They have been tested on minis. Do not know the result. Istallation and data transfer was no problem.

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Marco seems to be on a road to no where, very risky to seperate out like that

I think that might be forced as much as anything, he had pilot trouble so maybe he's trying to throw the dice and see where it lands him... Risky but could pay off, it did for Goss when he went south remember.

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The morning round up:

 

Just a little morning musing... this is the one race where the orgins of the phrase "rhum line" become clear. The straight line between you and your destination, and in this case the straight line between you and your rum.

 

Ruyant has the best breeze for the moment, but is tacking his way down the course. The following pack is also faced with wind coming straight from Guadeloupe, but they are all tight reaching their way to the North west in an effort to get a bit north of the rhum line. Reason being - they all see the forecasts that show a big wind hole along and south of the rhum line as they approach Pointe a Prite. You either want to be approaching from the North or coming from way in the south as Mich is right now in the IMOCAs. At the moment, it looks like the southerly approach will provide better breeze but be the longest approach by a significant margin and therefore the bulk of the lead pack is placing their bets on the north.

 

There are still 6 boats within 150 miles of Ruyant and 7 within 170 miles. But... given the distance to the finish the only way the most of them will catch Thomas is if they all pancake into a wind hole in the final miles to the island. At this point, I don't see enough separation between Noblet and Ruyant to allow Noblet to catch him. Trousell's strategy is still paying dividends, and his southerly separation still could pay off with the victory. He certainly has shown the best average boat speed over the past 60 hours. And I still like Riechers chances to get on the podium... slightly more southerly positioning than Manuard and in a boat that has some good speed in the light and sticky stuff.

 

Down south, Angoulvant is now determined to own the corner and at this point, I think he has overstood. Goss is proving to be a canny and cunning navigator as he lines up just at the southern boundery of the predicted wind hole. Age and guile tested against youth and vigor. At 344 miles back, it is unlikely that he can pull this rabbit out of the hat but if for any reason that wind hole shifts even a little bit north you could see a good sized fleet bobbing around north of the rhumb line as Goss swans in from the south.

 

In the way of damages, the last 24 hours were pretty kind to the fleet with the exception of David Augeix who now has 1224 miles to go with no forestay. As always, new items are in bold.

 


  • David Augeix ( EDF Energies Nouvelles - VESTAS) - Broken forestay, apparently at the tang where it connects to the stem. He has the inner stay in place and presumably is flying a reefed main except for when he flys a code sail which would support the mast head.
  • Dimitar Topalov (White Swallow) - Damaged his spinnaker on the first night, not clear if it is usable. Lost his Code 0 furler and presumably can't use his Code sail. Experienced a pilot failure in the first day or two. Has now lost his anenometer and has no wind data which limits his pilot from steering to true or apparent wind modes. Broken all his batten pockets from the 3rd reef to the top of the main. Made a stop for essential repairs and continues to race.
  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing. Also tore his Code 0, beyond repair.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end. Experienced some electrical problems that required a repair to the engine so I am guessing it was an alternator problem.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Jib is now repaired and in use, but in a fragile state. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. His top rudder bearings are leaking which lets water collect in the rudder compartment. I know from personal experience that if you fail to notice that, it can drown your hydraulic ram motors for your autopilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover. Managed to repair his Code 0 with 9 meters of sewing and is pressing it back into service.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - Experienced pilot failure on the 6th day and had to hand steer for 16 hours in 40 knot reaching conditions. Apparently now has a functioning pilot. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a splint and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

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Etienne Giroire capsized his trimaran. He has apparently been rescued already by a passing container ship heading for... Guadeloupe.

 

Bad news and now very good news.

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Again Rail Meat, Can't thank you enough for your analysis's, better than anything on the RDR site itself, as for the capsized Tri, apparently it went over in light to medium winds, How did that even hapen?

And as for Goss, I think he's well and truly back with a vengance!

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+1 RM

As good and complete as the official site is, the 40' fleet really needs someone like RM

Following the ultimate or the IMOCA can be done no-problem, but keeping track of a fleet of 40+ boats is another thing.

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Plus One, know a fair percentage of the players involved, but the breakdown is good, cheers...

When are you gonna do one of these RM?

Josh's race?

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The NYYC's Transatlantic race is on next year's calendar. We hope to have four or more Class 40's on the starting line, all of them double handed. The Atlantic Cup will kick off the year, then Annapolis to Newport as a prep run for the transat. Then Fastnet in August.

 

I would love to do an RdR, maybe in 2014. Bit tough to do with work and all but I could probably pull it off. The GOR is unfortunately incompatable with my professional life.

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Bilou did it!

 

Beautiful.

 

Fah-king Beautiful!

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Bilou did it!

 

Beautiful.

 

Fah-king Beautiful!

 

Wonderful success for Bilou, which does justice to a great, if discreet, career!

And ... brilliant project management and execution by Kairos, a great step forward for the team, more should come ;)

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Glad it is helpful.

 

 

You bet it is.

Thank you very much for giving this inside information and the great analyses to us couch sailors. I am following Joerg, the old fella, who once changed from a Laseristi to a Mumm 36 campaign (The Wall) and had Glenn Bourke and later David Bedford taking the stick to learn it all the hard way. He is the only one from the Hamburg (GER) Laser group who has made it this far. And boy, was he a difficult character.

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A relatively quiet 24 hours for updates from the fleet. Two weeks into the race, and I am sure some of the skippers are getting emotionally ready to be in port, with the promise of ice, air conditioning, cold beer and a comfortable bed. You can see it in several of the updates that did get posted in the last 24 hours where the skippers talk about bathing and cleaning up their boats. When you are stuck in the cycle of trying to squeeze every fractional knot of speed out of your boat, updates to home take a lower priority.

 

The back half of the southern portion of the fleet has paid a steep toll for their routing choice. They have been stuck in the ITC for an ungodly amount of time, and while only two are still suffering I have to wonder about the food, water and fuel situation for the guys who spent so much time making little headway. It will be interesting to watch this set of boats later on this week.

 

Up at the front of the pack, this cell of high pressure is still the major feature that needs to be dealt with in order to start drinking rum. It still sits between the northern fleet and the island, and still promised to move east in the coming day or so. The difference is that it now looks like it will move a bit south as well, good news for the northern pack and bad news for the boats like Goss who remain south. Goss has picked up some miles in the past 24 hours, but it does not look to be enough. He needs to hustle in the next 24 hours in order to skim below the high as it moves east. If he makes that push, then he should have reasonable breeze the whole way in, although he is going have to gybe down the track.

 

In the northern pack, Trousell continues to chew away at the miles and is firmly in second place now. Jorg has taken advantage of his slightly more southern positioning as well as Noblet's damage to his forestay to leverage himself into third. Ruyant spent the past 12 hours putting a tack into the south while the trio hot on his heels continue to tack north. If I were Thomas, I would probably tack back now to cover them, although he may want to carry on a bit more to cross with Trousell and then cover Trousell. With the forecast this morning, my best guess is that the northern pack will indeed pancake into light air in the last 50 miles of the race, but it looks like the new breeze will fill in from the north and favor those that are in the north west corner of the approach. It does not look like the windless conditions will persist long enough for Goss to meet up with the northern pack in the last miles, but I am betting he will close the gap by a fair amount.

 

One additional damage report in the past 24 hours, and another big one. Noblet's forestay is attached to the stem by way of lashings and those parted. Probably all that slamming in a race that has been uncharacteristically upwind. He almost lost the rig, but manage to put the forestay on in time. I would think that he should be able to lash the forestay back in place, but he seems to be talking about sailing with only the Code 0 and the innerstay sail. Given the prediction of relatively light conditions, the Code would be the sail to go with, but it can't fly in much more than 9 knots and the inner staysail really only comes into play around 18 knots or so. So if he sees winds between 9 and 18 knots, he is going to miss the use of his Solent (Jib).

 

Also, Dimitry has now been in port in the Azores for a 18 hours or so. I hope he is able to resume racing, although he has to have some concerns about being the aft most boat in the fleet by a wide margin at this point. Dimtry has posted here in SA in the past, and it hurts to see him with the challenge of these damages.

 

We did pass one milestone. As of today, more than half of the fleet has reported damage that has made it to this inventory. In the case of three boats, this damage forced them to drop out. In the case of several others such as Stamm, Colman, or De laMotte it has meant the difference between being a contender at the front of the fleet or having to focus just on finishing.

 

As always, new items are in bold.

 


  • Yvan Noblet (Appart City) - Lashing that held forestay to stem chafed through and parted. Mast is now supported by inner stay. Continuing racing.
  • David Augeix ( EDF Energies Nouvelles - VESTAS) - Broken forestay, apparently at the tang where it connects to the stem. He has the inner stay in place and presumably is flying a reefed main except for when he flys a code sail which would support the mast head.
  • Dimitar Topalov (White Swallow) - Damaged his spinnaker on the first night, not clear if it is usable. Lost his Code 0 furler and presumably can't use his Code sail. Experienced a pilot failure in the first day or two. Has now lost his anenometer and has no wind data which limits his pilot from steering to true or apparent wind modes. Broken all his batten pockets from the 3rd reef to the top of the main. Made a stop in the Azores for essential repairs
  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing. Also tore his Code 0, beyond repair.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end. Experienced some electrical problems that required a repair to the engine so I am guessing it was an alternator problem.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Jib is now repaired and in use, but in a fragile state. Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus and adding them back on one at a time. Seems his anenometer has not been working for much of the race which would eliminate his ability to get wind direction or speed and not allow him to use the apparent wind and true wind modes of the pilot. His top rudder bearings are leaking which lets water collect in the rudder compartment. I know from personal experience that if you fail to notice that, it can drown your hydraulic ram motors for your autopilot. Continuing racing.
  • Tanguy De Lamotte (Novedia/Initiatives) - tore a code sail from luff to leech. Torn the main badly. Continuing racing but acknowledged there is no way to recover. Managed to repair his Code 0 with 9 meters of sewing and is pressing it back into service.
  • Fabrice Amedeo (Geodis) - Experienced pilot failure on the 6th day and had to hand steer for 16 hours in 40 knot reaching conditions. Apparently now has a functioning pilot. Continuing racing.
  • Marc Lepesqueux (Marie Toit Caen la mer) - cracked bow sprit. Fabricated a splint and stabilized it with some additional stays. Continuing racing.
  • Pierre-Marie Bazin (Les 3Caps-Respectons la Terre) - broken solent halyard and a damaged / non-functioning anenometer which no longer allows him to have wind data or use the true and apparent wind modes on the auto-pilot. Also is having problems with the deisel and the solar panels when using them for power charging. He has proken his Spinnaker halyard in addition to his solent halyard and broke something else he referred to as a "lazzy" which I have no idea how to translate. Continuing racing.
  • Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) - steering damage. After checking out the video, it was definitely with the tiller arm that the pilot is connected to, and where that tiller arm was connected to the rudder stock. Attempted a repair underway that did not work. Stopping in the Azores for a repair.
  • David Consorte (Adriatech) - broken solent halyard, GPS failure and leaking water ballast. Retired from the race.
  • Rune Aasberg (Solo) - Pilot failure. Retired from the race.

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What routing and fleet position data are the class 40s able to receive? Is it a RdR rule or does the class limit this?

 

Thanks!

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The class does not allow any external routing. You can receive weather GRIBs and position reports.

 

If the race's rules are more restrictive then the Class abides by those rules. If the race's rules are more permissive, then the Class boats restrict themselves to the Class limitations.

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Nice final going on, its Troussel or Ruyant, money on Ruyant. With the experience of Troussel it is interesting to follow. Must have been mental hard for the young Ruyant to get SOuth. Troussel only had to worry about boatspeed :)

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Well, guys, I recognize that the solid money should go to Ruyant and Troussel right now, but some nagging feeling is pushing me towards that wild man, Pete Goss, way down south. Goss has better wind direction for the run to Guadeloupe and from the way stuff has been happening for the past week, he also has no serious flat spots to drop his boat speed to 1 knot (look at the guys in the M50 Class to get an idea as to how lake-like it is getting out there) On the dark side, he is gonna have to put the hammer down as best he can as he's got 300 miles to swipe and that's some big obstacle. More on the dark side... there's absolutely no tellin' if that lousy dead zone will show-up east of the island.

 

Still...

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Hmm those M50´s had structural problems, so 1 knot is still fast. Looks like Yves repaired his boat. He knows how to build boats, but good for him. Level of self out of trouble getting is quiet high in the French scene. No wonder with Parlier as example.

 

Goss winning would be a miracle.

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Trousell just tacked... looks like he wants to keep some separation on Ruyant who still has more pressure than Trousell. And Grimont, Criquioche and Riechers have tacked as well. I imagine Riechers is working now to hang onto the #3 spot that he has fought hard for and will make sure to stay between Grimont/Criquioche and the island. He can't control the situation with Goss and now has the kind of separation on Manuard and Noblet that mean that he can't really make decisions based on their tactics, but he can make damn sure that he match races Grimont & Criquioche.

 

Meanwhile Manuard and Noblet are still going north, into the low. From my cozy seat in Mystic, the port tack does not seem like the favored board and it looks like they are getting headed. I would flop over soon, take advantage of the additional pressure they have and try to close the gap on Riechers.

 

Goss looks like he just gybed and is putting some south into the bank, perhaps to give himself some cushion against the predicted wind hole.

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Trousell just tacked... looks like he wants to keep some separation on Ruyant who still has more pressure than Trousell. And Grimont, Criquioche and Riechers have tacked as well. I imagine Riechers is working now to hang onto the #3 spot that he has fought hard for and will make sure to stay between Grimont/Criquioche and the island. He can't control the situation with Goss and now has the kind of separation on Manuard and Noblet that mean that he can't really make decisions based on their tactics, but he can make damn sure that he match races Grimont & Criquioche.

 

Meanwhile Manuard and Noblet are still going north, into the low. From my cozy seat in Mystic, the port tack does not seem like the favored board and it looks like they are getting headed. I would flop over soon, take advantage of the additional pressure they have and try to close the gap on Riechers.

 

Goss looks like he just gybed and is putting some south into the bank, perhaps to give himself some cushion against the predicted wind hole.

Yup, he said so on the blog, this route has been his long - term strategy and hes obviously comitted to it...

http://www.petegoss.com/routedurhum/blog.php

But he's pushing hard, despite having far less experience in these boats than many fellow competitors, and is really enjoying himself there too.

GO THE GOSS! Don't think he'll win but sure the turbo will kick in over the next few days.....

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Interesting to see how Marc Guillemot on Safran has advanced Jean Pierre Dic on Virbac Paprec just west of Guadalupe to get 3rd.

Go to the tracker, zoom in close (2800), go to 14-11-2010 15:00 FR and play it forward at 20x .

 

According to him on the press conference J-P went too close to the island.

J-P should arrive in less than an hour.

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Class40 Route du Rhum Week 2 report by Oliver Dewar

 

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Route du Rhum Race Tracker 12/11/10 courtesy of Haribo and Marco Nannini - Photo Marco Nannini/UniCredit

 

Throughout the first week of Class40 racing in the Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale (31st Oct-7th Nov), competition was characteristically tight and filled with drama and humour. Thomas Ruyant on Destination Dunkerque took pole position mid-week as the Class40 fleet split with hotly-tipped Nicolas Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne leading a breakaway pack east of the Azores High in search of a quick route to the NE Trade Winds. While Ruyant and the northern group found the strongest breeze to the west, a lurking mid-Atlantic high-pressure system threatened to turn the position rankings upside down although Ruyant continued to increase his lead dramatically over the chasing boats in the northern pack.

 

During the second week (7th Nov – 14th Nov), evasive action and a sharp drop south prevented the majority of the northern group from entrapment in light airs and forced a few boats close to the Azores with terrible consequences for one competitor. Areas of light wind continued to dog the fleet leader as the northern and southern groups merged and the relentless pace of Troussel to the south began to threaten Ruyant’s 10 days at the head of Class40 and by midday on Friday, the rout of the podium had begun.

 

Confusion and instability in the northern group:

 

During the first weekend at sea, the northern group tangled with the Mid-Atlantic high pressure system, while leading in the southern group, Troussel made a steep ascent from 19th place to 10th place on Sunday evening as the two groups of Class40’s converged with Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne trailing Ruyant’s Destination Dunkerque by 157 miles. In third place, trailing the fleet leader by 95 miles on Monday, Sam Manuard on Vecteur Plus was averaging just under 11 knots south of the system’s centre on a broad port reach. “The conditions just now are a little more steady than they were during the night when I was caught in some rain showers where the wind was very shifty and unsettled,” reported Manuard. “It is pretty confused and so when it is like this, I feel like the scientific approach to the weather is the best thing,” added the yacht designer and Mini sailor. Having analysed the weather, Manuard remained sceptical about the route taken by the southern group: “Arriving from the east is still an option, but really nothing is for sure.”

 

Evasive tactics in the northern group and the dive south forced four of the fleet to thread through the Azores Archipelago with Thierry Bouchard in 18th place on his Akilaria RC2 Comiris - Pôle Santé Elior; Eric Galmard in 20th on Avis Immobilier; Olivier Grassi in 21st position with Grassi Bateaux and Eric Defert on his new Verdier Tyker40 Drekan Energie - Groupe Terrallia sailing through the islands in pitch darkness during the early hours of Monday morning. Meanwhile, at the eastern end of this Portuguese, territorial outpost, Bernard Stamm and Cheminées Poujoulat reached São Miguel and rendezvoused with two shore crew for vital repairs. In calm conditions off Ponta Garca on the island’s southern coast, Stamm and his team made repairs to the steering system and by daybreak on Monday, Cheminées Poujoulat was back on the race track, 448 miles behind the Class40 leader having dropped back to 32nd place during the long limp south to São Miguel.

 

For many in the northern group, dropping south and skirting the high pressure in unstable conditions was becoming tiresome. GOR entry, Jean-Edouard Criquioche on Groupe PICOTY - east of the fleet leader and trailing Destination Dunkerque by 226 miles in 7th place - was beginning to find the atmosphere suffocating: “Last night was completely black without a glimpse of any stars through the thick, dark cloud cover,” reported the French skipper on Tuesday morning. “The sea was totally black and this darkness engulfs the boat with just the nav lights throwing a pool of light on the sails. It feels like I’m the only person in the world on board a boat sailing into the unknown without effort and in almost total silence.” Despite the poetry, Criquioche was getting jumpy: “This private world would be perfect if the breeze stopped getting on my nerves so much: switching round through 50 degrees and varying between eight and 25 knots.”

 

On Sunday evening, Yvan Noblet had moved into 2nd place on Appart City – Giovanni Soldini’s old Telecom Italia - and held the position trailing Ruyant by 105 miles on Tuesday morning after a bumpy Monday night: “A really complicated night,” admitted Noblet who had chosen a far deeper dive south than the fleet leader. “Not much wind and coming from every angle at changing strengths with plenty of squalls.”

 

Horrific collision off the Azores:

 

However, neither Criquioche nor Noblet had a night as stressful as 25 year-old French skipper, Louis Burton, on his five year-old Pogo, Bureau Vallée. Holding 11th place just west of the Azores and making around 7 knots boatspeed under full main and big spinnaker, Burton went below shortly before sunrise on Tuesday morning for some rest: navigation lights were on and so was the radar alarm, but barely had he closed his eyes when Bureau Vallée slammed into the port side of a 30-35 metre, Portuguese fishing boat. “It was a really hard impact,” reported Burton. “I rushed on deck and the carbon bowsprit had shattered and acted as a shock absorber and because the autopilot was trying to get me back on my original course, I was pinned to the side of the fishing boat.”

 

With wind and electronics working against him, Burton shouted for assistance from the fishing boat’s crew: “I banged on their hull and yelled for help, but there wasn’t a person in sight.” Desperate to get free, the yacht’s third reefing pennant caught on the fishing boat’s bulwark and Burton thinks there were three or four more violent impacts along the hull of the boat before Bureau Vallée finally disengaged. Despite being severely shaken by the incident, Burton reported that all the vital parts of the boat were functioning: “The mast and the shrouds are fine,” he confirmed. “There’s a gash in the bow and some scrapes and fractures along the hull-deck joint, some of the stanchions and the pushpit are a mess and the bowsprit is in three or four pieces.”

 

Isolation in the north for Nannini and Coleman:

 

North of Noblet and Criquioche, two GOR entries had taken the most direct route through the high and had resisted the direct drop south. In 18th place, Italian skipper, Marco Nannini on UniCredit, and New Zealand skipper Conrad Coleman in 21st place on 40 Degrees had both sailed into the high pressure system, slowing down on Monday with a dramatic loss of speed on Tuesday to around five knots and a tumble down the rankings. Marco Nannini explained the situation: “The disturbances caused by hurricane Thomas mean the high is being pushed south-eastwards, faster and earlier than we could anticipate when we were sailing this way a few days ago,” he revealed. “So, I didn’t dip south with the others. I hoped to pass in time and going south-westwards was the shortest route out of the path of the high.” As usual, hindsight is a wonderful thing: “The only sure solution would actually have been to stay a lot further north after the front or dip south far earlier and more dramatically,” continued the Italian skipper. “But we couldn’t know at the time.”

 

Halfway point for Class40:

 

At 15:16 GMT on Tuesday afternoon, Franck Cammas and the 105ft trimaran, Groupama, crossed the finish line in Guadeloupe, winning the Route du Rhum’s Ultimate Class after nine days and three hours of racing. Approximately 1,800 miles east of Cammas, the majority of the Class40 fleet reached the Route du Rhum halfway point, with Thomas Ruyant and Destination Dunkerque making just over 10 knots keeping a 105 mile lead over Noblet and Appart City in second. However, Nicolas Troussel and the southern group were rapidly disrupting the rankings pattern as the bulk of the northern fleet continued to be forced south by the high pressure system. Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne climbed to 5th place as the two Class40 fleets converged with a deficit of 184 miles on the leader and picking up the pace to 11 knots in the late afternoon. Troussel’s nearest rival in the southern group, Damien Seguin and Des Pieds et Des Mains lay in 9th place, 114 miles off Troussel’s stern with Marc Lepesqueux and Marie Toit - Caen La Mer in 10th, Christophe Coatnoan on Partouche in 12th and – taking a very southern option and splitting from the pack – Pete Goss and DMS in 11th with slightly under 170 miles separating the chasing quartet.

 

Meeting of the fleets:

 

By Wednesday morning, the two squadrons in the fleet had begun to merge, creating a 780 mile-wide wall of Class40’s spread across the North Atlantic. In the northern group, Rémis Beauvais on his 2006 Philippot-designed Routes du Large holding 8th place was furthest south, forming the inter-pack link, trailing the southern pack leader, Nicolas Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne in 6th by 84 miles. However, the overall fleet leader, Thomas Ruyant, continued to pull away, adding a further 52 miles to the distance between his Tyker40 Destination Dunkerque and Troussel’s Pogo S² in 24 hours. Ruyant also achieved gains over his nearest rival in the northern group, Yvan Noblet in 2nd place on Appart City, adding 25 miles to the distance deficit in the same 24 hour period and leading Noblet by 127 miles at dawn on Wednesday.

 

Apart from German sailor, Jörg Riechers in 5th on Mare.de who polled a speed average of 13 knots on Tuesday afternoon, Ruyant was consistently the fastest boat in the fleet, averaging 10-12 knots. “I’ve got the strongest breeze because I’m furthest west,” the 29 year-old, former Mini sailor explained simply on Wednesday morning. “But what’s ahead? Who knows? I’ve made some pretty good decisions strategically and I’ve tried to understand what’s going on with the weather, although it’s really complex,” he admitted. “It’s not Russian roulette: it’s just interesting and complicated.” Looking over his port quarter at Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne in the south-east, Ruyant was cautious. “Judging by what Nicolas Troussel is currently up to, I imagine he’s going to stick with a southern approach to Guadeloupe. But nothing is fixed! Personally, I think the comment made by Jean Le Cam is highly valuable: ‘If you don’t know where to go; go west!’.”

 

Stamm back in the chase:

 

Meanwhile, 500 miles behind Ruyant, Bernard Stamm and Cheminées Poujoulat were back in the hunt following a pitstop in the Azores with the round the world specialist scalping six places in the 48 hours following a restart from São Miguel on Monday morning and moving into 26th place. Furthest south in the Class40 fleet, fellow circumnavigator, Pete Goss in 13th place, explained his rapid dive down to 27 degrees North: “I didn't want to get too close to the northerly fleet as they come down to meet us,” confirmed the British skipper of the new Akilaria RC2, DMS. “As it happens, I think we got it pretty much right as we headed down into a very long night. The trouble was that we were continually stalked by these huge great rain clouds which wreak carnage with the prevailing wind,” Goss continued. “At one point, I had the Solent out and was on a fetch for forty minutes, rain, calms and - of course - a big old slop. It was a night of effort and caution,” he explains. “At one point we reached 20 knots of boatspeed only to be dawdling along at five knots half an hour later. I actually fell asleep whilst standing up!”

 

Goss was not alone in feeling the effects of 11 days of hard sailing and, 265 miles behind the race leader, GOR entry, Jean-Edouard Criquioche with the new, third generation Pogo S² Groupe PICOTY was feeling the strain: “I’ve finally left the high pressure zone that has been tormenting me for 48 hours,” reported Criquioche on Wednesday morning having doggedly hung onto 7th place while skirting south of the high pressure system. “We’re now making good progress to Guadeloupe, but this isn’t altogether a good thing and we’ve got some light airs on the way tomorrow,” he continued, eyeing the weather data. “Today’s programme? Re-hydrating as much as possible as it’s beginning to get hot and to get some sleep in the bank as I’m severely in the red after the past couple of days,” Criquioche admits. This is the French skipper’s second Route du Rhum and he is well aware that light airs racing can be exhausting. “So today, it’s ‘Operation Kip,’ followed by more kip, and possibly some further kip!”

 

Mid-fleet congestion:

 

As the northern and southern groups converged, it was becoming increasingly congested in the middle of the fleet both in terms of rankings and geographical proximity with the intensely close racing for which Class40 has become synonymous. Leading the middle block of boats south-west, Louis Burton on damaged Bureau Vallée held 11th place, 414 miles behind the fleet leader, with the German-Swiss 50 year-old, Axel Strauss, in 13th on the 2007 Akilaria Tzu Hang just 13 miles behind Burton. Sailing with a damaged Solent, a delaminating mainsail and having lost his Code 0 overboard, 51 year-old Thierry Bouchard on his 2009 Akilaria RC2 Comiris - Pôle Santé Elior held 15th place, a handful of miles ahead of Eric Galmard on his 2007 Akilaria, Avis Immobilier. At the back of the middle block, British sailor, Richard Tolkein, in 29th place on the two year-old Humphreys Design ICAP Orca and Fabrice Amedeo on the new Akilaria RC2 Géodis were separated by just five miles.

 

In the middle of the group, Bertrand Guilloneau on his 2006 Ker40 Ville de Douarnenez in 20th place hung onto a nine mile lead over GOR entry, Tanguy de Lamotte in 23rd place on Novedia – Initiatives who was fighting to climb up the rankings after sustaining a near-terminal, horizontal rip in his mainsail two metres below the third reef at the end of the first week. De Lamotte spent six hours making repairs: “It took ages,” he explained. “I stuck several Kevlar patches over the tear on both sides of the sail, then stitched the entire area. I also added extra reinforcement where the sail rubs against the spreaders as – in my opinion – this is what caused the rip in the first place.” During one of his countless trips under the boom while stitching, De Lamotte walked straight into one of the batten cars on the unbent section of mainsail. “It smacked me straight in the face and broke a tooth,” he continued. Despite the sharp pain from an exposed nerve, De Lamotte completed the repair, hoisted the patched main and broke open the med-kit, but soon grew weary of the instructions and called the Route du Rhum Medical Officer. “I shut the book at the chapter on dental procedures and called Dr. Jean-Yves Chauve who talked me through the process,” he explained. “I succeeded in making a few grams of plaster and attaching this as a sort of bandage to what was left of the tooth.”

 

Brakes go on for Ruyant:

 

Since escaping the clutches of the mid-Atlantic high-pressure system, Class40 leader Thomas Ruyant and Destination Dunkerque had consistently increased distance on the chasing pack building a lead of 133 miles over Yvan Noblet and Appart City in 2nd place by Wednesday evening and keeping the southern threat of 6th placed Nicolas Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne 253 miles off his port quarter. However, on Thursday morning, Ruyant hit a wall of light headwinds in a high pressure ridge, instantly dropping to 2 knots of boatspeed. South-east of Ruyant, Sam Manuard and Vecteur Plus in 3rd and Damien Grimont on his new Pogo S² Monbana kept out of the windless zone holding a steady 8 knots in stable southerly breeze on a port reach as did Yvon Noblet further south. Making the best speed, further south than the leading group, Nicolas Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne made the best speed at just under 11 knots in 6th place 185 miles behind Ruyant.

 

Early on Thursday evening, Destination Dunkerque was through the ridge and back up to speed, but the half-a-day spent in the near-windless zone had extracted a high price. By Friday morning, Troussel had taken 50 miles from Ruyant’s lead trailing Destination Dunkerque by 137 miles while Manuard gained 22 miles closing into 98 miles of the leader and Grimont took 38 miles from the deficit bringing Monbana to just over 100 miles from Ruyant. In 2nd place, Yvon Noblet gained 37 miles, closing down to under 40 miles from the race leader and posing the biggest threat during Ruyant’s ten-day tenure at the front.

 

The podium rout begins:

 

By midday on Friday, Troussel’s assault on the podium began as Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne – 270 miles in latitude further south than Ruyant and in stable, southerly breeze averaging over 11 knots boatspeed – moved up into third, just 13 miles behind Appart City as Noblet staggered into light headwinds. Overall, the southerly boats suddenly had the wind advantage with the group following Troussel – Damien Seguin and Des Pieds et Des Mains in 9th; Marc Lepesqueux with Marie Toit - Caen La Mer in 11th and Christophe Coatnoan in 12th on Partouche – were averaging consistently higher speeds than the majority of the fleet at 9.5-11.8 knots. A further 300 miles of latitude south of Troussel, Pete Goss and DMS in 15th place had found good south-easterly breeze, picking up the pace to 11.5 knots and reaching deeper south trailed by a band of southerly companions including the Spanish Mini sailor with possibly the longest name in sport, Gonzalo Botin Sanz de Sautuola, in 22nd on Tales Villa Esperanza slightly under 100 miles behind Goss, with François Angoulvant in 32nd on Fermiers de Loué – Sarthe, Willy Bissainte and Tradition Guadeloupe in 33rd place and Patrice Bougard in 35th with Kogane all joining the drop southwards.

 

Reflecting on his gamble to the south, Goss was prepared for any outcome. “It’s really interesting to watch the fleet as it pans out across the Atlantic,” wrote Goss on Friday morning. “Looking at it, you wouldn't believe that all the Class40's started at the same place on the same day with the same destination in mind,” he commented. With a distance of around 780 miles between DMS in the south and Marco Nannini on UniCredit in 27th place furthest north and Ruyant at the head of the fleet 1,300 miles south-west of the Class40 backmarker, Bulgarian sailor, Dimitar Topolov on White Swallow heading towards the Azores with a catalogue of sail, instrument and pilot problems, the spread of the fleet is impressive. “The ironic thing is that no matter how we sail, fate will now decide which choice of split in the fleet has got it right,” Goss continues. “For myself, I am more than happy with my choice and look forward to the outcome. It will be either Champagne or sack cloth, but I will be happy with either, for it is about the decision at the time, rather than the outcome,” he adds. “The next four days are going to be very telling - no regrets.”

 

By Saturday morning, Troussel had moved up to 2nd trailing Ruyant by 85 miles with Noblet, Manuard and Grimont dropping back to 100 miles behind the race leader. Reporting 15 knots of southerly breeze throughout Friday night, Troussel and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne had averaged 8 knots and although the breeze moved forward in the early hours of the morning, the French skipper took time to reflect during his ascent of the podium: “This isn’t like any of my previous transats,” observed the Proto winner of the 2009 Transat Charente Maritime Bahia. “Usually, we should be in following breeze at this latitude, tucked into the Trade Winds. This is different, but it’s OK. The sea is choppy and confused, but because the water temperature has risen rapidly, the occasional face full of water is actually quite refreshing.”

 

Top speed for Marco Nannini:

 

Meanwhile, a little under 600 miles of latitude north of Nicolas Troussel, GOR entry Marco Nannini was back on the move during Friday night. Despite his isolation to the north of the fleet and dropping back to 30th place, his Class40, UniCredit, was averaging the best speed in the fleet at 10.8 knots on Saturday morning. Nannini explained the situation: “I was a long way north and west of the fleet, so I had little option but to cross the front,” the 32 year-old City of London banker reported. “Several others are now approaching it and Conrad Coleman is the now feeling the pinch and other boats have slowed too.” South-east of UniCredit and trailing Nannini by 80 miles in 34th place, fellow GOR skipper Coleman on 40 Degrees slowed to under one knot in the early hours of Saturday morning and the group of boats directly south of Nannini also suffered with Régis Guillemot on the new Pogo S² Regis Guillemot Charter in 25th place; Bertrand Guilloneau and Ville de Douarnenez in 22nd; Olivier Singelin on the 2009 Akilaria Gonser Group – Cambio in 24th and Pierre-Marie Bazin with Les 3 caps in 33rd all dropping speed overnight, only regaining some pace 24 hours later, early on Sunday morning.

 

While the fleet south of Nannini encountered headwinds, the Italian skipper was broad reaching south-westwards in easterly breeze: “The wind behind the front had nothing to do with the GRIB file,” commented the bemused skipper, although the transition period prior to the favourable breeze had proved exhausting. “There is a swell from far away, which makes it impossible to keep the sails filled and they flogged relentlessly,” he explained. “I had to helm pretty much all of the time as the wind shifted so randomly that the pilot could not cope. I almost came down with heat stroke under the intense sunshine and I had to drink several litres of water. Every shift, if it meant a tack, meant also stacking everything to leeward and fill the leeward ballast, it was the only way to keep the sails filling.”

 

Quick reactions by Noblet saves Appart City:

 

With the dozen leading boats beating on port tack throughout Saturday, Yvan Noblet was making the best speed of 10 knots in 3rd place on Appart City until his forestay lashing failed at the deck pad-eye. Instantly, the mast canted aft at around 45 degrees plunging the boom into the water. Within seconds, Noblet dropped the sails taking any major load off the rig. The French skipper recovered quickly, flying the Solent headsail with one reef from the boat’s inner forestay and he was quickly back on the pace at 9 knots. Although, Noblet has complete faith in his rigging, Appart City is now handicapped with the loss of full-Solent capability and although his Code Zero - flown on a bolt rope from the outboard end of the bowsprit - is an option, there is now a huge gap in his sail wardrobe: “Upwind between 9-15 knots, it’s just too much breeze to use Code Zero,” admitted Noblet on Sunday morning. “I’m going to try and keep in control of the boats around me, but it’s going to be tough,” he predicted.

 

Fireworks on 40 Degrees:

 

While Noblet’s routine was disturb by standing rigging failure, GOR entry, Conrad Colemen in 33rd place on 40 Degrees, had an off-watch drama in his light airs exile north of the main block of the fleet early on Sunday morning. “I went down for a nap and awoke after 30 minutes to the sound of rain,” reported the Kiwi solo sailor. “I looked at the computer and saw that the wind had turned dramatically to the right and we had been sailing north while I was asleep, rather than the intended south-west. I was draining the ballast and putting on my jacket to go outside when we were walloped by a massive gust and a lightning bolt touched down close by, flash-crash.” The yacht’s anemometer shot from 10 to 35 knots and the heel indicator went from 15 to 50 instantly.

 

“I made it into the cockpit, kneeling on its sides as I prepared a tack and then finally got the boat round and managed to bear away from the wind,” Coleman continued. “We were now surfing at speed, the sky alight with fire, the spray from the bow glowing white in the flashbulbs. I realized then, barefoot and sopping wet, with the tallest conductive pole in hundreds of miles, that I was in danger and so was the boat.” Coleman immediately turned-off all the electronic systems, then fought to control the boat. “I caught the helm before it wiped out and sat gripping it with a manic grin on my face, glinting in the compass light. Yes, I was back! This is what solo sailors have to deal with. Wind shifts whilst asleep; crazy, out of control boats - our bread and butter problems, but at least I was out of the seemingly ceaseless calms.” Following the hyperactive, early-morning action, Coleman picked-up speed to just under 8 knots, dropping south, 23 miles behind his nearest rival, Pierre-Marie Bazin in 32nd place with Les 3 caps.

 

As the breeze shifted from south to south-west on Saturday night, Thomas Ruyant, leading the fleet and furthest west on Destination Dunkerque, was first to tack onto starboard dropping south towards Nicolas Troussel. Meanwhile, 750 miles south-west of the Class40 leader, the IMOCA Open 60 fleet were struggling in minimal breeze 130 miles north of Guadeloupe. At just after 05:00 GMT on Sunday, Roland Jourdain and Veolia Environnement took first place in the IMOCA fleet while five of the following pack stalled to sub-five knot speeds north of the island while two boats – Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia in 7th and Arnaud Boissières with Akena Vérandas in 8th - charged towards the finish at around 10 knots in stable, easterly breeze.

 

At 14:50 GMT on Sunday, Ruyant and Troussel were separated by 30 miles with the lead boat continuing to slam south into south-westerly breeze and a steep sea on starboard tack as Troussel led the trailing pack due west on port. Weather models suggest that the breeze will shift further west on Monday providing the chance of fast reaching down to Guadeloupe before the breeze slackens on Tuesday.

 

GOR entries - Route du Rhum rankings at 14:50 GMT on Sunday 14th November:

7. Jean-Edouard Criquioche Groupe PICOTY: DTL 152: Spd 7.9kts

19. Tanguy de Lamotte Novedia – Initiatives: DTL 436: Spd 6.7kts

28. Marco Nannini UniCredit: DTL 524: Spd 7.7kts

33. Conrad Coleman 40 Degrees: DTL 677: Spd 10.5kts

 

Follow the Route du Rhum here and view the event’s Geovoile race tracker here. Radio Vacations (satellite phone interviews) with the Class40 fleet are scheduled for 14:00-15:00 GMT each day and are streamed live via the event’s website

 

http://globaloceanrace.com/index.php?page=news&news_id=433〈=en

 

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Ruyant has consolidated his lead and now covers Trousell. Also, he apparently has got more breeze than the GRIBs show...he has pace on the pack and has built on his lead. The only person chasing him that is coming close to the same speed at the moment is Jorg.

 

Ruyant still as the concern about the wind hole that is coming up in the vicinity of the island. He hits it first which will give the others the chance to catch up.

 

Every one is tired at this point, and probably more than a little frustrated at the amount of upwind work in this race. They are also getting lots of rain squalls which while the help cool the boat down they also serve to suck all the wind out of the local area under the squall. You spend a lot of time trying to manouever to avoid the big black clouds, adn then evenmore time trying to get out from under them when they are unavoidable.

 

Goss, in the meantime, has slowed considerably as he starts to encounter the lighter air associated with the feature that is stretching its tenticles to the east. There had been some hope that Goss could get across the bottom of that without being impacted, but it is not to be. At this point I am willing to go out on a very stout limb and hypothesize that the only way Goss gets to the podium is if the northern fleet drops into a very deep and persistent wind hole. But it just ain't looking like that is going to happen.

 

At the current rate, Ruyant crosses the finish line in 2 days and 8.5 hours. In reality, the wind is going to sit down for he and the rest of the northern pack, and it will only get more challenging as he gets closer to the island and then has to work his way around the southern side of the island. The light winds are going to even futher disturbed by the island mass, creating a very slow and frustrating finish. The boats that give the island as wide berth as possible as they navigate to finish line will have the best air. The harbor itself is the toughest stretch, as the island itself will block northerly flow and then several smaller islands to the south and at the mouth of the harbor will disrupt southerly flow.

 

 

All the upwind work continues to beat the boats up. A few more damage updates, with new items in bold.

 


  • Philipe Fiston (Tradition Guadeloupe) - a problem with his GPS, seems to be repaired.
  • Yvan Noblet (Appart City) - Lashing that held forestay to stem chafed through and parted. Mast is now supported by inner stay. Continuing racing.
  • David Augeix ( EDF Energies Nouvelles - VESTAS) - Broken forestay, apparently at the tang where it connects to the stem. He has the inner stay in place and presumably is flying a reefed main except for when he flys a code sail which would support the mast head.
  • Dimitar Topalov (White Swallow) - Damaged his spinnaker on the first night, not clear if it is usable. Lost his Code 0 furler and presumably can't use his Code sail. Experienced a pilot failure in the first day or two. Has now lost his anenometer and has no wind data which limits his pilot from steering to true or apparent wind modes. Broken all his batten pockets from the 3rd reef to the top of the main. Made a stop in the Azores for essential repairs
  • Olivier Grassi (Grassi Bateaux) - damaged his light air spinnaker, is working on repairs. Also had computer problems. Continuing racing.
  • Willy Bissainte (Tadition Guadeloupe)- some how managed to drop his spinnaker into the water and had to cut it loose. Not clear if it tore and dropped or if he had a halyard issue. Continuing racing.
  • Louis Burton (Bureau Valléee) - . His water ballast tanks are leaking. He also lost his anenometer which costs him his wind data and the ability to have the pilot steer by apparent or true wind. Then...he struck a trawler while asleep. The trawler had no one on deck and no watch standing. His spinnker is destroyed, which is almost moot since his bow sprit is shattered into 3 pieces. That being said, he set his fractional kite, presumably tacked to the stem. He also has a breach in his hull up but forward of his water tight bulkhead. His pulpit, stanchionis and lifelines are trashed. He mentions other deck and hull damage but it is not clear if there are any additional breaches. The boom was screwed up at the gooseneck, but he seems to have fixed that. He had cobbeled together a shorter 1 meter sprit from the debris and some makeshift stays, but now had his mainsail part across a seam at the head of the sail. Repair made. He is continuing to race.
  • Gilbert Chollet (Chimirec-EVTV) - Appears to have had a problem with his anenometer and has lost wind data as a result. No more ability to have the pilot use true wind and apparent wind modes.
  • Damien Seguin (Des Pieds et Des Mains) - blew up his large running spinnaker beyond repair, and has damaged his fractional kite. Still racing, but that will hurt him in the last stage of this race.
  • Conrad Colman (40 Degrees) - blew up his spinnaker. Finished repairs, still racing. Also tore his Code 0, beyond repair.
  • Jouni Romppanen (Tieto Passion) - persistent electronics problems that don't allow him to use the autopilot. Not clear what those problems are. Retired from race.
  • Denis Van Weynbergh (Green Energie 4 Seasons- Diabetics Challenges) - pilot error costing the loss of wind speed and direction. Not clear if it is fixed. Also broke the starboard lazy jack which required him to go up the rig to retrieve the loose end. That same lazy jack problem led to a stay sail (trinquette) halyard being jammed by the loose line of the lazy jack wrapping on the halyard, leading Denis to have to climb the mast. Experienced some electrical problems that required a repair to the engine so I am guessing it was an alternator problem.
  • Arnaud Daval (Techneau) - Anenometer faulty, repaired. Still racing.
  • Thierry Bouchard (COMIR-Pôle Elior Health) - Torn jib (aka solent), lost the Code 0 from the deck where it was washed away, torn / delaminating mainsail. Jib is now repaired and in use, but in a fragile state. (more sewing repairs made on 11/15) Still racing.
  • Eric Defert (Groupe Terrallia) - Pilot malfunction and NMEA feed from instruments failed. Seems to have made a repair underway, or is using back up system. Appears to have made a stop in Horta to fix his main sail halyard that apparently broke and left him with out his main. Back to racing.
  • Marc Behaghel (Tekka) - furler damage, top swivel. Jury rigged a repair, continuing racing.
  • Marco Nannini (UniCredit) - Pilot problems, where the master dropped out of the bus. Repaired by pulling each item off the bus