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    • UnderDawg

      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

      Sailing Anarchy is a very lightly moderated site. This is by design, to afford a more free atmosphere for discussion. There are plenty of sailing forums you can go to where swearing isn't allowed, confrontation is squelched and, and you can have a moderator finger-wag at you for your attitude. SA tries to avoid that and allow for more adult behavior without moderators editing your posts and whacking knuckles with rulers. We don't have a long list of published "thou shalt nots" either, and this is by design. Too many absolute rules paints us into too many corners. So check the Terms of Service - there IS language there about certain types of behavior that is not permitted. We interpret that lightly and permit a lot of latitude, but we DO reserve the right to take action when something is too extreme to tolerate (too racist, graphic, violent, misogynistic, etc.). Yes, that is subjective, but it allows us discretion. Avoiding a laundry list of rules allows for freedom; don't abuse it. However there ARE a few basic rules that will earn you a suspension, and apparently a brief refresher is in order. 1) Allegations of pedophilia - there is no tolerance for this. So if you make allegations, jokes, innuendo or suggestions about child molestation, child pornography, abuse or inappropriate behavior with minors etc. about someone on this board you will get a time out. This is pretty much automatic; this behavior can have real world effect and is not acceptable. Obviously the subject is not banned when discussion of it is apropos, e.g. talking about an item in the news for instance. But allegations or references directed at or about another poster is verboten. 2) Outing people - providing real world identifiable information about users on the forums who prefer to remain anonymous. Yes, some of us post with our real names - not a problem to use them. However many do NOT, and if you find out someone's name keep it to yourself, first or last. This also goes for other identifying information too - employer information etc. You don't need too many pieces of data to figure out who someone really is these days. Depending on severity you might get anything from a scolding to a suspension - so don't do it. I know it can be confusing sometimes for newcomers, as SA has been around almost twenty years and there are some people that throw their real names around and their current Display Name may not match the name they have out in the public. But if in doubt, you don't want to accidentally out some one so use caution, even if it's a personal friend of yours in real life. 3) Posting While Suspended - If you've earned a timeout (these are fairly rare and hard to get), please observe the suspension. If you create a new account (a "Sock Puppet") and return to the forums to post with it before your suspension is up you WILL get more time added to your original suspension and lose your Socks. This behavior may result a permanent ban, since it shows you have zero respect for the few rules we have and the moderating team that is tasked with supporting them. Check the Terms of Service you agreed to; they apply to the individual agreeing, not the account you created, so don't try to Sea Lawyer us if you get caught. Just don't do it. Those are the three that will almost certainly get you into some trouble. IF YOU SEE SOMEONE DO ONE OF THESE THINGS, please do the following: Refrain from quoting the offending text, it makes the thread cleanup a pain in the rear Press the Report button; it is by far the best way to notify Admins as we will get e-mails. Calling out for Admins in the middle of threads, sending us PM's, etc. - there is no guarantee we will get those in a timely fashion. There are multiple Moderators in multiple time zones around the world, and anyone one of us can handle the Report and all of us will be notified about it. But if you PM one Mod directly and he's off line, the problem will get dealt with much more slowly. Other behaviors that you might want to think twice before doing include: Intentionally disrupting threads and discussions repeatedly. Off topic/content free trolling in threads to disrupt dialog Stalking users around the forums with the intent to disrupt content and discussion Repeated posting of overly graphic or scatological porn content. There are plenty web sites for you to get your freak on, don't do it here. And a brief note to Newbies... No, we will not ban people or censor them for dropping F-bombs on you, using foul language, etc. so please don't report it when one of our members gives you a greeting you may find shocking. We do our best not to censor content here and playing swearword police is not in our job descriptions. Sailing Anarchy is more like a bar than a classroom, so handle it like you would meeting someone a little coarse - don't look for the teacher. Thanks.
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MR.CLEAN

secret's safe from the front page - Ask Alex Thomson

96 posts in this topic

While the Macif foils have finally been revealed, details on the latest and greatest VPLP/Verdier Open 60s remain scant, in part because the secrecy in IMOCA world is exceeded only by that of the America's Cup. Fortunately we've got connections, and I'm now in England to become (we think) the first reporter in the world to sail on an offshore foiling monohull. I'm headed offshore tonight with the one guy who continues to keep the torch lit for anyone who wants to see a non-Frenchman take the Vendee Globe trophy: Alex Thomson.

 

Alex and his Hugo Boss team have had unprecedented success with sponsors and the media over the past decade, but less so on the race course, with Alex able to grab a few victories in low-profile events and a couple of hard-fought 24-hour solo distance records. Bad luck ended his two strong chances to win the Barcelona World Race, but his 3rd place in the last Vendee (with a now 3-generations old boat) cemented his credibility as a potential race winner, if he could only build a competitive ride.

 

That has now happened, and we've got a couple of days to dig into Alex's program and his new boat, and more importantly, to answer any questions you guys can come up with - as long as they're not about the details on the foils, and if we told you about them, we'd have to kill you. We'll have a report on the boat and on the new Mercedes-Benz stickered Hugo Boss, and if you ask your questions now over here, we'll put them to the team.

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 10.43.25 AM.jpg

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1) Does this version of the boat have a "mast saver" to keep the mast aloft should the furlers fail?

 

2) What is the most important "luxury" feature of the cockpit to make your life more comfortable when at sea?

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1) Was it hard decision to choose deck spreaders and wing mast?

 

2) How he compares new boat to old JuanK boat (or his other boats)?

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1) how does the hull design and in particular the new bow work wrt slamming, diving, water spray and overall comfort.

2) how much do the foils impact the issues in point 1

3) are there situations where you wish that you could push harder, but the comfort level just becomes too unbearable

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Will you be keeping a better look out for French fishing boats this year?

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What are the effects of the foils on the autopilot? Do they make the pilot's job easier or more difficult?

 

And what about the sailplan? How does it differ from previous boats?

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With boats lifting and travelling at greater speeds, it seems like the potential slamming loads are now near the wider panels by the mast. How has the construction evolved to handle those slamming loads and do you have to sail with a fair amount of heel to keep the slamming on the chine instead of the flatter sections?

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Have the IMOCAs gotten more physically demanding over the years?

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can we stop calling these boats foiling?

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What will be the next stunt? :)

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Alex after your evening sail with Clean aboard could you please rate him as a prospective 2016 Vendee competitor.

 

1. Would he chicken out and hide under the bed in June; or

2. Would he make the Start but then proceed towards Portugal for the worlds longest breakfast; or

3. As for 2/ but only continue racing after exchanging his 60' for a Picklefork; or

4. Would he make it to the Southern Ocean, but then adopt the foetal position and cause havoc with the 2018 VOR fleet; or

5. Would he finish in first place, only to get drunk at the prize-giving ceremony and own up to doing a Donald Crowhurst.

 

Alex you assistance would be much appreciated.

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Will it blend?

 

Mode(s) of degraded operation or all out "foiling"? (The VPLP presentation during The Foiling Week more or less said thats where the design brief difference between the new boats are, if you ignore stuff like cockpit layouts for a moment.)

 

And since it's Alex probably a few more of the expected "win or go bust" questions. :)

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1) will the all black design make the boat unbearably hot AF around the equator?

 

2) any backup straight foils if you hit something a break off a foil?

 

3) Do people still drink TANG?

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With England out of the world cup....

 

Whose your team now ?

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Does it sail upwind? The talk in France is that the foil boats can't match the dagger boards upwind, so how much do you think that matters?

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#14 ...or would he miss the left turn and do a Bernard Moitessier

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After a race: How long does it take to get into a normal sleeping pattern again? (Do you ever?)

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1) How do you deal with the psychological lows - what drives you when you are scared and alone?.

2) What job do you think you would be doing now if you hadn't pursued racing?

3) Do you suffer from post traumatic stress after a Vendee - wake up in the night with a sinking feeling.

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1) will the all black design make the boat unbearably hot AF around the equator?

 

2) any backup straight foils if you hit something a break off a foil?

 

3) Do people still drink TANG?

As a follow up to question 2 - if a foil breaks and you are carrying a spare, how long will it take to fix in calm weather and how long in a rough sea state? If you don't carry a spare will you be out of the race?

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Spares count against total limit of 5 foils per boat (usually 2 rudders, 1 keel fin, 2 dagger boards) so no spares on IMOCA.

Some of the previous dagger boards were reversible to use as a spare on the other side in a pinch, but the new ones are obviously not.

 

Black paint has also been answered before elsewhere.

Its a special BASF paint that has the same characteristics as white paint in the infrared spectrum. (Not really new, just relatively rare and thus expen$$ive.) The same principle in reverse is more commonly available in some white radiator paints which are black in the infrared spectrum.

 

See Paint It Cool! Solar Heat Management in Paints and Coatings

(I have no idea which paint they actually used.)

 

 

Ah, this one HUGO BOSS racing yacht all in black due to functional pigments made by BASF

I'd say: Cool idea how to get the paint job sponsored. At least in materials.

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#14 ...or would he miss the left turn and do a Bernard Moitessier

...or do a Sanders and go around 3 times.

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Spares count against total limit of 5 foils per boat (usually 2 rudders, 1 keel fin, 2 dagger boards) so no spares on IMOCA.

Some of the previous dagger boards were reversible to use as a spare on the other side in a pinch, but the new ones are obviously not.

 

Black paint has also been answered before elsewhere.

Its a special BASF paint that has the same characteristics as white paint in the infrared spectrum. (Not really new, just relatively rare and thus expen$$ive.) The same principle in reverse is more commonly available in some white radiator paints which are black in the infrared spectrum.

 

See Paint It Cool! Solar Heat Management in Paints and Coatings

(I have no idea which paint they actually used.)

 

 

Ah, this one HUGO BOSS racing yacht all in black due to functional pigments made by BASF

I'd say: Cool idea how to get the paint job sponsored. At least in materials.

Where does it say that spares count? That is a big change to the rules if that is the case.

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Hmmm, that spares count seems to be a fskup on my part.

 

I think to remember that from the discussions about the boat with serve rudder delamination in the BWR which had to do a stop and repair.

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I have some questions about sailing close-hauled in light conditions. How big was the Code 0 or the biggest genoa you were carrying in last Vendee and how often did you have to use it? And how big is the biggest upwind sail now in the new boat? Obviously deck-spreaders set the limit for that. Is it a big factor to take into consideration while choosing rotating wing-mast over conventional?

And a question regarding foils. Does it drift more compared to conventional daggerboard and does the boat accelerates sideways between waves? Is it a big challenge for autopilot? The surface looks smaller compared to daggerboard and it looks like the waves affect a lot how much of it is submerged.

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Hmmm, that spares count seems to be a fskup on my part.

 

I think to remember that from the discussions about the boat with serve rudder delamination in the BWR which had to do a stop and repair.

For various reasons I did not follow the last BWR that closely, but it is always a question with the competitors. Do you carry a spare, or leave the weight and take the risk.

 

It is a bigger question in the VG where stopping in port is not allowed.

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Good questions, guys and gals. Thanks for those. We put them to him in a 50-odd minute interview that's with the editing team now, and if you've never seen Alex and me together, you're in for a treat; we've always had great fucking chemistry and he's been an Anarchy junkie since about '03.

 

Also did a 12-minute boat tour with HG team designer and Aussie NA Simon Mcgonigal (or something similar sounding), so despite the fact that we left out some fairly important bits, you'll get a thorough look at the highlights both on deck and down below. The boat is fucking sick, just awesome. If one of these things doesn't break the 24-hour record in the run down toward Good Hope next year I'll be shocked.

 

Unfortunately my sail will have to wait - a few last-minute prep items for the TJV took priority over our trip. Alex promised some good interviews and content for you Anarchists from the course, and we'll do a long follow-up via Skype when he gets into Itajai. I've been offered a spot on the HB helping to deliver from Brazil back to the Caribbean where the Transat B to B starts, and if I can get a hall pass, I'll go. Not sure that I want to win that battle with the wife though - being away for even a week of our ten-week old's life is painful, I miss so much!

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Hmmm, that spares count seems to be a fskup on my part.

 

I think to remember that from the discussions about the boat with serve rudder delamination in the BWR which had to do a stop and repair.

For various reasons I did not follow the last BWR that closely, but it is always a question with the competitors. Do you carry a spare, or leave the weight and take the risk.

 

It is a bigger question in the VG where stopping in port is not allowed.

 

 

Spares allowed but they're not carrying any. Break a board? Head home, or the nearest port, depending on how much damage you did to the case.

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Good questions, guys and gals. Thanks for those. We put them to him in a 50-odd minute interview that's with the editing team now, and if you've never seen Alex and me together, you're in for a treat; we've always had great fucking chemistry and he's been an Anarchy junkie since about '03.

 

Also did a 12-minute boat tour with HG team designer and Aussie NA Simon Mcgonigal (or something similar sounding), so despite the fact that we left out some fairly important bits, you'll get a thorough look at the highlights both on deck and down below. The boat is fucking sick, just awesome. If one of these things doesn't break the 24-hour record in the run down toward Good Hope next year I'll be shocked.

 

Unfortunately my sail will have to wait - a few last-minute prep items for the TJV took priority over our trip. Alex promised some good interviews and content for you Anarchists from the course, and we'll do a long follow-up via Skype when he gets into Itajai. I've been offered a spot on the HB helping to deliver from Brazil back to the Caribbean where the Transat B to B starts, and if I can get a hall pass, I'll go. Not sure that I want to win that battle with the wife though - being away for even a week of our ten-week old's life is painful, I miss so much!

Ha, you get attached to the little bugger quickly don't you!

 

FaceTime is great when they are old enough to interact.

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Hmmm, that spares count seems to be a fskup on my part.

 

I think to remember that from the discussions about the boat with serve rudder delamination in the BWR which had to do a stop and repair.

For various reasons I did not follow the last BWR that closely, but it is always a question with the competitors. Do you carry a spare, or leave the weight and take the risk.

 

It is a bigger question in the VG where stopping in port is not allowed.

 

 

Spares allowed but they're not carrying any. Break a board? Head home, or the nearest port, depending on how much damage you did to the case.

 

 

Not carrying a spare rudder? I guess fitting at sea is fairly impractical?

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Hmmm, that spares count seems to be a fskup on my part.

 

I think to remember that from the discussions about the boat with serve rudder delamination in the BWR which had to do a stop and repair.

For various reasons I did not follow the last BWR that closely, but it is always a question with the competitors. Do you carry a spare, or leave the weight and take the risk.

 

It is a bigger question in the VG where stopping in port is not allowed.

 

 

Spares allowed but they're not carrying any. Break a board? Head home, or the nearest port, depending on how much damage you did to the case.

 

 

Not carrying a spare rudder? I guess fitting at sea is fairly impractical?

 

 

Possible in perfect conditions, but impractical if you're trying to win a race. If you do have to fit a new one, even in perfect conditions, it's going to take fucking forever, especially when the extraction of a broken board might take even longer than putting a new one in. And then there's the fact that you're hauling probably 200 kg of extra weight around the world on a boat that only weighs 7 or 8 tons.

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Hmmm, that spares count seems to be a fskup on my part.

 

I think to remember that from the discussions about the boat with serve rudder delamination in the BWR which had to do a stop and repair.

For various reasons I did not follow the last BWR that closely, but it is always a question with the competitors. Do you carry a spare, or leave the weight and take the risk.

 

It is a bigger question in the VG where stopping in port is not allowed.

 

 

Spares allowed but they're not carrying any. Break a board? Head home, or the nearest port, depending on how much damage you did to the case.

 

 

Not carrying a spare rudder? I guess fitting at sea is fairly impractical?

 

 

Possible in perfect conditions, but impractical if you're trying to win a race. If you do have to fit a new one, even in perfect conditions, it's going to take fucking forever, especially when the extraction of a broken board might take even longer than putting a new one in. And then there's the fact that you're hauling probably 200 kg of extra weight around the world on a boat that only weighs 7 or 8 tons.

 

 

A rudder weighs 200 kg?

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Sorry...didn't even see 'rudder'. was talking about the boards. Not sure about weight, that's an estimate based on me trying to pick one up. I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep and I could just barely get this thing off the ground alone.

 

No spare rudders. They have the kick-up system that every new (and plenty of retrofitted boats) now run.

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Alex tried a system where he moulded a female carbon plug that could fit over the remains of a broken rudder like a sleeve. However I think the lack of internal structure meant it did not last for long.

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

 

 

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

 

 

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

 

 

 

 

 

. ahhh BOLLOCKS!!! :lol:

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

 

 

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

 

So where's the interview with Thomson then?

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Anyhow, Hugo Boss finally arrived in Le Havre today

 

Hugo%20Boss2.jpg?itok=r_puDZxa

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

So where's the interview with Thomson then?

You are getting dangerously close to clean pulling the plug on his bromance with Alex, by asking him to do what said he was going to do, put his puff piece on the fp...complete with clean swagged out in his new Hugo kit...

It's only been 'in editing' for four days, which is no time at all to get that 'seriously sick fucking chemistry' between him and his hero to the forefront...

Oh.. he would have to kill you if he told you the reason he didn't get to sail after all the times he said he would, was problems with the foil cases...

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Anyhow, Hugo Boss finally arrived in Le Havre today

 

Hugo%20Boss2.jpg?itok=r_puDZxa

Well at least they dodged the fishing boats this time.

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Impressive looking fenders. Probably custom made

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have we really reached the stage of discussing fenders?????????????????? :wacko:

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have we really reached the stage of discussing fenders?????????????????? :wacko:

Perhaps clean has some insight into the fender design. After all his amazing chemistry with AT is going to deliver exceptional depth.

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

 

 

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

 

So where's the interview with Thomson then?

 

 

With the production company and looking good. He says he is working on sound today, intro and outro tomorrow, and drop it on Thursday. Alex just arrived in Le Havre, BTW.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 10.01.50 AM.jpg

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Wow, look at the chemistry.

Is clean hiding a boner?

I'll leave you to look closer.

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Wow, look at the chemistry.

Is clean hiding a boner?

I'll leave you to look closer.

 

Ha ha ha. At least you guys are entertaining. I guess it's:

post-76289-0-42498600-1445368704_thumb.jpg

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

 

Why not train for two weeks? After all, the world record is only 457kg...

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

Why not train for two weeks? After all, the world record is only 457kg...

 

Kgs and lbs.

 

They are only a little different.

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

Why not train for two weeks? After all, the world record is only 457kg...

Kgs and lbs.

They are only a little different.

D'oh. Apologies to Clean.

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It's a great piece of sponsor relations. You invite a rep from one of the world's leading sailing media outlets to come and do a story. Tick sponsor happy. Of course it's not your fault if the story never goes to air so none of your secrets get revealed.

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http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=154035&p=5105170

or to those too challenged:

Clean Posted Yesterday, 10:58 PM

I've had a tough few days with zero sleep and my skin is far thinner than usual. Keep taking shots at me at your peril.


Ding, Ding, Ding...........

Seconds out, we have a winner loser.

 

Anarchy; more likely thinly veiled, college boys trying to pass over a change in lifestyle at others expense.........

 

It's all good until the heat is focused a little close to home. Then suddenly we all have to play nice.

 

Anarchy or Hypocrisy...........?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=154035&p=5105170

 

or to those too challenged:

 

Clean Posted Yesterday, 10:58 PM

 

I've had a tough few days with zero sleep and my skin is far thinner than usual. Keep taking shots at me at your peril.

 

 

Ding, Ding, Ding...........

Seconds out, we have a winner loser.

 

Anarchy; more likely thinly veiled, college boys trying to pass over a change in lifestyle at others expense.........

 

It's all good until the heat is focused a little close to home. Then suddenly we all have to play nice.

 

Anarchy or Hypocrisy...........?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More a case of

 

tantrum.jpg

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D'oh. Apologies to Clean.

 

S'Ok. Similar level of accuracy of the rest of the folks giving me shit for not getting their free one hour interview the day they want it

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shouldnt have said it was going up when you did then..

 

and if the issue is that its free content, monitise the fucker, you get the additional income and anyone you consider a freeloader can fuck off, win all round for you?

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D'oh. Apologies to Clean.

 

S'Ok. Similar level of accuracy of the rest of the folks giving me shit for not getting their free one hour interview the day they want it

 

FREE? You'd like us to pay now? Wow. Would the 'service' be any faster? :)

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Geez...everyone loves to hate Clean. Although I usually don't have time to view all that much, what I've been able to see over the years is getting better and better all the time. And for a job as important as Alex and HB, I'm willing to wait and see it done right...or as good as possible. We at OPE provided the Genasun lithium batteries for HB, however we don't know all that much about the boat. So am really looking fwd to it!

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Geez...everyone loves to hate Clean. Although I usually don't have time to view all that much, what I've been able to see over the years is getting better and better all the time. And for a job as important as Alex and HB, I'm willing to wait and see it done right...or as good as possible. We at OPE provided the Genasun lithium batteries for HB, however we don't know all that much about the boat. So am really looking fwd to it!

I don't think we hate, Mr Clean. I don't. He's done some pretty good stuff. But he's a bit of a jack ass at times. Less talk and more action would help his cause IMO.

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Thanks, forss. Interesting. Was that Nandor Fa doing that interview? He says his boat 'at the same speed' is dry. Ha, ha. Dry and fast are mutually exclusive as far as IMOCA 60's are concerned, I suspect.

 

The difference between getting around the course and winning maybe?

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So foils work from 70 to130 degrees and above 16 knots . Boat is slower upwind. Worse vmg downwind. New boats will be dryer as long as they keep the bow up, which won't be forever apparently

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Geez...everyone loves to hate Clean. Although I usually don't have time to view all that much, what I've been able to see over the years is getting better and better all the time. And for a job as important as Alex and HB, I'm willing to wait and see it done right...or as good as possible. We at OPE provided the Genasun lithium batteries for HB, however we don't know all that much about the boat. So am really looking fwd to it!

 

I don't think we hate, Mr Clean. I don't. He's done some pretty good stuff. But he's a bit of a jack ass at times. Less talk and more action would help his cause IMO.

I agree the vids can be good and there is some decent insight. but when he wades in with smoke blowing out of his own arse and tells posters to eat my fuck you have to take the piss.

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So foils work from 70 to130 degrees and above 16 knots . Boat is slower upwind. Worse vmg downwind. New boats will be dryer as long as they keep the bow up, which won't be forever apparently

Something that drew my attention in HB video was how the water near ran inside the cockpit, and they were in flat water

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Somewhat cool to see a Mercedes logo on a race boat again. Let's hope they keep it up a little longer this time than back in the nineties. Anybody remember "Aerosail"?

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Mercedes has been on PRBs bow for some time. Was surprised that they sponsored two IMOCAs.

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Here we go : From TJV site (english version) Interview with Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill

 

Back in Black. Alex Thomson: Objective...Getting to the Finish.

 

The Transat Jacques Vabre is a very special race for Alex Thomson. Le Havre’s docks are really where Alex started out the IMOCA class back in 1999 as a fresh faced youngster, lining up alongside Josh Hall on Gartmore and finishing seventh on the monohull class in 23 days, average speed 7.95 kts.

 

Twelve years later, after a chapter of bitter disappointments including two Vendée Globe retirements, it was on the 2011 race, following a back to basics approach with an older, reliable Farr design, that he finished in second place, sailing a fantastic race with Spain’s Guillermo Altadill. Altadill was the catalyst to their choice to put reliability ahead of constantly seeking a silver bullet and the recipe worked. To a great extent the 2011 Transat Jacque Vabre got the money off Thomson’s back as they delivered a crucial podium which was to be the foundation of his third place in the last Vendée Globe.

 

Now Thomson is back. He has an extremely sexy, potent looking new VPLP/Verdier design, the latest Hugo Boss which most consider to be the most radical of the new foil assisted designs.

 

But while the new, back in black, design clearly has huge potential it is completely unproven. He confirms the boat is three months behind where they wanted to be. They have only just got to their ‘drop dead’ date, to be ready for this race. And so, he says, hopes, expectations, aspirations are pretty much iced for the moment. His objective is now to learn the boat, to get to Itajaí and take stock of what they have assimilated. But, he notes, ‘Guillermo and I are both highly competitive’……..

 

“The boat is good for the eight days of sailing we have done.” Thomson opens,

 

“ The boat is three months late so we had hoped obviously to have been in the water and to have learned a lot more and to be in a similar place to where Gitana and Banque Populaire are.”

 

“ So now I think now for us it's about finishing it. We will just try and get to the finish and at the end of this race start being able to think about performance rather than just getting the boat in the water and making it reliable.”

 

As with others of the new breed of IMOCAs, Thomson’s team have had their problems which have hobbled their progress:

 

“ We've had several problems, we had to add some structure around the board cases. Between the bearings water would come in, so that's been strengthened.

 

Our first set of boards were a problem, there were quite a few voids in the laminate. We actually cracked one of them so this is our second set of boards and they have been in the boat for a week but they had to go back to the factory twice for some extra little bits and bobs.”

 

He remains objective and relatively relaxed about where they are…

 

“ We know what we know but we don't know what we don't know. And now we have to find out and the best way to find out is to come and do some racing and put the boat under some pressure. In terms of performance, currently we don't even have a set of Polars (ed: coptimum target speeds and wind angles) so we don't really know how the boat performs. Our calibration was finalised on the way over here, so it's about trying to understand how the boat performs and trying to understand how to make it go a bit faster and then feed that information back so that we can start thinking about where we we're going from there.”

 

Their strategy was always to be as late as possible in the cycle, seeking to learn from what others have already optimised and developed, in theory following the view taken by Francois Gabart, Mer Agitée and the MACIF programme leading up to their Vendee Globe win.

 

“ Overall though it's good because we don't have any expectations at all. If we can just get to the finish then for me that would be a success. The priority is the Vendeé Globe and trying to understand how our foil system works and if it works and how we might take that forward for the future, whether in January we are cutting it all out and sticking it straight boards or what, we don't know.”

“ We were the last boat off the drawing board. So there's six new boats and their designs. If you remember MACIF four years ago she was here with an army working on the boat and then she came fourth and then Francoise won the B2B and then won every race since. For us that was the ideal programme for sure but we still would have liked to have been three months earlier. Our drop dead date was we had to be in this race to be able to understand and learn and put the boat under miles we had to do this race.”

 

Hugo Boss is a narrower hull with foils designed to maximise lift and get the boat out of the water more.

 

“ Quite early on we decided we thought the foils would work and so we chose to be a bit narrower than everybody else, under the assumption that the foils will provide some stability. You don't need to have as much boat in the water and driving the boat narrower means that you end up with a lighter boat, lighter bulb and so overall you are a lighter package. We pushed really hard to try and take the weight down as much as possible so hence the really deep cockpit and the guys have done a great job with that.”

 

But that slightly more extreme brief is tempered by simple, solid learnings from his and his team’s long experience now:

 

“ It's a good setup from the learnings we have had and the boats we have sailed over the years. We've got a lot of experience in our team now. So we tried to make simple choices for instance in some areas. Like, the charging systems where you could save a few kilos but take some risks, we just decided to stay with what we know, what's reliable and what has worked”

 

The relationship between the two is now mature and developed, they work perfectly together and feed off each others enthusiasm. As Altadill notes, they have nothing to prove to the world,

 

Altadill: “ The last time when we did this race there was no pressure at all so we all started at the same time as us with a really able boat. It had been sailed before but there was no pressure at all. I think when you are sailing at this level, less pressure is better. So we don't have any pressure. We only have to keep the boat in one piece, push the boat a little each day a little bit more as we get more confident and arrive in Brazil.”

 

Alex: Guillermo has been with our team though since we started four years ago, so when we were making the choices of boats and designers and looking at types of foiling boats we did some stuff together.

 

Thomson adds:
“ We have sailed together, our first ever Jacques Vabre was 2011 and the Fastnet before that and he has been with us pretty much ever since and we don't know why it works but it works. It's a partnership so we are constantly feeding how we are thinking to each other and it's that communication process that is really important because it's how you interpret it. That's what's important, the messages we give each other are interpreted it the way it was intended. The difference with us now and 2011 is that we're really good friends, much more now than ever before. Guillermo has been pretty much living in Gosport. We have fun together, we got drunk at my daughters christening last week. I would choose to sail with him because we work so well together and we get on and we have fun.

 

" I know him well enough that when he's grumpy I can tell him [to sort himself out]."

 

Guillermo counters: “ Normally he is not grumpy, he is too optimistic and I have to change his mind a bit sometimes.

Thomson:

 

“ Because Guillermo has been with us for a long time and was instrumental in us changing our boat for the last Vendeé, as well as a co-skipper, he is a coach and he just keeps the team in the right direction.

 

And as far as the weather prospects for the race go he concludes:

“ The weather is changing all the time but right now if we had to sail into a low pressure in 50 to 55 knots of wind today we wouldn't do it. We're not ready for that, it would be professional suicide.”

 

http://www.transat-jacques-vabre.com/en/back-black-alex-thomson-objectivegetting-finish

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I can deadlift 200 kg for one rep

 

 

...yah right....make sure the goPro's on next time. :lol:

 

 

315 for 10

385 for 3

405 for 1

 

With a week's training, 450 for 1.

 

And two decades of lifting weights means not having to prove anything

 

So where's the interview with Thomson then?

 

 

With the production company and looking good. He says he is working on sound today, intro and outro tomorrow, and drop it on Thursday. Alex just arrived in Le Havre, BTW.

 

Bump

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i guess alex will have saved a whole heap of special stuff for the interview with clean.

 

It would suck to have been beaten to the punch by another journo/repoerter whatever.

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i guess alex will have saved a whole heap of special stuff for the interview with clean.

 

It would suck to have been beaten to the punch by another journo/repoerter whatever.

Please don't watch, JAL, since you got everything you wanted from that great piece of reporting on the TJV page.

 

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It would suck to have been beaten to the punch by another journo/repoerter whatever.

 

It would be awesome to be beaten to the punch at least once in a while. Unfortunately, the rest of the media is busy reviewing new Hunters and Beneteaus. Edit: And apparently crashing into G4s in Annapolis (Hi, SAIL)

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i guess alex will have saved a whole heap of special stuff for the interview with clean.

 

It would suck to have been beaten to the punch by another journo/repoerter whatever.

Please don't watch, JAL, since you got everything you wanted from that great piece of reporting on the TJV page.

 

 

Pretty good effort, Mr Clean. Thanks.

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I appreciate the video but its a difficult to hear whats being said because of the wind and boat moving around.

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Thanks Clean ...never been a great fan of Alex despite being one of the few anglos to repeatedly take the French on at their own game...however must admit I warmed to the guy some more after your interview.

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Yes wind did make it a little hard to hear but not impossible. All in all it is always great to hear what these guys have to say.

 

No chance of a walk through of the boat. Top secret?

 

Alex is a great ambassador. Do the French just not give interviews?

 

When Alex was in NY getting ready for his record attempt across the pond I think two or three years ago, he welcomed a group of juniors aboard and spent over 2 hours showing the boat, showing his routine and just welcoming us aboard.

 

Funny thing was he showed us how he does routing and as an example did a route across the pond about when he wanted to go. The result of that test route was a record which he got a laugh out of. And then he ended up setting an actual record.

 

Not much head room down below on these boats.

IMG 1782

IMG 1784

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Yes wind did make it a little hard to hear but not impossible. All in all it is always great to hear what these guys have to say.

 

No chance of a walk through of the boat. Top secret?

 

Alex is a great ambassador. Do the French just not give interviews?

 

When Alex was in NY getting ready for his record attempt across the pond I think two or three years ago, he welcomed a group of juniors aboard and spent over 2 hours showing the boat, showing his routine and just welcoming us aboard.

 

Funny thing was he showed us how he does routing and as an example did a route across the pond about when he wanted to go. The result of that test route was a record which he got a laugh out of. And then he ended up setting an actual record.

 

Not much head room down below on these boats.

+1

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Just caught the vid. Interesting and informative. I like the way ATs enthusiasm comes across.

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i guess alex will have saved a whole heap of special stuff for the interview with clean.

 

It would suck to have been beaten to the punch by another journo/repoerter whatever.

Please don't watch, JAL, since you got everything you wanted from that great piece of reporting on the TJV page.

 

 

 

Worth the hour spent: thanks.

Most striking tech: this black paint same temp as white, and foils cushion slamming. Dominant overall effect: AT's character still reassuringly competitive and positive.

 

Who has the scoop on the new stunt?

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i guess alex will have saved a whole heap of special stuff for the interview with clean.

 

It would suck to have been beaten to the punch by another journo/repoerter whatever.

 

Please don't watch, JAL, since you got everything you wanted from that great piece of reporting on the TJV page.

 

https://vimeo.com/143509947

Worth the hour spent: thanks.

Most striking tech: this black paint same temp as white, and foils cushion slamming. Dominant overall effect: AT's character still reassuringly competitive and positive.

 

Who has the scoop on the new stunt?

Would not want to "foil" the plot.

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Just wondering how much of a conscious PR decision it was to enter HB in the TJV. Seems the boat was not anywhere near prepared and up to the job and right from the off that's what it looked like. Alex, with what was purportedly the fastest, most expensive, boat chickening out from the obvious fast but rough route option. Nevertheless Alex has front page treatment here and an entire forum thread to himself and a huge publicity/performance return compared with the serious completion that are still out there slugging it out in a real race, and are, by comparison, hardly getting a mention from the "journos".
I for one would appreciate it if SA spread their favours a bit more proportionately when it comes to publicising the real performers a bit more than the deliberate publicity stunters.

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I for one would appreciate it if SA spread their favours a bit more proportionately when it comes to publicising the real performers a bit more than the deliberate publicity stunters.

 

I'm not quite sure what that means staysail, but you may recall that the last Vendee Globe I personally did a long form english-language video interview with every single skipper in the race - something that has never been done before during any Vendee and will probably never be done again - at least until I am there next time.

 

As I said, we have a long history with Alex who has been a SA fan forever, but there are two reasons I went to see the Boss team and not the other guys; First is that Alex trusts me to not let anything out - hence the title of this thread. Second is that it is relatively easy for me to get to Gosport.

 

But that doesn't mean we don't have a good relationship with the rest of the guys; the difference is that the French are very secretive and they are all a little nervous about their secrets with me around. When the boats are better known, there will be plenty to talk about. Tune in next summer and fall.

 

You may also remember Dee and I commentating for the official video feed of the Vendee last time around; we are working on doing that again, even better. Plenty to look forward to - remember that the TJV is really just a dry run for the top guys.

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Not criticising the quality of the content, just that one guy gets way more than his fair share of coverage if actual racing is what we are interested in. I understand he makes it easy for you, but that is his objective!

 

Oh and I think the guys and girls who have just been sailing around the North East side of the Azores would see the funny side of you calling it a "dry run".

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Oh and I think the guys and girls who have just been sailing around the North East side of the Azores would see the funny side of you calling it a "dry run".

 

It ain't the Southern Ocean.

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Any (public) news what broke on HB? They are not exactly breaking speed records on their way back.

 

Getting some EN coverage for the Vendee is very welcome. The vast majority is in French, even from the more international campaigns.

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Oh and I think the guys and girls who have just been sailing around the North East side of the Azores would see the funny side of you calling it a "dry run".

 

It ain't the Southern Ocean.

 

Have you checked their CVs? I think they know that!

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What are the effects of the foils on the autopilot? Do they make the pilot's job easier or more difficult?

 

And what about the sailplan? How does it differ from previous boats?

like a plane they now have 3 axis autopilots. lol

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