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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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MR.CLEAN

Live Finish - and Ask Alex and Armel Your Own Questions!

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With just 20 miles to go to the finish, Armel Le Cle'ach is already surrounded by fast spectator boats as thousands of shoreside fans gather to congratulate the Jackal on finally conquering the most difficult and addictive beast in all of sailing. A strong favorite going into this edition, the Breton will join the tiny fraternity of Vendee Globe Champions while smashing the solo monohull round-the-world record by around 4 days.

 

Armel benefitted significantly from the early-race foil breakage of what most believe to be a much faster design in Hugo Boss, but despite Alex Thomson pushing Armel as hard as maybe any human could have, we once again will have to wait another four years for the chance of a non-French winner to emerge from this quntessentially French race. We continue to be amazed at Thomson's ability to remain glued to Le Cle'ach's transom for the better part of 70 days despite the damage to his boat, but Le Cle'ach played the game more as a wise owl than a sneaky jackal, and sailed a masterful covering match race from Cape Town all the way home.

 

While Armel had all the pressure of the favorite, once again, Alex has proved he belongs in the solo racing Hall of Fame with the performance of a lifetime. Beating his own 2012 race time by nearly 10 days and setting the Vendee Globe and outright solo monohull 24 hour distance record in yet another edition (only exceeded by four crewed boats in the record books), Thomson really is the only hope for taking the title away from the French - and only if he comes back and gets it right, this time without the bad luck.

 

Ask Alex and Armel ANYTHING! We are 99% sure that we'll be doing audio or video with both these top dogs in the next day or two for the Sailing Anarchy Podcast, and as usual, we like your questions better than our own. Ask Alex and Armel your own questions in this new thread and we'll see if we can get them answered.

 

Join the Vendee thread for the latest chatter.

 

Title should to the movie adaptation of a classic Forsyth spy thriller.

 

 

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Anyway, formatting screwed up there, but ask the boys your questions in the next 24 hours and we'll get them in front of Armel and Alex when we speak to them in recorded interviews for the next SA podcast.

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Ask Armel more about his broken J1 hook

When did it happen exactly, did he try to repair/replace it ?

Did he think about telling it in one of the videos or did he decide right away I will not say anything about it ?

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What impact does changing your sleeping patterns to the demands of the race have on your body, and how (do you?) return your body to a more normal land locked life?

Do you ever get back to 8 hours of sleep per night?

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Heading into one of these races, are you already subscribing to the 'roadmap book' for your overall course strategy, and then departing from that based on weather developments? OR do you start your overall routing strategy from scratch each time?

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Maybe more of a general design question. When Donna and Yann got the old Bank Pop they shortened the mast and still seem to sail a lot with reef. Looking at the live finish vid there seems to be at least one reef on the Bank Pop mono. I would like to know how often first tier race boats sail with no reefs, how many reef they have, the break down for sailing with one reef, two, three, or how many reefs; and in general see a discussion of how boats are designed for reefing and what input the skippers have since they are the ones who make the decision on when to reef.. There was an earlier vid where Bank Pop was sailing with a screecher (whatever), working jib, and a reefed main. I generally would have a full main and working jib with no screecher under those conditions. Truth be known I have not raced in many years and am more of a cruiser but always try and get the most out of my boat.

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Worst equipment fail down, maybe the teapot ?

When did BP surprise you, in negative or positive way.

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From ALC's perspective, is HB faster? What would he have done differently to keep his large lead from Cape Horn up the Atlantic? What was the make or break it point in the race for you?

 

From HB's perspective, does he have the faster boat when in one piece? If so, on what angles and by how much? On what points of sail and wind conditions did the missing Starboard foil have a big impact? (recall, for many days AT was beating ALC without the foil, on port tack!). How did your sail plan choices play out? What was the make or break it point in the race for you?

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Question to ALC:
He said after finish, that when the J1 hook broke, he could almost overlap it by using the Code Zero and J2 more active.

In the last race Francois Gabart seemed very pleased with the choice of trading the code zero for the southern ocean sail with the high clew that he "inherited" from Mic Desj.
Does Armel not believe this was a good trade off, or is the sail design still a secret for anyone not working with mer agitee?

 

Question for AT:
When his foil broke, he suddenly lost a lot of miles to Armel. But when he was overtaken, he almost managed to hang on until the finish line. Can he try to explained how that was possible, and if he figured out how to nautralize the advantage on Port tack, why didn't he manage to show a clear advantage when he could use the foil on Starboard tack?

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Now that foils are a well proven concept for IMOCA boats, how much narrower will the next generation boats be? They all hedged their bets on the technology this time, but what will full commitment to foils look like in future? For instance, will rudders carry "T" foils to create lift as well?

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To both. Is there one thing you missed having that would have improved performance and or personnel comfort?

What do you think this is JS, the Women's Weekly?

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Was there any useful item within race rules they regret not bringing with them?

 

 

To both. Is there one thing you missed having that would have improved performance and or personnel comfort?

What do you think this is JS, the Women's Weekly?

 

liberation.fr takes such issues very seriously, "Il a bichonné ses mains de crème, ne dérogeant jamais à sa douche hebdomadaire avec un savon spécial eau de mer et trois bouteilles d’eau douce tirées du dessalinisateur." :rolleyes: http://www.liberation.fr/sports/2017/01/19/vendee-globe-les-7-cles-du-succes-de-le-cleac-h_1542679

comedy gold worth of questions to ask, (did they remember the harpic?)

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The amount of breakage due to collision with UFO's points to a growing probability of hitting something.

 

Was Armel lucky for not hitting anything or did he hit something but was lucky enough not to suffer compromising damage?

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The amount of breakage due to collision with UFO's points to a growing probability of hitting something.

 

Was Armel lucky for not hitting anything or did he hit something but was lucky enough not to suffer compromising damage?

Good question!

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Hi guys!

These are questions for both.

Firstly, congratulations to both and thank you so much for making our lives exciting 24/7 for the last couple of months.

I would like to know how much did you guys communicate during the race? Have you been in contact at all?

Secondly, what was the first thing you did every day at the brake of dawn?

Thanks!

Tomaz

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The amount of breakage due to collision with UFO's points to a growing probability of hitting something.

 

Was Armel lucky for not hitting anything or did he hit something but was lucky enough not to suffer compromising damage?

Good question!

 

 

Armel said he hit some stuff, but not serious enough to brake anything.

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My question would be what they think led to Le Cleac'h having such a big lead at Cape Horn. Just Thomson's broken foil, or some other tactical decisions? (For some time it seemed that Thomson was "corner banging" somewhat to try and find a way past, even if he said in his video posts that he was just doing his own thing.)

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Three simple questions:

 

1.) What sails did you take and what sails did you leave home (such as Alex not taking a J1) and why?

 

2.) What significant rule changes would you like to see and what would you like to see remain the same (not change) for the 2020 edition?

 

3.) Excluding structure (hulls and foils) and sails, what areas or types of gear needs the most advancement or development and could make the most difference going forward?

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Question for either/both Armel and Alex,

 

Are there any contingencies in place (other than personal beacons/survival suits) in the unlikely event that either of you were to be knocked overboard through unexpected wave action or wash. I was always worried for both of you whenever you were on the decks...especially when heeled in the Southern Ocean at 30 knots!

 

Thanks,

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How long does it take for the noises to go away and for you to decompress and feel "normal" after you return? I imagine the intensity Inhabits your dreams forever.

 

Will you be back? 😉

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What sorts of technology tools did Alex use to stay active on social media? Apps? Videos?

Pornhub or redtube?

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They rely on Autopilots a lot. Under which circumstances do they helm by hand? How much of the time would that very roughly be (per day), and is it always faster to steer manually?

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Was there any useful item within race rules they regret not bringing with them?

 

 

To both. Is there one thing you missed having that would have improved performance and or personnel comfort?

What do you think this is JS, the Women's Weekly?

liberation.fr takes such issues very seriously, "Il a bichonné ses mains de crème, ne dérogeant jamais à sa douche hebdomadaire avec un savon spécial eau de mer et trois bouteilles deau douce tirées du dessalinisateur." :rolleyes: http://www.liberation.fr/sports/2017/01/19/vendee-globe-les-7-cles-du-succes-de-le-cleac-h_1542679

comedy gold worth of questions to ask, (did they remember the harpic?)

Liberation is a French daily ...though it's Vendee coverage is probably mandatory as the paper is part owned by Édouard de Rothschild.

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Noise is a topic.

Paraphrasing (a lot) what Sam said in the VG live after the finish: "How to recognize old offshore sailors? Those with the hearing aids."

 

For both: How did you deal with the noise? What would you do different?

For Alex: Your boat and esp. the foils seemed to be quieter than others. Delusion, good camera work - or did something go right in this design?

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Noise is a topic.

Paraphrasing (a lot) what Sam said in the VG live after the finish: "How to recognize old offshore sailors? Those with the hearing aids."

 

For both: How did you deal with the noise? What would you do different?

For Alex: Your boat and esp. the foils seemed to be quieter than others. Delusion, good camera work - or did something go right in this design?

It's not only the noise that's is the problem for ears, but also cold water and wind

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Sir Keith Mills said jokingly that Alex is "insane" . Alex are you insane?

How far would Jimmy Spithill make if he were to sail HB ?

Are there any safety aspects of the race that could be improved.

 

To Armel. ? Would you do the VOR as navigator if you could choose your team.

Who is the best chess player of the Vendée sailors?

How did you deal with confused seas in the Indian Ocean.

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