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PRB update.  Structure re-enforcement for the foils introduced a couple of years ago, a new improved cockpit cover for protection and improved ergonomics.  PRB is down to do the Transat and NY-Vendee. 

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https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/19616/conrad-colman-the-vendee-globe-is-a-passion

Conrad Coleman interview. Still looking for funding but hoping to line up for the NY Vendee.

From memory he skipped the Transat last time as well then started the NY Vendee late. Could be wrong...

Hope he makes it happen. He's given himself a couple of months to get it together. 

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Isabelle Joschke on MASCF has just returned from a 3 week solo trial.

This type of training regime, with extended solo periods outside of the races, is something which has always appeared to be missing from AT's approach. AFAIK Alex rarely, if ever, uses extended solo sessions as part of his training - in fact there's been a lot of chat in the past about how he uses the rest of the team to actually sail the boat and only pops up when the helicopter comes over for the photo shoot. 

He's undoubtedly a quick sailor and has managed some solid podiums when the boat holds together but I can't help wonder if these longer solo training sessions would help with the attrition and 'long term' management his French rivals still seem to have the upper hand on??

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Well @NZK , I would think AT has more than enough solo experience as such. Testing and optimising is his priority, and that is best done with the team. And he seems to have a team as good or better than any of his competitors.

Some single or double handed racing is also important, and he is doing that alright. And at his age his family requires some attention too.

You seem to be very critical of him, that's OK, but just curious to know why. Bad experience?

 

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It wasn't meant to be too critical, it was supposed to be more of an observation on different approaches - I fully acknowledge his successes and skills but for a long time he was considered to have a bit of cowboy attitude and has always maintained a separation from the rest of the fleet with his base location and training. He does also have one of the highest attrition/incidence rates in the fleet - I was wondering if this is perhaps part of the mindset they have which appears to be looking for maximum possible boat speed achieved through continual short term testing as opposed to the more traditional approach taken by Joschke etc of using extended solo time aboard to optimise manouvres, onboard ergonomics, weather routing, sleep patterns and fatigue management (this is part assumption but also partly based on existing interviews with the Lorient based teams on how they operate). 

I think as the boats develop into the newer foiling generations there are bigger gains to be made through foil and sail plan optimisation but the balance between this and the 'time onboard' approach is what intrigues me. 

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It seems to be that one thing that AT could have done and didn't is to join the "training camp" in Port Laforet, but that would have meant relocating the team if not choosing another yard. 

But about long solo sessions, it is much more related to the planning and circumstances (breaking the boat in last TJV), which also happened with the previous one. Otherwise he for sure had some in his plans, and probably still has. 

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Isabelle Joschke  / MASCF desperately needed miles on board after the TJV start grounding mess (never heard who on board made that mark rounding call) and all the repairs that followed.  They have a lot to catch up on and confirm. No one else in IMOCA is out there doing much of anything right now.  Isabelle has also likely logged the required solo miles to validate her VG entry with that trip.  Good use of time. 

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2 hours ago, yl75 said:

It seems to be that one thing that AT could have done and didn't is to join the "training camp" in Port Laforet, but that would have meant relocating the team if not choosing another yard. 

But about long solo sessions, it is much more related to the planning and circumstances (breaking the boat in last TJV), which also happened with the previous one. Otherwise he for sure had some in his plans, and probably still has. 

Actually, the Training Center never accepted him as a member, AFAIK...

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8 hours ago, NZK said:

there's been a lot of chat in the past about how he uses the rest of the team to actually sail the boat and only pops up when the helicopter comes over for the photo shoot. 

 

Any of the hundreds of people who've sailed with AT on a Boss boat know that's some bullshit.  Regardless of which of his team are aboard, Alex is like a little monkey, constantly jumping around the boat making sure everything is functioning properly.   His energy level is astounding.

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45 minutes ago, RedFlag said:

Actually, the Training Center never accepted him as a member, AFAIK...

My understanding is that he never "applied", but I think I remember somebody saying/writing they were not opposed to it at all.

 

Edit Maybe it's not that clear, in below interview, Alex is saying that he was refused to come to the last training for the last VG, but if he had ask to do all them most probably he would have been accepted ..

https://www.ouest-france.fr/route-du-rhum/route-du-rhum-alex-thomson-les-gars-de-bretagne-sont-les-meilleurs-du-monde-6041350

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Back in the water on April 20. Long winter refit. 

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MACSF back into the shed for a refit before the two transatlantic races.

Looking like those looking to do the Transat CIC in IMOCA are mostly those needing quali miles. Kind of a shame. 

 

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16 hours ago, Chimp too said:

2 weeks since launch and still no images of the foils??

Meanwhile, nice livery.

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 Not long now until we see more of this. 

 

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An update from Charal on  VG energy consumption and sources. 

https://www.charal.fr/post-voile/chantier-charal-lenergie-question-de-compromis/

Extract... 

On this generation of boats, we have a fairly energy-consuming instrumentation system (sensors), which makes it possible to follow in real time the loads on the boat, in particular the deformation of the foils and the compression in the mast, two points to be constantly monitored.

An Imoca like Charal consumes up to 6400 Wh per day, the challenge for the technical team is to find the best possible compromise between the different sources of supply (engine powered by diesel, hydrogenerators and solar panels), depending of "two major goals" set by Pierre-François Dargnies. “First of all, the energy independence of the boat throughout the Vendée Globe , which requires having alternative solutions in the event of a breakdown or breakage. Then, the optimization of the on-board mass for the sake of performance, hence a difficult compromise to find between the weight of diesel, heavy at the start but light on arrival, and that of renewable energies, less important but constant ”. Compromise which takes into account a third key element: environmental protection, and therefore the limitation of diesel consumption. “We are all aware of this issue in the team, Charal too, we are all looking to limit our consumption of fossil energy. "

In view of the Vendée Globe 2020, the Charal Sailing Team has chosen to put more emphasis on solar energy. “On the Transat Jacques Vabre , we have done small-scale tests, we are going to switch to a higher power: the objective is to run on diesel - with a limited quantity - and on solar on the Vendée and that the hydrogenerators become the alternative, because the disadvantage of the latter is that they require the intervention of the skipper and slow down the boat ” , explains the technical director.

A partnership has been established with the company Fly Solartech which supplies customized solar panels installed during the winter construction on the roof and on the Charal bridge. "They are light, efficient and discreet, they blend well with the geometry of the bridge and the decoration of the boat," underlines Pierre-François Dargnies. Who concludes: “This is a recent but promising partnership, because we hope to go further: our goal is to have a fossil-free boat for the Route du Rhum 2022, with solar and hydrogen generators. We are also very interested in wind power, which, with the speeds that the Imoca reach today, is a solution to study, even if it is complex to implement. "

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Apologies if this has been posted already.  No foils.  Delay in build?  Nice images anyway

 

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For fellow Facebook avoiders:

 

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9 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

For fellow Facebook avoiders:

 

Same as above no?  :lol:

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4 hours ago, jb5 said:

Same as above no?  :lol:

Yeah, but cannot activate Facebook link. 

More importantly, no sign of foils, as you point out, JB.

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