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Vendee Globe 2020

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Awesome representation of the spirit of the VG

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Thank goodness for this. King Jean pays it backwards and forwards. What a seaman. Going to be wired thinking about this for a few more hours!!

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Already one of the greats of the VG, Jean Le Cam is now elevated to immortal status. 

A wonderful result by a team of outstanding seafarers.

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13 minutes ago, troll99 said:

yes!!!!!!!!

Yes GIFs | Tenor

 

now I can sleep now

 

yes we cam

I can't believe i cried - tears of relief. I know (thank goodness it wasn't "knew") Kevin from 2 DFRT campaigns and not only a sailor, consummate seaman and engineer a hell of a nice guy. It has been a long fraught sleepless night waiting for this news and dreading the alternative. 

Well done Jean and props to the other guys who didn't hesitate to suspend racing and join in the search.

I actually bounced up and down on my office chair when i read roblynn's post (post 6080).

Such incredibly good news.

I'm gonna stop typing before i get too emotional.

Off to bed

SS

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17 minutes ago, Muzza said:

I thought they (in the search zone) were at about 9 degrees east and about 40.7 south.  Mea culpa if I have that wrong.

Not necessary.

They are in South African Standard Time and Central Africa Timezone which is UTC plus 2 hours. Your sunrise at 0346 UTC or half an hour ago was spot on. 

I said first light appearing (maybe half an hour before sunrise) so maybe that the confusion. 

1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

First light would be appearing now. Sun up in maybe half an hour. 

 

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At 0118hrs UTC the PRB Team was informed that their Vendée Globe race skipper Kevin Escoffier (PRB) has been rescued by fellow Vendée Globe competitor Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!).

Escoffier had to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB following damage yesterday afternoon around 1346hrs UTC and took to his liferaft some 840 nautical miles SW of Cape Town.

The rescue mission was coordinated from Les Sables d’Olonne by Vendée Globe Race Direction in collaboration with CROSS Griz Nez and MRCC South Africa. The President of PRB, Jean-Jacques Laurent was at the Race HQ with race director Jacques Caraës and the race direction team assisting through the entire process.  

"He's on board with Jean!" These short words came as a huge relief for the whole team, for Escoffier’s family and all those involved in the Vendée Globe

Kevin has so far only been seen aboard YesWeCam via live video as Jean Le Cam had his video system connected during all the search operations. No one has yet been able to talk with the PRB skipper who just appeared smiling, bundled up in his survival suit alongside Jean Le Cam.

Vendée Globe race director Jacques Caraës outlined, “We sent Jean back to a position received by the CROSS Gris Nez, the position sent by the onboard EPIRB distress beacon. Météo France's drift simulation also delivered a trace. Jean set off at OOh15 UT (1h15 French time) on our request to reach this point at reduced speed. He found no one at the given location. He then resumed its journey southeast for three quarters for between 45 minutes and an hour - an hour. As he was making headway at 1.5 knots in a 20-25 knot wind under very reduced sail (3 reefs in the mainsail and no engine), he disappeared from the screen when suddenly we heard him talk. We no longer saw anyone. Then, a few minutes after 1:06 UT or 2:06 French time (time at which he had precisely to retrieve Kevin on board), Jean went back down to the chart table and then we saw Kevin arrive behind his back in a survival suit. They both appeared fit seconds before the video cut. He is fine. Everyone is well. They are recovering!

On January 6, 2009, during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou, the then the skipper of PRB, rescued Jean Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA 60 which capsized at Cape Horn.

This time 61 year old five times Vendée Globe racer Le Cam has reversed the roles delivering Escoffier, the 40 year old skipper from Saint Malo, from a potentially lethal situation.

The whole TEAM PRB and the Vendée Globe community sincerely thanks Jean Le Cam and the three other skippers, Boris Hermann, Yannick Bestaven and Sébastien Simon who have worked heroically and tirelessly to find Kevin, as well as the race director, the CROSS Gris Nez. and the MRCC Cape Town which coordinated the search

 

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3 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

...I'm gonna stop typing before i get too emotional.

Off to bed

SS

Shang keep weeping ....the missus will then console you with more than breakfast. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, bucc5062 said:

I get this idea that AT can "render assistance" because it is a cool story line, but facts...

AT is @ 340 nm from the incident.  He is currently (last sched) going at 15 kts with a HP overtaking, bat at best he'll get there by 22 hours and he has only one rudder.

Best case, another IMOCA plucks Keven from the sea dear god hopefully before 22 hours from now (shit load of time in a raft, em I right?)...

Mean time, facts are the same and best moment is that Kevin is reacquired, a boat is working on getting him aboard within the next 6 hours because that is the better story.

Spot on... but it is fascinating to consider how Alex might have prepped for such an eventuality. He's been there, capsized that and entered a life raft and cut the tether in cold waters and big waves... I'd say he's got a plan for most scenarios including rescue at sea.

How would he utilize his cameras.. could the masthead camera be useful or would it just be whipping all over the place? How would he approach a MOB with those foils out the side? 

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6 minutes ago, Varan said:

Kevin has so far only been seen aboard YesWeCam via live video as Jean Le Cam had his video system connected during all the search operations.

Kevin kept shouting 'clack-clack-clack' thus disappearing and giving the appearance that JLC was on his own and had lost his marbles. 

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43 minutes ago, Thread Killer said:

I think this is a very good sign...

 

KTracker.gif

Well done with this the motion confirms the story..!

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8 hours ago, b3nharris said:

 

I'm sure it's just trying to make sure there are as many options as possible, but this doesn't leave a good feeling about all this does it?

Rooting for Kevin and everyone sent to assist him.

The more the merrier. As you said, keep the options as one never knows

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Okay, so now we can happily speculate about how Kevin gets to Cape Town. My guess is Jean waits for Alex to pick him up. They will be in much calmer seas 24 hours from now, although such a transfer is obviously still risky. Somehow Jean, and Boris etc., will have to be compensated for their delay anyway.

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I hope every one of those skippers that have been plodding along with minimal steerage in foul conditions getting smashed get the biggest goddamn fucking reception this race has ever seen when they get home.

Fuck I love sailors. .  

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Who more fitting than the great Jean Le Cam to complete the rescue..! And yes Alex could well pick him up and I think this would in some way help Alex deal with his bad luck or good luck with Kevin's perspective in mind.! This race is akin to climbing Everest with all the risks and great to see the system work. 

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For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

JLC :wub:

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5 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Okay, so now we can happily speculate about how Kevin gets to Cape Town. My guess is Jean waits for Alex to pick him up. They will be in much calmer seas 24 hours from now, although such a transfer is obviously still risky. Somehow Jean, and Boris etc., will have to be compensated for their delay anyway.

I dunno about you guys , but I've (attempted) to sail with only one rudder in displacement mode and the only word for it is fucking horrible.

 

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11 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Kevin kept shouting 'clack-clack-clack' thus disappearing and giving the appearance that JLC was on his own and had lost his marbles. 

OK, take a small bow for that one. Hell, I'll toss in a golf clap.

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Well done JLC and all involved in organising and standing by.

Great result.

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If above times right Keven in the raft for nearly 11 hours and the last updated raft position JLC got via EPIRB together with a drift plot from HQ was less than an hour before pickup. That would have been a long 11 hours mostly in the dark.

Not mentioned but JLC disappearing off screen and shortly returning with Kevin seems to indicate he had him on AIS PLB for final approach.

Mandated safety equipment works.

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Le Cam is the MAN!

Not only is he kicking ass in his vintage boat, but he's rescuing fellow sailors while doing it.

YES WE CAM!

Yep, firmly on the JLC bandwagon now.

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4 minutes ago, shaggybaxter said:

I dunno about you guys , but I've (attempted) to sail with only one rudder in displacement mode and the only word for it is fucking horrible.

 

And I can’t see any experienced sea salts wanting to make an at sea transfer when you can do it right and bring Kevin to land yourself. It isn’t a movie script. The prudent experienced thing. 

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couldn't go anywhere in some stopovers without being stopped by all sorts of fans.

Irony of this photo is both Kevin & Charles have had their current projects 'interrupted'.  

But thankfully both will live to fight again.

IMG_5396.JPG

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It'll be interesting to see how they distribute redress.  They should give Le Cam a week of redress and a couple cases of wine.

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18 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

Loving it - how many more boats running public dashboards?  Did I miss a post full of links?

Malizia only one now that the Boss Hub was changed. 

Nice use of exception to NOR 4.3.3. (Performance support). which prohibits  "data from the boat to land which could be used to analyse and improve performance except if they are made public instantaneously on reception. The data access method shall be endorsed by the race management beforehand."

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1 minute ago, stief said:

Malizia only one now that the Boss Hub was changed. 

Nice use of exception to NOR 4.3.3. (Performance support). which prohibits  "data from the boat to land which could be used to analyse and improve performance except if they are made public instantaneously on reception. The data access method shall be endorsed by the race management beforehand."

Thanks!

It really enlivens the coverage and would probably have great safety benefits.  One to think about for future editions

 

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35 minutes ago, shaggybaxter said:

I dunno about you guys , but I've (attempted) to sail with only one rudder in displacement mode and the only word for it is fucking horrible.

 

Ok that one got a good chuckle out of me

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44 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Okay, so now we can happily speculate about how Kevin gets to Cape Town. My guess is Jean waits for Alex to pick him up. They will be in much calmer seas 24 hours from now, although such a transfer is obviously still risky.

Possible.  But what about food? No way is a Frenchman going to eat British freeze dried.

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9 minutes ago, sunol said:

Was wondering if they will give Le Cam 3rd place? Hope so.

The way the leading foilers are dropping, YES WE CAM could win this thing :D

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

I can't believe i cried - tears of relief. I know (thank goodness it wasn't "knew") Kevin from 2 DFRT campaigns and not only a sailor, consummate seaman and engineer a hell of a nice guy. It has been a long fraught sleepless night waiting for this news and dreading the alternative. 

Well done Jean and props to the other guys who didn't hesitate to suspend racing and join in the search.

I actually bounced up and down on my office chair when i read roblynn's post (post 6080).

Such incredibly good news.

I'm gonna stop typing before i get too emotional.

Off to bed

SS

I cried too, tears of joy. Haven't been able to do anything constructive since news Kevin had to abandon ship. All I could think of was him on board Dong Feng in the last two VORs, fixing stuff, smiling, climbing the mast (as Shanghai recalled up thread), and, particularly, in the last VOR, cradling his then very young daughter, and his wife and young son, during a couple Port visits. Followed him in his preparation for the VG, said up thread he was, and remains, the guy who would be at the top of my list of crew I would go offshore with. Charles Caudralier sang Kevin's, and his other former DF teammate Jeremie Beyou, recently. I am now so relived, so happy for Kevin's family, friends, supporters, shore crew, and proud of those competitors who so quickly rerouted to search for him. The racing community has done good today! 

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In all seriousness what is the status of Jean Le Cam now - can he get Kevin Escoffier to land safely and then continue racing, and get redress? If so would he have to sail back to the point at which he stopped racing - did he declare a point at which he stopped racing and became a rescuer?? In some races if you rescue someone you are allowed to take on new stores to replace the ones used by the rescued sailor.

I know it has been said a few times above but surely transferring him to Hugo Boss would/could be a disaster. Two IMOCAs with deck spreaders coming close enough? You couldn't put Kevin back into a raft.

Has anyone rescued someone in a previous Vendee and kept racing?

 

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Riou (PRB)/ Jean Le Cam

 

Although not for long..

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41 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

Thanks!

It really enlivens the coverage and would probably have great safety benefits.  One to think about for future editions

Seen the Weather routing plugin? (gotta scroll 2/3 down ). Many Anarchists behind that too . Sat AIS plots might well be next judging by this thread . Not quite there yet.

[aside] Anarchists have been putting the digital pieces together since before the Vestas crash, showing ROs and teams what can be done but often get kicked for it. Glad Forss will do a S-H tracker.

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The race organizers had better figure out how to get Kevin off with adequate redress for Le Cam so he can continue. Otherwise their name is whatever the French is for mud. Or maybe 'merde'.

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FFS. He's safe, and already people want to decide the race?

Can we get the facts first? Has the RO ever unjustly penalized a boat for assisting another?

Look at the time line. It's complicated. How many hours between each fact?

When did he abandon? When did the RO know? When was JLC and the others redirected. Where and when did JLC and the others begin racing?

FFS! He's safe, but there are many others out there who still have to round a few more capes.

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Safety first!!

 But it is early in the race. Kevin needs to disembark, and I sure he wants to ASAP.

It is a thorny problem.  

The race should be decided by the race.

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Big shout out obviously to Jean Le Cam. How fitting. He could still snag a podium but no matter his result he will be seen as a HERO for his involvement. As I've said before this is akin to being on Everest carrying out a rescue in my eyes. Also well done to everyone on these forums that relayed positive info, collated AIS tracks and whatever information they could get their hands on to make sense of what was unfolding. Today was a good day.! Kevin will have some stories to tell as will JLC. Don't under estimate what just went down. Cheers guys..! :)

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5 minutes ago, terrafirma said:

Big shout out obviously to Jean Le Cam. How fitting. He could still snag a podium but no matter his result he will be seen as a HERO for his involvement. As I've said before this is akin to being on Everest carrying out a rescue in my eyes. Also well done to everyone on these forums that relayed positive info, collated AIS tracks and whatever information they could get their hands on to make sense of what was unfolding. Today was a good day.! Kevin will have some stories to tell as will JLC. Don't under estimate what just went down. Cheers guys..! :)

Yes!  I can't wait to hear the story told in full detail from the comfort of someplace warm and dry.  I need to learn French.  

Man, what a day.  I also struggled to do anything productive thinking of Kevin being tossed around in the freezing dark by himself in a floating coffin.  Somehow seems even worse than dying on Everest.  Wonderful story to close out this dumpster fire of a year.  Looking forward to the rest of the race!

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It's a tough problem for everybody--families, teams, organizers, fans. 

The work that goes into trying to help sailors succeed is huge and still fails. Safety gear--see the Clipper Race last year.  Collisions (too many to mention). Rescue? Not done yet.

Yes, Jean Le Did It, but it's a myth he's going around alone.

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24 minutes ago, stief said:

FFS. He's safe, and already people want to decide the race?

Can we get the facts first? Has the RO ever unjustly penalized a boat for assisting another?

Look at the time line. It's complicated. How many hours between each fact?

When did he abandon? When did the RO know? When was JLC and the others redirected. Where and when did JLC and the others begin racing?

FFS! He's safe, but there are many others out there who still have to round a few more capes.

Imagine how whiny of a little bitch a competitor have to be to be upset they lost a final position because of a redress for a rescue in week 2 of a 10+ week event. 

In an event where most people just want to finish. I doubt anyone actually in the race would be that whiny of a little bitch like SA. 

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8 minutes ago, Miffy said:

SA

Lost me here. Sailing Anarchy?

Yes, whiny competitors get little respect . Saviours get more, especially if it's not about creds.

So much to be thankful for today, and the months to come.

And as far as this SA--the pages "arguing" about rescue efforts/tech were easily parsed for a lot of good info. Looking forward to rereading them.

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Simply amazing,  and a toast to Jean Le Cam, with a large glass of red wine... WFD!  :)

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We can only hope the VG Race Committee use an proper English communications officer these Auto Translations are so confusing. 

The rescue mission was coordinated from Les Sables d’Olonne by Vendée Globe Race Direction in collaboration with CROSS Griz Nez and MRCC South Africa. The President of PRB, Jean-Jacques Laurent was at the Race HQ with race director Jacques Caraës and the race direction team assisting through the entire process.

“He’s on board with Jean!” These short words came as a huge relief for the whole team, for Escoffier’s family and all those involved in and following the Vendée Globe

Kevin has so far only been seen aboard YesWeCam via live video as Jean Le Cam had his video system connected during all the search operations. No one has yet been able to talk with the PRB skipper who just appeared smiling, bundled up in his survival suit alongside Jean Le Cam.

Vendée Globe race director Jacques Caraës outlined, “We sent Jean back to a position received by the CROSS Gris Nez, the position sent by the onboard EPIRB distress beacon. Météo France’s drift simulation also delivered a trace. Jean set off at 00h15 UT (1h15 French time) on our request to reach this point at reduced speed. He found no one at the given location. He then resumed its journey southeast for three quarters for between 45 minutes and an hour – an hour. As he was making headway at 1.5 knots in a 20-25 knot wind under very reduced sail (3 reefs in the mainsail and no engine), he disappeared from the screen when suddenly we heard him talk. We no longer saw anyone. Then, a few minutes after 1:06 UT or 2:06 French time (time at which he had precisely to retrieve Kevin on board), Jean went back down to the chart table and then we saw Kevin arrive behind his back in a survival suit. They both appeared fit seconds before the video cut. He is fine. Everyone is well. They are recovering!”

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Returning to the race and watching the Americas Cup build up, Pogo 3, Sunfast 3300, has there been another naval architect who has had as a good of a last 6 years than Guillaume Verdier?

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4 minutes ago, Miffy said:

Returning to the race and watching the Americas Cup build up, Pogo 3, Sunfast 3300, has there been another naval architect who has had as a good of a last 6 years than Guillaume Verdier?

Certainly Verdier are doing some very good things ATM. So we had 2 x VPLP's, 2 x JuanK's and 2 x Verdier boats this time (New). Certainly the Juan K boat remaining Arkea is also doing well. The Verdier boats have been the fastest in my book. There was a lot of talk about the SO and Alex's boat in terms of speed but not sure about that? Before we compare designers and boats we also need to compare the skipper's ability on each boat which makes it harder.

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11 minutes ago, terrafirma said:

Not seeing the translation?

In short, JLC says:

I was about 2 hours away from Kevin when I was contacted by the VG organisation

When I arrived at the initially indicated location he was there.  We agreed that I would get ready and come back

2 reefs, main sail only. Tacking back and forth was tough. But I could not nee Kevin anymore in the multiple passes I did. Decided I would wait for daylight

Then, I saw short flash. Got to see it more and more often, approaching from the upwind side

Being in the dark actually helped locate the raft more easily

Talked to Kevin, he asked me if I would come back later. Said 'no', lets go for it now

Threw him the 'red banana' rescue line

He managed to catch it and tie it to the raft (not really sure of what JLC says here so take this description cautiously)

----------------------

Apologies for the approximations, doing this quickly before going to work, not used to the proper english (and even french) terms for all this

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2 minutes ago, Wooba said:

In short, JLC says:

I was about 2 hours aways from Kevin when I was contacted to go rescue him

When I arrived at the initially indicated location he was there.  We agreed that I would get ready and come back

2 reefs, main sail only. Tacking back and forth was tough. But I could not nee Kevin anymore in the multiple passes I did. Decided I would wait for daylight

Then, I saw short flash. Got to see it more and more often, approaching from the upwind side

Being in the dark actually helped locate the raft more easily

Talked to Kevin, he asked me if I would come back later. Said 'no', lets go for it now

Threw him the 'red banana'

He managed to catch it and tie it to the 'bar'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome cheers I wonder what Kevin meant in this will you comeback later? I presume as it was Dark Kevin mean't wanna try later or maybe due to the conditions? Anyway JLC said "No let's go now" Cheers for the brief to the point translation 

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48 minutes ago, JoeBleaux said:

https://www.facebook.com/501374873224810/posts/3964530216909241/

Le cam on the rescue, anyone wat to translate?

I was at 2h of PRB, more or less, so I was the closest to the objective. So I go to the position that the beacon indicated. So voilà. Then I arrive at the zone. Superb, I see Kevin in his liferaft. So I tell him, as I have the position, all is well... I tell him I come back, we are not doing anything stupid, you see. So at this moment I have 2 reefs in my main, main only, but two reefs. With the seastate it was not easy, not easy to maneuver. So I come back where I left him, and there was no one, ohlala... I came back to the place at least 5 to 6 times. That means tacking every time. With the seastate and everything. So I went into standby state, waiting, waiting for daylight. But then I tack again, as I tell myself that during the night I might see the light better than during daylight. One moment I was on deck and I can see a strobe. A strobe, I mean it is not a strobe, it's a light that appears in the waves. I tell me that it is not real... I continue and I see the thing. I see the light appearing more and more. At this stage you tell yourself OK that's it. You go from despair to joy. So I head into the wind and ... I tell Kevin to come, let's do it right now, I am not coming back. I throw him the red buoy. And he can get it. So we suceded. He attached it and we won.

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18 minutes ago, terrafirma said:

Not seeing the translation?

Couldn’t see it, so was calling Laurent 

I see wooba stepped up   Thanks wooba. And lakeneuch 

Gad, I love this place

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BRAVO JEAN!!... EL PUTO AMO!!! (the fckg KING!!!)

JLCwine2.thumb.jpg.6b5ced245054fc42859776f5f45495d2.jpg

This morning I clap my hands to you as Paco's Alegrias palmeros in Bmayor... y OOOOOOleeeee !!

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I hope JLC will make it to the finish, hope the whimsy carbon hill will hold his massive balls during slamming in the southern ocean.

All 4 of them searching for PRB actually.

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19 minutes ago, k-f-u said:

 

(here is a rough translation)

Kevin, Jean and Jean-Jacques (PRB CEO)

JJ : Congrats to the both of you, you guys have a great seamanship spirit!

K : We did a great job with Jean

J : He ended up in a nice house

*they all laugh*

K : As I was saying to Jean 'I am sorry, you were doing so well in the race. I am sorry to screw everything up' and he replied to me 'well, last time it was the other way around. PRB rescued me' (back in 2008). Jean-Jacques, I am sorry for the boat

JJ : it's just some pieces of equipment, no worries. 

K : I did everything I could

JJ : All is good

K : I have no regrets. I reinforce the boat with 200kg of carbon fiber. It was like in movie when a boat sinks but worse... In 4 seconds, the boat nosedive, the bow bent to 90 degree, I looked into the cockpit, a wave came. I just got the time to send one text message, then all the electronics went out. it's crazy! Fold a boat... I did a lot during my career but this one I cannot believe it.

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Hopefully Kevin has the time to process what he just survived. It isn’t an easy ordeal but what comes after when you catch up processing it is what really hurts. 

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https://fb.watch/25Dov-PWWs/
 

Kevin and Jean on a videocall. 

Kevin says that the sinking was worse that those we picture in movies, he says he’s sorry for interrupting Jean’s race and that the last time it was PRB rescuing Jean.

He then has tears in his eyes feeling sorry for loosing the boat and all the work done on it. 

He says that in 4 seconds the bow pointed 90 degrees downwards, when he stepped out to the cockpit a wave crashed and killed the electronics and he had just the time to send a text

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1 minute ago, b3nharris said:

Fuck! Sounds like the bow came off? All seems to have happened very quickly. 

yep that's my understanding... I guess we will know more soon! 

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2 minutes ago, b3nharris said:

Fuck! Sounds like the bow came off? All seems to have happened very quickly. 

Yeah, the front fell off.

 

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19 minutes ago, Yod said:

In 4 seconds, the boat hit wave, the bow bent to 90 degree, I looked into the cockpit, a wave came. I just got the time to send one text message, then all the electronics went out. it's crazy! Fold a boat... 

Fuck....4 seconds.

For those that think a GMDSS terminal (sat/hf) with preprogrammed distress message, vessel details, POB and position sent at the push of a button is overkill. 

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6 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Fuck.

For those that think GMDS terminals with preprogrammed distress message, vessel details and position sent at the push of a button is overkill. 

King Neptune claimed PRB, the skinny sibling of Safran that’s had a lengthy history of success and incidents and repairs and rebuilds. 

Shame she had to go down like that - maybe the VG team can invade VPLP-Verdier to talk about her launch. Juan K to talk about what he did for her. 

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Sorry WHAT??? How much needs to go catastrophically wrong for a boat like that to fold in two in 4 seconds? I guess when carbon fails it really REALLY fails

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4 minutes ago, Fintho said:

Sorry WHAT??? How much needs to go catastrophically wrong for a boat like that to fold in two in 4 seconds? I guess when carbon fails it really REALLY fails

There’s... substantial compression loads on the hull and PRB was light even when launched - subsequent additions of foils only meant higher loads. We will see how much Kevin will share on the future  

anyway from JLC man of the hour himself

 

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24 minutes ago, b3nharris said:

Fuck! Sounds like the bow came off? All seems to have happened very quickly. 

The front fell off... literally...

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Creds to JLC.

But check out the track, and manoeuvers of the other three.

They weren't going to lose him.

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1 minute ago, Miffy said:

There’s... substantial compression loads on the hull and PRB was light even when launched - subsequent additions of foils only meant higher loads. We will see how much Kevin will share on the future  

Fingers crossed some of these problems are solved in time for the ocean race, imagine a boat full of 10 or whatever crew with half of them sleeping having something like this happen. A good way to loose talented sailors that would be...

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Now that we know (thank god) that Kevin is safe we can get back to the important business of speculating about what Alex does next. Good article in the times here which includes some new details. Ross Daniel saying it's impossible to replace a rudder seems a bit strange given the presence of spare rudders on other boats. Also admits that boat hadn't been tested as much as they would normally do (because of COVID).

Inquest into doomed £6m boat begins | Sport | The Times

Quote

The knowledge that almost 50 per cent of starters do not finish the Vendée Globe was no consolation for Alex Thomson yesterday as he limped towards Cape Town after a “soul- destroying” early end to the race he dreamed for years of winning.

No sooner had Thomson finished a week reinforcing cracked beams than his Hugo Boss yacht struck something underwater, damaging one rudder so severely that he was forced to conclude his fifth attempt at the Vendée after about 6,500 nautical miles (out of 24,000) and 20 days.

“He’s sailing by himself watching the other boats sail away so he’s pretty upset and emotional,” Ross Daniel, technical director of Alex Thomson Racing, said. “He’s got another four, five days [at sea] to dwell.”

The solo round-the-world race is staged every four years, “our Olympics,” Daniel added, and the new boat had been designed and built at a cost of more than £6 million with high hopes that, after third and second, Thomson would become the first non-French winner.

Back on land, the internal review has already begun after a “brutal week” concluded with Thomson hearing a loud bang as he sailed at 21 knots in the South Atlantic, and the steering system jammed.

After Thomson’s collision with a whale last year which almost ripped off his keel, a device was installed on the top of all the Vendée masts to detect objects near the surface up to a range of 600 metres but it can depend on the nature of the object. Several boats have sustained damage in this race from collisions.

The twin rudders are built to flick up on impact but Daniel said that fishing gear wrapped around Thomson’s rudder appears to have compromised that system. “We have a rudder fuse system so when you get impact it kicks up and takes some of the shock out,” he said. “But you can’t account for something wrapped around, pulling it backwards. It gets broken in torsion. We have hit an object plenty of times when that has worked. To have fishing gear around it to rip the rudder off is very unusual and extremely bad luck.” Replacing a rudder while at sea on current IMOCA 60 boats was not possible, Daniel said.

Thomson had been hoping to get back into contention after a week repairing inside the bow area where he discovered a series of cracks. The team hope to discover more about the cause when Hugo Boss can be properly examined but Daniel said that the restrictions of a Covid-hampered year had meant that pre-race testing had been restricted since the yacht’s launch in September 2019.

“Alex rebuilt a whole transverse bulkhead,” Daniel said. “No one has done anything on that scale before because they don’t carry the supplies to do it.

“We made a conscious decision to carry that because we were so compromised by Covid on the testing we could have done [on the boat]. Normally you build, launch and you are constantly upgrading until the start of the race. We didn’t have a big enough runway with Covid restrictions to do that.

“We were confident the repair was stronger. The bulkhead is made of nomex, honeycomb composite, with two bits of thin carbon either side 2mm thick. What we replaced it with was 6mm solid carbon.”

So why not build it with stronger material in the first place? “It’s a weight thing,” Daniel said. “To build the boat out of it would probably take it to 11, 12 tonnes, not 7.7 tonnes. We build as strong as we can while at the same time trying to push the limit of engineering.”

Abandoning the race has been made even harder for Thomson, who led for most of the first fortnight, by seeing the Vendée fleet come back closer together as the boats race downwind towards the Cape of Good Hope.

Thomson will fly home from South Africa to begin deliberations about whether to launch a sixth Vendée attempt. To be competitive can take a budget of up to £20 million for the four-year cycle, particularly with the need to build a new boat to keep up with foiling developments. Talks are due with Hugo Boss, who have backed Thomson for 17 years, with the contract up for renewal at the end of 2021.

“We need to make a decision quite quickly and keep developing,” Daniel said. “If you fall off the back, you can’t get to the front. We were going in as favourites and I fully believed we were going to win it. To go out so quickly, through something out of our control, is hard to swallow. It’s soul-destroying for the whole team.”

As Thomson heads out of the race, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) has a lead of around 300nm. Sam Davies (Initiatives-Coeur) is the best-placed Briton in 11th, highest ranked among six female the skippers, with at least 50 days of sailing ahead.

 

The Britons still in the race

Sam Davies (Initiatives-Coeur) Highest-placed among six women skippers in the race as she sits 11th in her third Vendée. Davies, 46, came fourth in 2008-09

Pip Hare (Medallia) The Poole-based sailor, 46, initially used crowdfunding to rent her boat and is lying 24th in her first Vendée.

Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) The 51-year-old gave up advertising for off-shore sailing and is 28th in her first Vendée.

 

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Fingers crossed the Ocean Race never happens with imoca and a schedule designed to break boats and nonsensical foil requirements and autopilots limits. 
 

in re Hugo Boss - I’m sorryATR went out the way he did but frankly the race isn’t over for 30 others and his misfortune pales in comparison to losing an entire boat and nearly his life. I find it hard to return to the subject ESP with a weekend of drivel. 

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Inteview jlc

 

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