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Vendee Globe 2020

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13 minutes ago, stief said:

T&S and PRB foils and Juan K. Gtrans is not acceptable to lawyers, but does give us a sense of the politics ;) 

 

Juan doesn't step on a rake a second time. 

Imagine the reaction here if it was stated otherwise. We get new 10 pages quickly. :P

Rake GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

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How far behind projections are these guys, particularly the foilers? They've hit a load of holes and they must be thinking about whether they need to start being a bit careful with food supplies.

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4 minutes ago, Terrorvision said:

How far behind projections are these guys, particularly the foilers? They've hit a load of holes and they must be thinking about whether they need to start being a bit careful with food supplies.

According to today's Vendee Live, they are c. 6 days behind le Cléac'h's 2016 pace; make of that what you will.

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Tripon and Jeremie 500nm behind the next one. It should take less time than before to close the gap. Particularly Tripon as I don't see that he has to sail down near the ice limit as he could sail straight to Pedote instead. 

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Damn those foils are expensive... then I remembered that masts and keel fins and daggerboards in the past were not free either.

But if they want to keep the boats in the fleet, can they be changed to a daggerboard config without loosing to much speed or costs, or tuck into having foils.
And if foils are allowed to move, can you start rotating daggerboards too ?

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From the VG EN page. Christian Dumard looking ahead to New Year's Eve

Quote

And this edition of the race is significantly slower than the 2016-17 edition. Four years ago, at this stage eventual leader Armel Le Cléac’h was nearly halfway closer to Cape Horn which he rounded on 23rdDecember after just 47 days of racing. Vendée Globe meteo supplier Christian Dumard is predicting the leader will pass the famous Cape on the last day of 2020.

“This is a very different race.” Suggested his associate Sébastien Josse this morning, three times Vendée Globe racer, “Not only have the meteo conditions been very different, slowed in the South Atlantic, a difficult, disorderly Indian Ocean and now light winds for the leaders, but the last two editions have featured pairs of skippers who knew their boats perfectly, who were prepared to push them hard and had the confidence of having a few Vendée Globe under their belts and having confidence in their boats. Right now there has been some damages, because of COVID we lost two Transatlantic Races and so perhaps there is a bit more caution.”

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/21124/ruyant-back-to-speed-after-nervous-hours

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1 hour ago, Hitchhiker said:

Took the day off yesterday to work.  Looks like I have quite a bit to catch up on!

I personally find it best to read SA while at work. That way I can play without interruptions :)

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1 hour ago, stief said:

Here you go Varan: Armel close at the Horn ;) 

from more good reading in today's T&S

Yoann Richomme

GENERAL REGROUPATION IN CAP HORN?

Each week during the Vendée Globe, the double winner of the Solitaire du Figaro, winner of the Route du Rhum 2018 in Class40, delivers his tactical and strategic analysis of the race , exclusively for Tip & Shaft.

The main info of the week is the takeover of Yannick Bestaven who took advantage of the misfortunes of Charlie (Dalin) and Thomas (Rettant) , but, above all, who knew how to put coal in the second part of Indian for pick up. Yannick is clearly a good sailor , he has proven it several times, winning the Transat Jacques Vabre twice in Class40 - in 2011 with Eric Drouglazet, in 2015 with Pierre Brasseur. A few physical glitches at the start of the race surely slowed him down, but since then the diesel has been very hot and it has clearly found its rhythm, especially since it seems to appreciate the southern conditions. 

A reliability strategy that pays off

After more than half of the world tour, he must be happy to be there! Yannick and his team had bet on reliability with a boat that had not changed much since they bought it (this is the former Safran with which Morgan Lagravière competed in the last Vendée Globe), we can speak of a profitable strategy. Apivia or LinkedOut are a priori more efficient boats, but I do not see them leaving Maître CoQ behind here at the Horn, it is not downwind that they make the difference. On the other hand, the ascent of the Atlantic could be more complicated for Yannick : we have seen the higher speed of the new foilers when reaching in the trade winds, it remains to be seen what capacities they will have when they start this ascent.

The other highlights are the damage to the previous leaders . Charlie had to rebuild the low wedge of his starboard foil, it's a kind of pad on which the foil rests and slides. The operation is downright complicated: you first have to make a new part using fiber and resin, a plate thick and solid enough for the foil to rest on. Once this part was made, he had to adjust it to the millimeter and position it. He specified that it is maintained from the inside of the well with ropes, he will undoubtedly check regularly if the repair is holding up .

For his part, Thomas "quite simply" filled his sail hold with water, the hatch on the foredeck opened, in this case, the boat fills up very quickly given the quantities of water sweeping the deck. at high speeds This could have been very serious for the structure of the boat, as the body of water moving from side to side can cause significant damage.

Logical bonuses

The chasing group is playing a big game - there were 5 on sight! Jean Le Cam said he found it a bit exhausting. This is clearly more the case than following your own pace in your corner. Being able to read other people's speeds on AIS is captivating, but also stressful , which is what we see all the time in Figaro. Today, they have enough gaps between them to no longer see each other on AIS, but they keep an eye on the rankings which fall every 4 hours. This pulls the group up and surely allows them to cling a little more to the leaders, especially as the weather is currently playing in their favor.

For the bonuses, the decisions seem logical to me . From a strictly mathematical point of view, Jean Le Cam was 55 miles from LinkedOut when PRB sank; when he started again he was 230 miles behind for a 175 mile differential. If you divide by 15 knots, the speed it had at about that time, that's 12 hours, to which you add the disembarkation, physical and psychological fatigue, small material problems ... Without even routing, these 16 hours and 15 minutes are logical.  

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Weather: a repeating scenario

The scenario is definitely repeating itself in this Vendée Globe: the leaders will come up against weather systems that will not allow them to escape . Concretely, they will find themselves stuck under an anticyclone forcing them to stay glued to the ice zone to keep a minimum of wind. All while doing a lot of gybes. During this time, the pursuers will benefit from a slightly milder weather, with more wind and less maneuvering, which will allow them to have a slightly tighter trajectory .

Result: the gap will narrow, some routing giving, at the end of next week, the group of pursuers to only a hundred milesof the three leaders. Be careful, however, of a depression coming from the north in the middle of next week: the group of pursuers could find themselves doing strong upwind along the ice exclusion zone (passage circled in blue below) if the scenario does not go as planned.

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Big comebacks to come?

In any case, this Vendée Globe has not finished surprising us, and I think that, until the end, the suspense will be total . On my routes, Isabelle Joschke and Giancarlo Pedote could succeed in joining the group of pursuers in a week. Even Armel Tripon, who will benefit from tighter seas in the Pacific to extend his stride with his foils, can come back into the game, I see him very close to the leading boats at Cape Horn. In the end, we could end up with a dozen boats in just over 24 hours at Cape Horn!

Well, afterwards, I admit it, it's all a bit of poetry because the weather is not so precise. But that still gives the trend for what will be the last part of this exciting Vendée Globe.

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3 hours ago, stief said:

Thanks. Got it now.  ECMWF GRIBS cost money, but free ECMWF display on Windy.

Great Circle clarified some of the extras

[aside] surprised the 'monitoring map' (Windy squid router?) is only updated twice a day. 

Thanks--I sometimes use Predictwind; didn't know about the backroom tussles.

Agree EUR 10 K is the skipper entry fee and includes some weather info.  When I looked at the docs yesterday, wasn't clear if Yoann Richomme refers to the entry fee, or an additional cost. For now, though, I'll assume he meant the entry cost. Thanks.

That's because the primary models only update twice a day with new, observed,  inputs. Anything more frequent than that is only seeded with model data and therefore by definition less accurate. 

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7 minutes ago, littlechay said:

That's because the primary models only update twice a day with new, observed,  inputs. Anything more frequent than that is only seeded with model data and therefore by definition less accurate. 

Ah--that makes more sense. Didn't know about primary models. Figured the hourly updates were interpolations, but thought 6hr inputs were primary

1858693475_ScreenShot2020-12-18at1_41_49PM.thumb.png.cfddaa64d825eca34b57ec5de5c01804.png

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2 hours ago, spennig said:
2 hours ago, Terrorvision said:

How far behind projections are these guys, particularly the foilers? They've hit a load of holes and they must be thinking about whether they need to start being a bit careful with food supplies.

According to today's Vendee Live, they are c. 6 days behind le Cléac'h's 2016 pace; make of that what you will.

Wasn't it AT that was taking quite a small amount of food with him?  67-70 days rings a bell.

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Sam is cruising along, soon to catch the back markers.

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@stief

"And this edition of the race is significantly slower than the 2016-17 edition. Four years ago, at this stage eventual leader Armel Le Cléac’h was nearly halfway closer to Cape Horn which he rounded on 23rdDecember after just 47 days of racing. Vendée Globe meteo supplier Christian Dumard is predicting the leader will pass the famous Cape on the last day of 2020."

Looking out unreasonably far ahead as far as I can route from today does not seem great for the lead boats.  But, at least not gear busting.

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41 minutes ago, stief said:

Ah--that makes more sense. Didn't know about primary models. Figured the hourly updates were interpolations, but thought 6hr inputs were primary

 

Yes and no... Some parts of the model are run every 6 hours but less data and shorter timeframe. Here is the full schedule Dissemination schedule | ECMWF

The important bit ( I think )

image.png.7fec589911a1cd1f00657e7d97596bdd.png

And a summary of the various models 

What is a weather forecast model? Guide on forecast models all around the world - Windy.app

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Boris must not have liked having Burton check him out via drone, he has pulled 35 miles ahead of Burton.

 

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1 hour ago, stief said:

Choices, choices. Informercial by Alex, or paywalled article where Alex talks about JLC. 

I just find this really weird. Maybe because he's out of the race. But still...On the other hand, Roman did interior decorations in his boat to hawk a hotel sponsor, and there was a slight bit of "L'Occitane hand lotion - or just a picture of chapped hands and not a cosmetic store display on board!

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A gybe

 

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2 minutes ago, despacio avenue said:

I just find this really weird. Maybe because he's out of the race. But still...On the other hand, Roman did interior decorations in his boat to hawk a hotel sponsor, and there was a slight bit of "L'Occitane hand lotion - or just a picture of chapped hands and not a cosmetic store display on board!

seems like one of those prescheduled contractual obligations 

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Hove-to rinse cycle for his sails

 

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4 minutes ago, littlechay said:

Yes and no... Some parts of the model are run every 6 hours but less data and shorter timeframe. Here is the full schedule Dissemination schedule | ECMWF

And a summary of the various models 

What is a weather forecast model? Guide on forecast models all around the world - Windy.app

Thanks, especially for the links. What a great rabbit hole warren--I had to come up for air at https://confluence.ecmwf.int/display/FCST/Known+IFS+forecasting+issues ;) 

Bottom line: Take all forecasts with a tiny bit of salt. Reinforced the amazement at the level of coordination required to display the weather. 

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3 minutes ago, stief said:

Thanks, especially for the links. What a great rabbit hole warren--I had to come up for air at https://confluence.ecmwf.int/display/FCST/Known+IFS+forecasting+issues ;) 

Bottom line: Take all forecasts with a tiny bit of salt. Reinforced the amazement at the level of coordination required to display the weather. 

Yea you can get lost for hours trying to sort the wheat from the chaff and propaganda of the various resellers verses the actual models that they all use! 

 

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6 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

A gybe

Wow. Best one I've seen yet. The stacking sequence alone could be used to apply for job as an aircraft baggage handler.

Looks like he manually steers through the gybe before handing it off to the AP. 

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8 minutes ago, Miffy said:

seems like one of those prescheduled contractual obligations 

Yes it does. Clearly Hugo Boss has a chunk of change invested in AT-related clothing. 

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15 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Boris must not have liked having Burton check him out via drone, he has pulled 35 miles ahead of Burton.

 

Louis Burton has technical problems and is going to heave to on the leeside of Macquarie Island to repair; see post 9202

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9 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Hove-to rinse cycle for his sails

 

 

Man! You need to keep up!

See post 9227 and 9234...

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20 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Hove-to rinse cycle for his sails

 

fark that's a lot of water. looks like his esky is floating as well

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16 minutes ago, Laurent said:

 

Man! You need to keep up!

See post 9227 and 9234...

Oops, sorry, but at least Snowden enjoyed seeing it!

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1 hour ago, Hitchhiker said:

Looking out unreasonably far ahead as far as I can route from today does not seem great for the lead boats.  But, at least not gear busting.

Haha! Been looking for leader traps that might allow Armel Tripon to catch them. Found as many escape possibilities as traps, so figured JLC might well be dealt more lousy cards.

BTW, Bouwe Bekking is one of the few to comment that this edition's weather is in a La Niña year. 

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Good little battle between Joschke and Pedote. She’s had a few quick 24 hour runs but seems to then slow down for a bit & he catches up.

Good effort from both of them, pretty sure they’ve caught up to the leaders a fair bit since the Atlantic? 

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A couple of observations from the last update.

Maitre Coq is sailing faster than 103% of 2016 polars, at least in the last update.  Routing seems pretty close.

Routing out as far as possible means no routing solution for Cam.

Routed the boats as follows, MCoQ 104%, Apivia 103%, Linked 99%.

Did not route Bureau as apparently he is headed to McQaurrie.

Last update improved the weather forecast for MCoQ by nearly a day!

 

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1 hour ago, stief said:

Haha! Been looking for leader traps that might allow Armel Tripon to catch them. Found as many escape possibilities as traps, so figured JLC might well be dealt more lousy cards.

BTW, Bouwe Bekking is one of the few to comment that this edition's weather is in a La Niña year. 

This is very valid IMHO.  IIRC we officially transitioned around the end of September beginning of October.  It has effected my race planning going into next years offshore and ocean events.  

Edit: Oh and my gardening plans!

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4 hours ago, stief said:

Choices, choices. Informercial by Alex, or paywalled article where Alex talks about JLC. 

Here you go :

Quote

ENTRETIEN. Alex Thomson :« Comment fait Jean Le Cam pour faire ce qu’il fait sur le Vendée Globe ? »

En cette fin d’année 2020, la Gallois Alex Thomson est bien loin de ce qu’il avait imaginé. Après son abandon sur le Vendée Globe, son troisième en cinq participations, le Britannique d’Hugo Boss passe Noël en famille. Bien loin des leaders de la flotte toujours en course. Son bateau, toujours au Cap, est quant à lui réparé. Il retournera le chercher après les fêtes pour le ramener par la mer avec son équipe.

Le 28 novembre dernier, après 19 jours de course, et alors qu’il avait réussi à réparer une poutre et une cloison structurelles fendues quelques jours plus tôt quand il était en tête, Alex Thomson annonçait se dérouter vers Le Cap après une avarie sur son safran tribord qui lui était, cette fois-ci, impossible de réparer en mer. Le 4 décembre, le skipper britannique abandonnait officiellement le Vendée Globe après être arrivé sur la terre ferme en Afrique du Sud. Depuis, le Gallois de 46 ans n’avait plus tellement donné de nouvelles. Ce jeudi, il s’est entretenu avec les médias pour revenir sur ce tour du monde en solitaire, sans escale ni assistance, conclue sur un abandon. Son troisième en cinq participations au Vendée Globe. Depuis la Grande-Bretagne, où ses enfants Oscar et Georgia lui permettent de se changer les idées en discutant notamment des cadeaux de Noël, Alex Thomson a évoqué son avarie, et ses projets futurs.

>> Retrouvez le classement et la cartographie en direct de ce Vendée Globe 2020

Comment allez-vous Alex ?

Je suis de retour à la maison, à Gosport (Grande-Bretagne), depuis une semaine environ. J’essaie de reprendre les choses normales de la vie, comme réparer la machine à karaoké, accompagner les enfants à l’école… Faire des choses que je n’avais pas imaginées à cette période normalement… Mais tout a été bizarre sur cette course depuis le départ. Les conditions météo ont été compliquées. Tactiquement, il y a eu beaucoup de changement de stratégies, et surtout très rapidement, dès la deuxième semaine, avant même qu’on arrive à l’équateur. Je dirais même que c’est probablement le départ de Vendée Globe le plus dur que j’ai connu. Celui où j’ai le moins dormi… Mais pourtant tout allait bien (rires).

Pouvez-vous revenir sur votre début de course et vos avaries ?

De mon départ, jusqu’à mes avaries, qui me semblent déjà si lointaines vu tout ce qu’il s’est passé depuis, tout se déroulait bien, vraiment. J’étais très satisfait de ma position, même si les conditions ne m’étaient pas idéales, et que je n’aurais jamais signé pour ça (sourires). Mais être à l’avant de la course, sans prendre trop de risques, c’était déjà une très bonne chose. J’étais très conservateur, et je trouvais enfin ma routine, et ça juste avant mes problèmes. Je ne me sentais pas sous pression, même si Thomas Ruyant et Charlie Dalin revenaient sur moi. J’avais l’impression que les choses étaient sous contrôle. Et alors que je m’apprêtais à pouvoir enfin utiliser tout le potentiel de mon bateau, tout s’est enrayé. Mais j’ai eu de la chance, de rencontrer ces difficultés à cet endroit, au large du Brésil dans le sud de l’Atlantique.

MjAyMDEyMzZjOWRmOGQ3NGFkYzIzMDg1OWVlMGUwMjk1NjMxMjI?width=630&focuspoint=50%2C25&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=068a73e4ada05de62c410c8d62921adeb7ad563a56969c63d0da967caf7a4c82 Alex Thomson, le 8 novembre dernier, jour du grand départ aux Sables-d’Olonne. | OUEST-FRANCE

Évidemment, on est bouleversé par mille émotions. Mais les problèmes structurels ne m’ont pas tant affecté que ça selon moi. Je n’ai pas eu l’impression qu’ils m’aient pénalisé. J’avais réussi à réparer, sans perdre trop de temps, ni de terrain, et j’étais confiant dans mes réparations. Et je repartais en course avec la même ambition : la victoire. Malgré ces réparations, j’étais là où mon routage m’avait planifié. Mais quand ensuite, le safran tribord s’est cassé, j’ai compris que la question d’une réparation possible ou non serait d’une autre envergure. À cet instant, c’est devenu compliqué de gérer mes émotions. Parce qu’on se prépare toujours à l’inattendu quand on part sur un Vendée Globe, mais on finit toujours par être surpris.

Pensez-vous vraiment, qu’après vos problèmes structurels, vous pouviez pousser votre bateau à être plus performant ?

Je n’ai pas eu l’impression de le pousser tant que ça dans ses retranchements, à ses limites. Je suppose que malgré tout, j’aurais été moins performant que sans aucun dommage, mais malgré tout, je ne me suis pas senti désavantagé par rapport aux autres. Peut-être sur la fin de course, j’aurais été plus en difficulté. Mais avec les conditions qu’on allait rencontrer dans les jours qui suivaient, j’étais confiant. Les réparations faites me semblaient très correctes, et solides. Les discussions avec les ingénieurs allaient aussi dans ce sens, c’est pour ça qu’émotionnellement, cette première avarie n’a pas eu vraiment de conséquence.

 

« Tout ce qu’on peut faire désormais, c’est s’assurer que ça n’arrive plus à l’avenir »

Et repartir sur ce tour du monde, hors course, comme Samantha Davies, est-ce une possibilité pour vous ?

 

J’ai beaucoup de respect pour ce qu’elle fait. Et son équipe a fait du bon boulot pour réparer vite au Cap où on s’est vu. Mais pour moi, j’étais encore sous l’émotion de mon abandon. Et même si je partais finir ce tour du monde hors course, dans ma tête, je sais que je ne l’aurais jamais vraiment terminé. La compétition, l’aspect sportif, est ma principale raison pour participer au Vendée Globe depuis si longtemps.

Avez-vous des regrets tout de même ?

J’en ai oui, de ne plus être en course ! Mais sur la préparation du bateau en lui-même, non. On a fait le maximum pour prendre en considération tous les éléments permettant de le rendre performant. On a été un peu surpris même, de ne pas avoir prédit et anticiper de tels problèmes en amont. Mais tout ce qu’on peut faire désormais, c’est enquêter sur ce qui a causé cela, et s’assurer que ça n’arrive plus à l’avenir. Pour le moment, on n’a pas encore entièrement compris les évènements qui ont provoqué cette avarie. Mais je reste confiant, et je sais qu’on va ramener le bateau du Cap à Gosport par la mer.

MjAyMDEyNjg2Mjk2ZGU3ZDBhMzU1YjhkNThiOWRjODg1ZWNkY2E?width=630&focuspoint=50%2C25&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=a7af8f3b50208cf41ded8551bd3662471c3ebccfab67c24293682f40f0c0f644 Alex Thomson et son Imoca Hugo Boss au large des Sables-d’Olonne. | DAVID ADEMAS / OUEST-FRANCE

 

« Comment fait Jean Le Cam pour faire ce qu’il fait ? »

Qu’allez-vous faire maintenant alors ?

 

C’est la question, n’est-ce pas ? (rires). Déjà, je vais profiter de passer les fêtes de Noël à la maison, en famille, et de bien manger. Mais je reste un skipper du Vendée Globe, je vais donc aider mon fils sur Virtual Regatta (rires). Je vais garder un œil sur la vraie course également, et continuer à me demander comment fait Jean Le Cam pour faire ce qu’il fait (sourires). Quand tu es sur l’eau, tu regardes la course d’un point de vue statistique, tu regardes les chiffres, pour voir comment les autres performent. Quand tu es à terre, tu suis l’aventure différemment. Et puis après les fêtes, en janvier, je retourne au Cap, pour ramener le bateau à Gosport avec l’équipe. On a encore des questions sans réponse sur l’Imoca. Et ensuite, on se tournera vers la saison 2021, en espérant que le coronavirus n’empêchera plus de mener une vie normale. Et pour dans quatre ans, le prochain Vendée Globe, je ne sais pas actuellement. Ce n’est pas vraiment ma priorité actuellement. J’essaie encore de digérer ce que je viens de vivre. Ça va me demander encore du temps, même s’il y a beaucoup de positif à retenir. Mais toute la beauté du Vendée Globe tient dans le fait qu’un tout petit détail peut tout changer sur la course.

MjAyMDEyZjM2ZjYzNjA2MGIxYWE2NjBlODczZWFjZGU3OWI4ZDE?width=630&focuspoint=50%2C25&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=2320d6511a8b5899ff5bea3db848831ca64ae576cfa46f4e568b98d025610bed Alex Thomson a quitté précipitamment la course du Vendée Globe. | DAVID ADEMAS / OUEST-FRANCE

J’étais tellement triste d’abandonner. Déjà, quand Jérémie Beyou a dû faire demi-tour, j’ai ressenti beaucoup de peine pour lui. On a échangé quelques messages, et il a aussi souffert pour moi quand je me suis retiré de la course. Et puis quand ensuite j’ai vu ce qui arrivait à Kevin Escoffier, j’ai essayé de ne pas trop pleurer sur mon sort. C’était comme si je n’avais plus vraiment le droit de me sentir triste, parce qu’il vivait quelque chose d’effrayant. Et puis au fond, la réalité, c’est qu’il y aura toujours quelque chose qui va finir par aller mal, et la différence va se faire sur la façon dont on gère ces difficultés. J’ai l’impression que les Français comprennent les émotions qu’on vit sur le bateau, mais j’avais envie de partager ce qu’on vit à bord avec le monde entier. J’avais l’impression de faire du bon boulot sur ce point d’ailleurs (rires).

Avez-vous pris vos cadeaux de Noël qui étaient à bord de votre bateau ?

Je me demande s’il y en avait vraiment. Parce que quand on répare un bateau en général on ouvre tous les sacs pour trouver le matériel nécessaire. Et donc là, j’avais tout ouvert dans le bateau, et je n’ai vu aucuns cadeaux de Noël (rires). Je verrais si en retournant à bord en janvier, j’en vois, mais pour le moment, j’en ai trouvé aucun (sourires).

Qu’avez-vous appris sur ce Vendée Globe ?

Les conditions météo ont été si particulières… Même le sud de l’Atlantique n’a rien eu de simple. Mais clairement, j’ai l’impression que les deux premières semaines de courses ressemblaient à des régates de Figaro, même si j’en ai jamais fait (sourires). Mais c’est l’impression que j’ai eue, parce qu’on ne dormait pas, il fallait être attentif à tout, tout le temps, sinon on risquait de rater un empannage ou un changement de situation important. Et la tempête tropicale ! J’en ai jamais vu des comme ça dans l’Atlantique ! Et je n’avais jamais navigué à travers une ! C’était compliqué, mais j’ai appris. Tout ça, j’ai l’impression que ça m’a amené une autre expérience. Charlie Dalin et Kevin Escoffier faisaient du super boulot aussi. Charlie trace toujours d’ailleurs, et je pense que Kevin est à surveiller de près pour les prochaines années ! Pour moi, il y a toujours plus à faire, et je me demande d’ailleurs où je vais trouver mes limites (sourires).

Les foilers sont-ils faits pour le Vendée Globe ? Jean Le Cam a notamment dit « Si tu envoies une formule 1 faire le Paris-Dakar, tu auras des problèmes dans les dunes »…

Ce n’est pas surprenant venant de Jean (rires). C’est un incroyable conteur d’histoire, et on sait comment il est. Et puis il fait une course incroyable ! Au début de la course, quand je regardais autour de moi, d’un côté, je voyais Thomas Ruyant, Charlie Dalin, Kevin Escoffier, et puis de l’autre, je voyais Jean. Et je me disais : Mais qu’est-ce qu’il fait ici ? (rires). Il a tellement d’expérience, pour moi, c’est une vraie légende. Et il ne fait que grossir son histoire, course après course (rires). Mais en vrai, sur un Vendée Globe, on rencontre des conditions qui empêchent d’exploiter les foils pleinement. Et sur cette édition 2020, c’est arrivé très souvent ! Et parfois, le bateau peut voler, mais pas en toute sécurité. Donc tu ne peux pas aller vraiment très vite pour ne pas mettre ton bateau à risque. Mais ce n’est pas une question de savoir si les foilers sont plus rapides ou non. C’est presque une question ridicule selon moi… Mais c’est frustrant de voir qu’on ne peut pas montrer de quoi ces bateaux sont capables. Et avec le coronavirus, on n’a peut-être pas suffisamment pu préparer les foilers à être navigables dans toutes les conditions. Mais je pense que la réalité est surtout que les conditions de cette année ont été très mauvaises, tout simplement. S’il y a beaucoup de vagues notamment, ils se retrouvent sur un pied d’égalité avec les dériveurs. Et cette année, ce schéma s’est produit beaucoup plus souvent que ce qu’on avait imaginé. Et puis, je pense que le problème est plus lié à l’ensemble de la structure, pas simplement les foils. Si on me demande de choisir entre un bateau à foils ou non, je choisis directement les foils. Mon avis ne change pas sur ce point.

Pendant vos 7 jours en mers, entre votre déroutage et votre arrivée au Cap, à quoi pensiez-vous ?

J’essayais de ne pas trop m’apitoyer sur mon sort. Même si c’est un sentiment naturel, de trouver ça injuste et de se demander ce qu’on a pu faire de mal pour que ça nous arrive à nous, pour mériter ça. Et cette façon de voir les choses a été beaucoup plus simple quelques jours plus tard, avec ce qui est arrivé à Kevin Escoffier. C’était tellement choquant. Ça ne m’arrivait pas à moi, mais je me sentais proche de ce qu’il vivait. Et puis même pour Jean, Boris, Yannick et Sébastien partis le sauver, je ressentais leur émotion. Alors évidemment, je ne voulais pas penser à moi, et me sentir désolé pour moi. Et puis la peur, de voir ce qui se passait pour Kevin, ça a presque tout emporté. Ça a été la plus grosse émotion de cette course. Ça m’a permis de remettre les choses en perspective. Ça rend humble un tel événement. Même si le sentiment d’injustice est là, alors qu’on sait pour quoi on signe et sur quoi on s’engage quand on part sur un Vendée Globe… Mais ça reste difficile quand on le vit.

 

« Si vous me dites que c’était ma dernière course, je serais choqué ! »

Après tout ça, vous sentez-vous sonné ?

 

Physiquement, non, je me trouve bien. Mais bon je ne suis pas non plus sur le toit du monde (sourires). Ça demande beaucoup un Vendée Globe. Je l’ai dit, c’est la course la plus dure que je connaisse. Émotionnellement, sur la fin, ça a été les montagnes russes pour moi. Ça me prend un peu de temps pour m’en remettre, et penser de façon raisonnée à nouveau. Toute ma vie, je la consacre à ça. Toutes mes compétences et mes efforts sont consacrés à ce sport. J’aime ça. Mais je ne serais jamais un marin de la Coupe de l’America (rires). Donc je serais toujours sur les mêmes courses que Jean Le Cam, mais j’espère juste que les gens n’attendent pas de moi de faire comme lui à son âge, parce que je ne suis pas sûr de pouvoir y arriver (rires). Mais ce n’est pas possible pour moi de ne pas être impliqué dans ce sport. Tout ce que je fais tourne autour de la voile. Donc je suis certain que je serais de retour. Mais je ne peux pas encore dire où et quand. Mais si vous me dîtes que ce Vendée Globe était ma dernière course, je serais choqué !

Qui est votre favori pour cette édition alors ?

Je dirai Charlie Dalin, si son bateau peut rester en un morceau. J’ai l’impression qu’il est le plus rapide de la flotte. Même si Yannick Bestaven fait aussi du bon boulot. Et après, j’aurais dit Thomas Ruyant, mais il semble que sa performance soit affectée par ses récents problèmes, d’autant plus que sur le chemin retour, il va naviguer sur son foil endommagé… Mais je ne suis pas un parieur (rires). Donc je n’exclus pas les autres poursuivants. Avec les heures de compensations attribuées par le jury à Boris, Yannick et Jean, je pense que Yannick a toutes ses chances de rester à l’avant. Mais selon les conditions à venir, et la possibilité pour les foils de se mettre en valeur, on ne peut pas trop prédire l’avenir. Et puis regarder Louis Burton, malgré les pénalités, il est toujours là ! C’est impressionnant !

Serez-vous au départ de la Transat Jacques Vabre cette année ?

On va s’asseoir avec les partenaires financiers et on va discuter de tout cela. On va se décider sur le début d’année des courses qu’on veut faire, mais oui, j’espère y être même si c’est une course un peu trop française et que j’espère pouvoir faire des régate plus européennes.

Votre partenaire Hugo Boss vous reste-t-il fidèle ?

On est sous contrat jusqu’à fin 2021. On marche par contrat de cycle de 4 ans. Pour le moment, on n’en a pas parlé. Mais la discussion pour notre future va bientôt arriver. Après pour être honnête, je n’y ai pas vraiment passé. Ce n’est pas le moment à dire vrai. On verra ça dans un peu moins d’un an.

 

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INTERVIEW. Alex Thomson: “How does Jean Le Cam do what he does in the Vendée Globe? "

At the end of 2020, the Welshman Alex Thomson is far from what he had imagined. After retiring from the Vendée Globe, his third in five participations, the Briton of Hugo Boss is spending Christmas with his family. Far from the leaders of the fleet still in the race. His boat, still in Cape Town, has been repaired. He will return to pick him up after the holidays to bring him back by sea with his team.

On November 28, after 19 days of racing, and while he had managed to repair a split structural beam and bulkhead a few days earlier when he was in the lead, Alex Thomson announced that he was diverting to Cape Town after a damage to his starboard rudder which was, this time, impossible to repair at sea. On December 4, the British skipper officially abandoned the Vendée Globe          after arriving on dry land in South Africa. Since then, the 46-year-old Welshman hadn't given much news. This Thursday, he spoke with the media to return to this solo round the world tour, without stopovers or assistance, concluded with an abandonment. His third in five participations in the Vendée Globe. From Great Britain, where his children Oscar and Georgia allow him to change his mind by discussing in particular Christmas presents, Alex Thomson spoke of his damage, and his future projects.

>> Find the ranking and live mapping of this Vendée Globe 2020 

How are you Alex?

I've been back home in Gosport ( Great Britain ) for about a week. I try to get back to normal things in life, like repairing the karaoke machine, taking the children to school… Doing things that I hadn't imagined at that time normally… But everything was weird about this race from the start. The weather conditions were complicated. Tactically, there was a lot of change of strategy, and especially very quickly, from the second week, even before we reached the equator. I would even say that it is probably the hardest start to the Vendée Globe that I have experienced. The one where I slept the least… But all was well ( laughs ).

Can you review your start to the race and your damage?

From my departure, until my damage, which already seems so distant to me considering everything that has happened since, everything was going well, really. I was very satisfied with my position, even though the conditions were not ideal for me, and that I would never have signed for it ( smiles). But being at the front of the race, without taking too many risks, was already a very good thing. I was very conservative, and I was finally finding my routine, and that was right before my problems. I didn't feel pressured, even though Thomas Rouillard and Charlie Dalin came back to me. I felt like things were under control. And just as I got ready to finally be able to use my boat to its full potential, it all stalled. But I was lucky to meet these difficulties there, off the coast of Brazil in the South Atlantic.

MjAyMDEyMzZjOWRmOGQ3NGFkYzIzMDg1OWVlMGUwMjk1NjMxMjI?width=630&focuspoint=50%2C25&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=068a73e4ada05de62c410c8d62921adeb7ad563a56969c63d0da967caf7a4c82 Alex Thomson, last November 8, the day of the big departure from Les Sables-d'Olonne. | WEST FRANCE

Obviously, we are overwhelmed by a thousand emotions. But the structural issues didn't affect me that much in my opinion. I didn't feel like they penalized me. I had managed to repair, without wasting too much time or land, and I was confident in my repairs. And I set out again in the race with the same ambition: victory. Despite these repairs, I was where my routing had planned me. But when then, the starboard rudder broke, I understood that the question of a possible repair or not would be of another magnitude. At that moment, it became difficult to manage my emotions. Because you always prepare for the unexpected when you go on a Vendée Globe, but you always end up being surprised.

Do you really think that after your structural problems you could push your boat to be more efficient?

I didn't feel like I was pushing him that much to his limits, to his limits. I guess despite everything, I would have performed worse than without any damage, but despite everything, I didn't feel at a disadvantage compared to others. Perhaps at the end of the race, I would have been in more difficulty. But with the conditions that we would meet in the days that followed, I was confident. The repairs made seemed to me very correct, and solid. Discussions with the engineers also went in this direction, which is why emotionally, this first damage did not really have any consequences.

 

"All we can do now is make sure that doesn't happen in the future"

And going back on this round the world trip, outside the race, like Samantha Davies, is that a possibility for you?

 

I have a lot of respect for what she does. And his team did a good job to repair quickly in Cape Town where we met. But for me, I was still under the emotion of my abandonment. And even if I were to go to finish this round the world race outside the race, in my head, I know that I would never have really finished it. The competition, the sporting aspect, is my main reason for participating in the Vendée Globe for so long.

Do you have any regrets anyway?

Yes, I am no longer in the race! But on the preparation of the boat itself, no. We did our best to take into account all the elements that would make it efficient. We were even a little surprised not to have predicted and anticipated such problems upstream. But all we can do now is investigate what caused it, and make sure it doesn't happen in the future. For the moment, we have not yet fully understood the events which caused this damage. But I remain confident, and I know that we will bring the boat back from Cape Town to Gosport by sea.

MjAyMDEyNjg2Mjk2ZGU3ZDBhMzU1YjhkNThiOWRjODg1ZWNkY2E?width=630&focuspoint=50%2C25&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=a7af8f3b50208cf41ded8551bd3662471c3ebccfab67c24293682f40f0c0f644 Alex Thomson and his Imoca Hugo Boss off Sables-d'Olonne. | DAVID ADEMAS / WEST-FRANCE

 

"How does Jean Le Cam do what he does?" "

What are you going to do now then?

 

That's the question, isn't it? ( laughs ). Already, I will enjoy spending the Christmas holidays at home, with my family, and eating well. But I'm still a Vendée Globe skipper, so I'm going to help my son on Virtual Regatta ( laughs ). I'm going to keep an eye on the real race as well, and keep wondering how Jean Le Cam does what he does ( smiles). When you're on the water, you look at the race statistically, you look at the numbers, to see how others are performing. When you are on land, you follow the adventure differently. And then after the holidays, in January, I return to Cape Town, to bring the boat back to Gosport with the team. We still have unanswered questions about Imoca. And then we will look to the 2021 season, hoping that the coronavirus will no longer prevent people from leading a normal life. And for in four years, the next Vendée Globe, I do not know now. It's not really my priority right now. I'm still trying to digest what I just went through. It's going to take some more time, even if there is a lot of positive to remember. But the beauty of the Vendée Globe lies in the fact that a very small detail can change everything in the race.

MjAyMDEyZjM2ZjYzNjA2MGIxYWE2NjBlODczZWFjZGU3OWI4ZDE?width=630&focuspoint=50%2C25&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=2320d6511a8b5899ff5bea3db848831ca64ae576cfa46f4e568b98d025610bed Alex Thomson left the Vendée Globe race in a hurry. | DAVID ADEMAS / WEST-FRANCE

I was so sad to give up. Already, when Jérémie Beyou had to turn around, I felt a lot of pain for him. We exchanged a few messages, and he also suffered for me when I retired from the race. And then when I saw what was happening to Kevin Escoffier, I tried not to cry too much about my fate. It was like I didn't really have the right to feel sad anymore, because he was going through something scary. And then basically, the reality is that there will always be something that will end up going wrong, and the difference will be made in the way we manage these difficulties. I have the impression that the French understand the emotions we experience on the boat, but I wanted to share what we experience on board with the whole world.laughs ).

Did you take your Christmas presents that were on board your boat?

I wonder if there really was. Because when we repair a boat in general we open all the bags to find the necessary equipment. And so there, I had opened everything in the boat, and I did not see any Christmas presents ( laughs ). I would see if by going back on board in January I see any, but so far I haven't found any ( smiles ).

What have you learned about this Vendée Globe?

The weather conditions were so special… Even the South Atlantic was not easy. But clearly, I have the impression that the first two weeks of racing looked like Figaro regattas, even if I never did ( smiles). But that's the impression I got, because we weren't asleep, we had to be attentive to everything, all the time, otherwise we risked missing a jibe or a major change of situation. And the tropical storm! I've never seen one like this in the Atlantic! And I had never sailed through one! It was complicated, but I learned. All this, I feel like it brought me another experience. Charlie Dalin and Kevin Escoffier did a great job too. Charlie still draws elsewhere, and I think Kevin has to be watched closely for the next few years! For me, there is always more to do, and I wonder where I am going to find my limits ( smiles ).

Are the foilers made for the Vendée Globe? Jean Le Cam said in particular "If you send a Formula 1 to the Paris-Dakar, you will have problems in the dunes" ...

It's not surprising coming from Jean (laughs). He's an incredible storyteller, and we know what he is. And then he has an incredible race! At the start of the race, when I looked around me, on one side, I saw Thomas Rettant, Charlie Dalin, Kevin Escoffier, and then on the other, I saw Jean. And I said to myself: What is he doing here? ( laughs ). He has so much experience, for me he's a real legend. And it just adds to its story, race after race ( laughs). But in reality, in a Vendée Globe, we encounter conditions that prevent us from fully using the foils. And on this 2020 edition, it happened very often! And sometimes the boat can fly, but not safely. So you can't go really fast so as not to put your boat at risk. But it's not a question of whether the foilers are faster or not. It's almost a ridiculous question in my opinion… But it's frustrating to see that you can't show what these boats are capable of. And with the coronavirus, we may not have been able to sufficiently prepare the foilers to be seaworthy in all conditions. But I think the reality is above all that the conditions this year have been quite simply very bad. If there are a lot of waves in particular, they are on an equal footing with dinghies. And this year, this pattern has happened much more often than we had imagined. And then, I think the problem is more related to the whole structure, not just the foils. If I am asked to choose between a foil boat or not, I directly choose the foils. My opinion does not change on this point.

During your 7 days at sea, between your diversion and your arrival in Cape Town, what were you thinking?

I tried not to feel too sorry for myself. Even if it's a natural feeling, to find it unfair and to wonder what could have been done wrong to make it happen to us, to deserve it. And that way of looking at it was much simpler a few days later, with what happened to Kevin Escoffier. It was so shocking. It didn't happen to me, but I felt close to what he was going through. And then even for Jean, Boris, Yannick and Sébastien who left to save him, I felt their emotion. So obviously I didn't want to think about myself, and feel sorry for myself. And then the fear, seeing what was going on for Kevin, almost took it all away. It was the biggest emotion of this race. It allowed me to put things in perspective. It humbles such an event.

 

“If you tell me it was my last race, I would be shocked! "

After all that, do you feel stunned?

 

Physically, no, I feel good. But hey, I'm not on top of the world either ( smiles ). It takes a lot for a Vendée Globe. I said it is the hardest race I have ever seen. Emotionally, in the end, it was a roller coaster ride for me. It takes a little while for me to get over it, and think reasoned again. All my life, I dedicate it to this. All my skills and effort are devoted to this sport. I like this. But I would never be an America's Cup sailor ( laughs ). So I would still be on the same races as Jean Le Cam, but I just hope people don't expect me to be like him at his age, because I'm not sure I can do it ( laughs)). But it is not possible for me not to be involved in this sport. Everything I do revolves around sailing. So I'm sure I would be back. But I still can't say where and when. But if you tell me that this Vendée Globe was my last race, I would be shocked!

Who is your favorite for this edition then?

I'll say Charlie Dalin, if his boat can stay in one piece. I have the impression that he is the fastest in the fleet. Even if Yannick Bestaven also does a good job. And afterwards, I would have said Thomas Rettant, but it seems that his performance is affected by his recent problems, especially since on the way back, he will be sailing on his damaged foil… But I'm not a gambler ( laughs)). So I do not exclude the other pursuers. With the hours of compensation allocated by the jury to Boris, Yannick and Jean, I think Yannick has every chance of staying ahead. But depending on the conditions to come, and the possibility for the foils to show off, we can't predict the future too much. And then watch Louis Burton, despite the penalties, he's still there! It's impressive !

Will you be at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre this year?

We are going to sit down with the financial partners and we will discuss all of this. We will decide on the start of the year for the races we want to do, but yes, I hope to be there even if it is a race a little too French and that I hope to be able to do more European regattas.

Is your Hugo Boss partner loyal to you?

We are under contract until the end of 2021. We operate on a 4-year cycle contract. For the moment, we haven't talked about it. But the discussion for our future will come soon. After to be honest, I didn't really spend it. Now is not the time to tell the truth. We'll see that in a little less than a year.

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56 minutes ago, troll99 said:

So I'm sure I would be back. But I still can't say where and when. But if you tell me that this Vendée Globe was my last race, I would be shocked!

Glad to say, "What a great loser". The shocking quote is what I was looking to find: news of his thoughts about the future. Much more hopeful than watching Alex do infomercials.

Thanks all for helping get the news we couldn't get in EN. Bloody shame that, and bloody good show, Ocean Racing Anarchy.

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The leaders don't seem to have a whole lot of wind to work with in the next 4+ days.  I realize the foilers like wind in the teens, but it looks like dead downwind in 13, not reaching in 17.  Tripon might make some huge gains if he can stay in front of that low, and I'd guess Beyou will make notable gains as well (albeit it against an enormous margin).

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A short video by Romain Attanasio explaining his troubles with his mainsail hook...

I like the guy; he is explaining to you all the shit he has to deal with, but always with a smile, a twinkle in the eye, and always upbeat!

 

"Hello my friends! Let me tell you about my day; it was sick! Everything started well, but around noon, I tried to take a second reef in the main, and impossible to hook the sail. You remember, I had a problem with that already at the start of the race; and I still have a car stuck on the track up there...

So I tried 10 times, 20 times, did not work. I lowered the sail, check the cars, did not find anything wrong, raised the sail again, still did not work, so I lowered the sail again, thought maybe I did not check it right, raised the sail again... Right there, it is three hours gone already.

After that, I call Bernard Pointé (spelling???) who built the system and he tells me "we have to take it apart". So I removed a small piece of the track, so I can remove the car. So you have to climb on the lowered main sail, on top of the boom, to reach that part of the track, with the swell; let me tell you, there is still 25 knots of wind! 4 to 5 meters of swell!

So I remove the lashings on the car, the sail, the halyard; I take it off and bring it here, inside. There, with the help of Bernard, for 1 to 2 hours, I file tiny-tiny bits of titanium, nothing, really, because the piece is a bit twisted, most likely a consequence of my unintentional jibe three days ago...

Then put everything back together, raise the sail; and it works! Put the car back, put the lashings back, put the track back in place, attach the halyard and raise the sail again; then clean up everything... 8 hours total...

I looked at the ranking, it is great; I did not lose too much against Clarisse. I sailed dead down wind, so I could workd without too much boat speed, and since we are supposed to go South, I did not lose to much.

Eh, my diner is ready, my water is hot. I am so hungry. I have not eaten since this morning... And I am dead-tired...

So one more lesson today. At noon, I thought it was game over. I could do nothing... If I cannot hook the mainsail, it's over... The halyard is not sized for that. I have to hook. But here we go, there is always a solution, there is always a solution! Fuck... (wispered)

Oh, SORRY!!! I remove that word! (he said in a previous video that his son's teacher asked him NOT to use vulgar words, because they are watching the videos at school...)

I am so happy! We are back on track!!! Pedal to the metal on Best Western! And on top of that, there is wind coming! There is a jibe tonight, and a lot of wind tomorrow. Yeah, I did not make any video or take pictures, because, quite frankly, I had other things in mind. And I tell you all of that, so I do not have to write an email to the Race Direction so I do not have to explain everything. By the way, if you could tell them, it woud be good.

Hey, the water is hot!!!  Woohoo!!!"

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14 hours ago, mad said:

Wasn't it AT that was taking quite a small amount of food with him?  67-70 days rings a bell.

Maybe that was their best guess at how long his boat would stay in one piece.  Turns out they were optimistic.

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10 hours ago, stief said:

Much more hopeful than watching Alex do infomercials.

From a full storefront in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the US to a bloody single 4 foot rack. Not sure how much longer HB wants to be part of this?

Good interview though.

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JLC having a screamer for the last 12 hours....his tactics and open angle now will see him back crossing just behind Boris for the least effort ...as they pass Macquarie Is.  ....the last 1500nm back, when they past the last mark when he was 4th ...till soon , when he maybe crosses behind Boris he is in 5th and ahead on the others, a bit....they are all at speed and he just ticks of the miles

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 2.39.47 am.png

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Slow race so far. Prior to the race, there was talk of 600nm days. Alex even noted that he believed the old Hugo Boss was capable of 600nm in 24 hours. In this race 400nm is a good day, and rarely have we seen 500nm.

Let's hope that the few days of high pressure flattens the seas, so when the next LP arrives, someone lets loose and claims the 24 hour record. Would love see video of that, especially some aerial shots if someone can manage to do this near Cape Horn (unlikely).

On the brightside, the relative slowness of this edition has kept the boats together more, resulting in lead changes which we may see more of. This adds excitement, making this edition one of the most entertaining for us spectators.

In these covid times, when many of us are cooped up in our homes, I just want to say "thank you Vende Globe"

BTW, any know how Sam is doing? Haven't heard much from her and she is not on the Windy tracker.

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5 minutes ago, Varan said:

BTW, any know how Sam is doing? Haven't heard much from her and she is not on the Windy tracker.

She is on the map of the official website, as a "shadow boat".

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20 minutes ago, Varan said:

Slow race so far. Prior to the race, there was talk of 600nm days. Alex even noted that he believed the old Hugo Boss was capable of 600nm in 24 hours. In this race 400nm is a good day, and rarely have we seen 500nm.

Let's hope that the few days of high pressure flattens the seas, so when the next LP arrives, someone lets loose and claims the 24 hour record. Would love see video of that, especially some aerial shots if someone can manage to do this near Cape Horn (unlikely).

 

Several boats posted 500nm+ days in the trades shortly after the equator crossing.

The conditions in the Indian have been piss poor.

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Quick nuggets from the latest videos.

Charlie Dalin has stopped his boat 1 hour in the last 24 hours to complete the repair on his port foil bottom spacer. They wanted to fine tune the repair; this is now done and there is no more planned repair.

Louis Burton still plan to heave to on the leeside of Macquarie Island. His team got a written authorization from the Australian administration to come close to the island (you are not allowed apparantly to even come close to the island without this authorization), but he is not allowed to drop the hook... So he will have to climb in the mast and fix his mainsail hook while drifting on the leeside of the island...

Icing on the cake; he has electronics issues with his autopilot, so apparantly, he will have to hand steer all the way to the island...

 

And last video from Thomas Ruyant who explains his aborted strategic gamble.

 

AND WITH GOOD AUTO TRANSLATE THIS TIME!!!

It confirms that indeed he was trying to latch on the next LP system before everybody else and spring back to the lead that way. It did not work out, but he did not lose too many miles in that game.

He is also talking to Romain Grosjean, the F1 driver who had a very impressive accident 2 weeks ago. Romain is the "Godfather" of Louis Burton's boat. He christened Bureau Vallée 2..

 

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Alan Roura describes "the mother of all nose dives"...

 

It is at 2:30 in the video above. The journalist asks him. I believe you have done a terrible nose dive yesterday...

Alan: "Yeah, yesterday I did a nose dive, out of this world! I was not especially overcanvased, so a wave arrived. Well, a wave.... I mean a highrise... It was not as high as the boat, but still, pretty high... and it was very steep, so the boat dove into the preceeding wave, all the way to the cockpit. The transom came out of the water, it was a bit weird... It was... interesting... That was a first for me! (smilling)

Anything that was not attached in the boat flew. The kettle, the tooth brush... At least it gave me an opportunity to tidy up the boat!"

The journalist: "where were you at that time?"

Alan:" I was in the companion way. I felt the boat diving, so I grabbed the handles on both sides and I felt my weight swinging forward. I felt the brake like I was hitting a wall; the boat went from 25 knots to 10 knots. But apparantly I did not break anything, so on we go! I continue to nose dive once in a while but not as badly..."

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Laurent said:

She is on the map of the official website, as a "shadow boat".

And on the HB tracker. She is below Madagascar, about 100nm behind Merci, and will probably overtake him while riding a small low that is forming below her.

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2 hours ago, Bebmoumoute said:

image

Life is good ! I love how Ari is enjoying his VG... slowly (its all relative) but surely... one sunbath at a time. He's very cool and seems to be having a blast. Its one way to do the VG... nice to see.

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1 minute ago, ant1 said:

Life is good ! I love how Ari is enjoying his VG... slowly but surely... one sunbath at a time. He's very cool and seems to be having a blast. Its one way to do the VG...

And at least we know he is not naked in that photo...

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2 hours ago, Laurent said:

Louis Burton still plan to heave to on the leeside of Macquarie Island. His team got a written authorization from the Australian administration to come close to the island (you are not allowed apparantly to even come close to the island without this authorization), but he is not allowed to drop the hook... So he will have to climb in the mast and fix his mainsail hook while drifting on the leeside of the island...

 

I think he said already he was planning to do it under sail, while slowly moving

 

Btw. why does Thomas's surname keep appearing as Rettant or even once as Rouillard or alike? Even on official vendee site. French autocorrect?

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37 minutes ago, steinbrenner said:

Btw. why does Thomas's surname keep appearing as Rettant or even once as Rouillard or alike? Even on official vendee site. French autocorrect?

Yes its probably because of the auto translation or autocorrect robots which probably mistake his name for a noun, adjective, or verb they try to translate or correct.

Robots often have trouble with context and real life spoken language (which is often made up of incomplete and interrupted sentences that flow with the speakers thoughts, go back and forth, include onomatopoeia, repetitions and contradictions, etc... which make spoken language so lively and expressive.), as well as with metaphorical or generally poetic ways of expressing yourself in a language. Robots like simple predictable lexical constructs, that convey ideas all right but are very poor at conveying the liveliness and personality of spoken language.

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modern art

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4 hours ago, Laurent said:

She is on the map of the official website, as a "shadow boat".

Keeping track from the positions you can read on the VG website it looks as if as she left Cape town she had 942 miles to catch up the last in the fleet. That has gone down to 468 now.

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Interesting place. Not on the EN side (yet?),  but Safari said:

Quote

Louis Burton received yesterday the authorization of the head of the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve, through a long email following numerous exchanges with the Vendée Globe Race Direction, to drift along the coast but without approaching less than 500 meters from the shore. Because this small rectangular piece of land (34 km long by 5km wide) in the middle of nowhere is ultra protected. A whole rare ecosystem is developing there: prohibition of disturbance.

At the end of the night, but it will be daylight there, Bureau Vallée 2 will slowly drift from the north of the island, under small jib alone, sheltered from the wind and sea thanks to the relief of this grain of dust thrown into the southern ocean, to repair problems at the head of the mast. Louis Burton will be the first sailor in Vendée Globe history to approach Macquarie. An island that belongs to Tasmania (Australian therefore...), halfway between Australia and the Antarctic continent, formed more than 600,000 years ago, by the activity of peaceful and Australian tectonic plates, and with a unique geology since the rocks come directly from the Earth's mantle.

Unique and preserved

On this stone, there is no crowd. Or rather so! In addition to a scientific base occupied by 40 people, thousands of penguins and seals have taken up residence in this land swept by southern storms (the wind blows 268 days a year) and whose average temperature does not exceed 5°C. The island has 29 species of breeding birds, including 2 endemic (Schlegel's Gorfu and Macquarie's Cormorant). The biodiversity of the flora is impressive: 45 species of vascular plants (vessels used for water circulation) including 4 endemic (such as Macquarie cabbage) or 135 species of fungi. A place probably unique in the world, a rare wild land almost inaccessible. It's almost a relief to think that it still exists...

Like a mermaid with raw beauty

Sure that Louis Burton won't really have time to contemplate these steep cliffs that rise dramatically. From the top of the mast, it should be a splendor and a magical vision: on the 300 m high plateau, countless lakes and basins, lush vegetation, and the largest bird meeting in the world. The skipper of Bureau Vallée 2 may hopefully send his drone and take some photos. There are major racing facts and damage, which make us love geography, and mark the pages of the great book of the most beautiful solo race...

The Vendée Globe editorial team / Olivia Maincent

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/fr/actualites/21144/macquarie-une-reserve-au-patrimoine-mondial-de-l-unesco

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1 hour ago, Rainbow Spirit said:

Has anyone else had problems with the circle map around Antarctica?, when I use it my PC screen freezes.

Works in Safari and Chrome on MacOS 11.1. Tried to get the tracker on https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/tracking-map to crash or freeze, but it kept working. 

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7 hours ago, Varan said:

BTW, any know how Sam is doing? Haven't heard much from her

Yes, she's been pretty quiet on the feeds I watch. Wish she would do routing commentary about options to catch the boats ahead. Her routing expertise (like when she helped Nélias route Coville to his record run) in these latitudes is exceptional.  

A chase boat providing expert commentary in these seas would be a VG first AFAIK.

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Vendee Live EN today was with Rich Wilson, an american sailor who has finished 2 vendee globes... He is now part of a project to make ocean racing more "accessible" to young sailors in the usa (they talk about that towards the end at around 29:00).

 

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8 hours ago, Laurent said:

Quick nuggets from the latest videos.

Charlie Dalin has stopped his boat 1 hour in the last 24 hours to complete the repair on his port foil bottom spacer. They wanted to fine tune the repair; this is now done and there is no more planned repair.

Louis Burton still plan to heave to on the leeside of Macquarie Island. His team got a written authorization from the Australian administration to come close to the island (you are not allowed apparantly to even come close to the island without this authorization), but he is not allowed to drop the hook... So he will have to climb in the mast and fix his mainsail hook while drifting on the leeside of the island...

Icing on the cake; he has electronics issues with his autopilot, so apparantly, he will have to hand steer all the way to the island...

 

And last video from Thomas Ruyant who explains his aborted strategic gamble.

 

AND WITH GOOD AUTO TRANSLATE THIS TIME!!!

It confirms that indeed he was trying to latch on the next LP system before everybody else and spring back to the lead that way. It did not work out, but he did not lose too many miles in that game.

He is also talking to Romain Grosjean, the F1 driver who had a very impressive accident 2 weeks ago. Romain is the "Godfather" of Louis Burton's boat. He christened Bureau Vallée 2..

 

Why the restriction of dropping the anchor? 

Edit, seen the answer.

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More here too...

Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut: "All is going a bit better. It was a tough thing to manage and now it is behind me. I had a bit of trouble yesterday trying to dry out the boat particularly because I was so tired but have managed to sleep a bit and get back on course, the right course this time! The race continues and I see it as yet another obstacle to have managed on the journey to the Sables.

Having had to stop the boat and head northwards a bit, an option was there that could have been interesting to catch up with the leaders but unfortunately it shut down sooner with an area of calm than I had expected and so, unfortunately, I was not able to make it happen. I gambled maybe more than is normal and was possibly preoccupied with the issues on board and had not spent enough time to really analyse the option.

I had to catch up and lean a bit on the strategic option to try and limit the damage, but now I am not that far from the leaders. I can't hang about though because conditions are complex with a new area of high pressure developing to the North of us and which should move south-eastwards, so we need to be quick to try and slip under it and not get caught in the light conditions, which is the danger we face in the coming 48 hours."

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Verdier said the VG is 1/3 race, 2/3 delivery.  We're in delivery mode now and it makes for a great adventure race.

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3 hours ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

Isabelle carries a big stick:

 

And crazy Clarisse is having a slow day:

 

Just another day at the office.

I think Isabelle's "big stick" is a fly rod.

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Macquarie Island had a huge feral pest problem, a legacy of the sealers wanting food supplements with rabbits , but also cats , rodents and mice...and as it is is the only island in the world composed entirely of oceanic crust and rocks from the mantle, deep below the earth's surface. ... It is an island of unique natural diversity, a site of major geoconservation significance and one of the truly remarkable places on earth.

A plan was put into place that the largest island in the world ever attempted , to be made pest free. .. poison baits and  sniffer dogs being the main weapon.... it started back 2010  and for a while now declared pest free......the next island to be attempted is South Georgia Island if it survives killer icebergs....

https://parks.tas.gov.au/Documents/Evaluation_Report_Macquarie_Island_Pest_Eradication_Project.pdf

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