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Vendee Globe 2020

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1 hour ago, Snowden said:

I think the MD of PRB has already come out and said that they are too small a company to fund a full new boat campaign. I don't know whether that means they won't buy an older boat for the next edition though.

Plenty of relatively new boats that can be purchased after this cycle - DMG Mori is certainly going to be available 

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Congrats JLC:

"In parallel with the vote of the Sailor of the Decade, the @FFVoile wished to present a special prize, that of Solidarity, to Jean Le Cam for the rescue of Kevin Escoffier on the @VendeeGlobe. This award, the only one of the year 2020, honors the exceptional seafaring #RoiJean ."

https://twitter.com/FFVoile/status/1339560631473762305?s=20

 

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5 click hell and two days ago,  but at least Yoann Richomme is routing past the dateline. "A dozen boats within 1000 miles of each other by Cape Horn."

 

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Demolition derby...

What is interesting, and fortunate, is that no big failures have occurred during real serious conditions (even leaving aside the hitting of UFOs). The most serious catastrophe was obviously Kevin's boat breaking in half, and although the conditions were rough it didn't happen during a gale. Alex' initial damage presumably occurred during the first storm, but was discovered only days later (begging the question: did it occur in the more benign conditions). This week we see several issues pop up during relatively calm conditions. 

The truth of the matter is that these boats are pushed the most during calmer weather. When they hit the higher wind ranges the preservation mode kicks in and they actually go slower. The seastate is never calm and 15-20 knots of speed in those waves ultimately causes things to fail.

Maybe the other foilers hold up, but I would be nervous sailing one in the midst of all these other foilers breaking one after the other. 

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Guys, can we stop bashing on the foilers? "they are not reliable", "they cannot exploit their speed advantage", etc... etc...

The facts are:

  • 7 out of the 10 leading boats are foilers
  • everybody is amazed that JLC, Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux are even part of this select group.

Yes, they have breakage, yes, they have new modes of failures, not seen before.

But you still have a significantly better chance to be leading with a foiler than with a non-foiler...

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What's going on with Thomas Ruyant???

He was supposed to have fixed his water intrusion, without any major breakage and be back on track.

So why is he sailing NE, head on into a wind hole, instead of ESE like Charlie Dalin and Yannick Bestaven to avoid the light patch to their North???

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5 minutes ago, Laurent said:

Guys, can we stop bashing on the foilers? "they are not reliable", "they cannot exploit their speed advantage", etc... etc...

The facts are:

  • 7 out of the 10 leading boats are foilers
  • everybody is amazed that JLC, Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux are even part of this select group.

Yes, they have breakage, yes, they have new modes of failures, not seen before.

But you still have a significantly better chance to be leading with a foiler than with a non-foiler...

It is the same folks who just keep repeating the same nonsense despite the data from 2016 and 2020 as if foilers have not gotten around the world before. 

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Just now, Miffy said:

It is the same folks who just keep repeating the same nonsense despite the data from 2016 and 2020 as if foilers have not gotten around the world before. 

And as if a foiler with damage similar to the current 2 of the top 3 didn't then finish second overall.

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32 minutes ago, Laurent said:

Guys, can we stop bashing on the foilers? "they are not reliable", "they cannot exploit their speed advantage", etc... etc...

The facts are:

  • 7 out of the 10 leading boats are foilers
  • everybody is amazed that JLC, Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux are even part of this select group.

Yes, they have breakage, yes, they have new modes of failures, not seen before.

But you still have a significantly better chance to be leading with a foiler than with a non-foiler...

Discussing problems of foilers isn't "bashing on" them. Much of the negative observations are reasonable. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

I don't see anyone disputing the fact that based on recent results very high probability is if you want to win the shorter races you absolutely have to have foils and for the VG also the winner is likely to be a foiler although odds for Jean le Cam are probably a lot shorter now than at the start.
That said lets not pretend the foilers don't have a horrendous lot of problems, not the least of which is the huge cost of the foils themselves, and all the structural and technical issues which are coming up in this race which are all very interesting and are causing their skippers a huge amount of grief and drama. What better place to discuss it all than a SA forum?

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26 minutes ago, huey 2 said:

Thomas has been off course for a bit now

Yes, and a very straight course. Very unusual.1323779126_straightcourse.jpeg.b995f46034f1c22aa2596039253af337.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, yl75 said:

I don't see how any insurance actuary can quantify the risk of Vendee Globe & prototype boats and not charge a premium that is basically the replacement cost of a new boat. 

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Look 18 hours ahead of weather... he promised himself no upwind work.

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25 minutes ago, Laurent said:

Guys, can we stop bashing on the foilers? "they are not reliable", "they cannot exploit their speed advantage", etc... etc...

The facts are:

  • 7 out of the 10 leading boats are foilers
  • everybody is amazed that JLC, Damien Seguin and Benjamin Dutreux are even part of this select group.

Yes, they have breakage, yes, they have new modes of failures, not seen before.

But you still have a significantly better chance to be leading with a foiler than with a non-foiler...

I assume you refer to my post. It was not intended to bash foilers. I did not even use the word "foiler" until the very last sentence. I realize now that that sentence might have made it sound like foil bashing was the main point. I have followed this race the last couple of rounds, and know exactly who won with what boat etc. Yes, last race was won by a foiler, the current race is likely to be won by a foiler, etc. 

Just to be clear: My post was a reflection on when things fall apart. namely during relatively benign conditions, not during the storms. 

Secondly, if we want to have a conversation about the reliability and advantages of the foilers, let's do it properly: All the new boats are foilers. These campaigns are better financed, better organized, etc. So the fact that 7 out of the 10 leading boats are foilers does not mean that this can be completely contributed to foils. IN certain conditions they have an advantage, that is clear, but that argument that 7 out of 10 leaders are foilers is not any better (and probably worse) than someone else saying: look at # the broken foiling boats. It would be interesting if we had a bunch of new (and newly designed) non-foiling well-financed IMOCAs participating. Then we could have a real conversation

 

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Sound familiar? This is from Derek Lundy's "Godforsaken Sea: Racing The World's Most Dangerous Waters" written over 20 years ago. Then the debate was about canting keels and lighter boats. 

Same spots; somewhat different leopards :the ongoing paradox of safety and innovation. 

Quote

There were eventually six Finot boats in this Vendée Globe, including all but two of the boats newly built for the race, as well as those for most of the skippers with a good chance of winning: Auguin, Yves Parlier, Autissier, and Roufs [Gerry Roufs, Groupe LG2]. The Finot designs were among the most extreme of all the boats in the race: they were the ones with the greatest beam (width), which increased their stability; the lightest construction; keels that could be canted to one side of the boat or the other for greater leverage; and the largest sail area. Together with a design by the firm of Joubert Nivelt—Thierry Dubois’s Pour Amnesty International—they would also later raise the most serious questions about safety.

After the race, I spoke to him [Hervé Laurent] aboard Groupe LG Traitmat, which was docked at a nondescript marina in his hometown of Lorient. Laurent’s boat looked as if it had been through the wringer a few times, but there had been no serious breakdowns of gear or rig. Perhaps the heavier materials and construction of the older boat made it less susceptible to damage, or maybe he had just been lucky. His tactics had helped as well, although they had put him in greater danger.

Any relation, Laurent?

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Thomas  ...Awash again.    or is this the first time.....the pumps are wotking

Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 6.28.22 am.png

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no, it is old video

Thomas's 20 h00!
Throwback to skipper's journeys these past few hours! ′′ The boat filled up in 30 minutes, everything is better now..."
IMPRESSIVE!

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Thanks for qualifying that  it was old footage just posted now.......is the course showing  delayed charting...

 

Good to get the feet dry

Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 6.37.50 am.png

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Projected weather. ..9 hours.   steering into that HP.       9knots.  while the others are motoring

Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 6.54.27 am.png

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If we want to keep the old boats relevant and not give an even greater advantage to the big budgets, imho foils should be one design or very tightly specced (like the keel and mast). Priority No1 should be to keep the costs down, that's why there are 30+ boats on the starting line, practically everyone has a chance, and IMOCA is still a skipper lead/owned class.

This year's VG is the one where there is the biggest (on paper) theoretical performance differential between the newest and older boats, and imho, that's a problem.

Within the rules there are always lots of design choices to make and things to optimize on IMOCAs to gain an advantage. The appendix that need an excessive investment in research and production, or that are critical to security, should be specced at class level, where everyone can agree on the best price/performance evolution of the class. Its what they did for the mast and keel, and it would only make sense to do the same thing for the foils.

I don't hate foils per se... I just love the Jean Le Cam, Damien Seguin, Benjamin Dutreux, Louis Burton, and Boris Hermann hunting group...

Come on guys ! Catch those damn foilers !

 

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2 hours ago, Laurent said:

Guys, can we stop bashing on the foilers? "they are not reliable", "they cannot exploit their speed advantage", etc... etc...

 

 

Agreed :)

Let's talk about which foils!

 

I think the boss and corum solution could have significant advantages in both rough and light weather. Shame we haven't been able to test the theory. 

 

One design? Maybe an iteration too early as the designs are not yet mature. 

 

Talk of limiting power/ size makes sense whilst allowing design freedom. Although that won't have a massive cost saving. 

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1 hour ago, stief said:

Sound familiar? This is from Derek Lundy's "Godforsaken Sea: Racing The World's Most Dangerous Waters" written over 20 years ago. Then the debate was about canting keels and lighter boats. 

Same spots; somewhat different leopards :the ongoing paradox of safety and innovation. 

Any relation, Laurent?

Nope... Laurent is my first name... not my family name.;)

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2 hours ago, AnotherSailor said:

I assume you refer to my post. It was not intended to bash foilers. I did not even use the word "foiler" until the very last sentence. I realize now that that sentence might have made it sound like foil bashing was the main point. I have followed this race the last couple of rounds, and know exactly who won with what boat etc. Yes, last race was won by a foiler, the current race is likely to be won by a foiler, etc. 

Just to be clear: My post was a reflection on when things fall apart. namely during relatively benign conditions, not during the storms. 

Secondly, if we want to have a conversation about the reliability and advantages of the foilers, let's do it properly: All the new boats are foilers. These campaigns are better financed, better organized, etc. So the fact that 7 out of the 10 leading boats are foilers does not mean that this can be completely contributed to foils. IN certain conditions they have an advantage, that is clear, but that argument that 7 out of 10 leaders are foilers is not any better (and probably worse) than someone else saying: look at # the broken foiling boats. It would be interesting if we had a bunch of new (and newly designed) non-foiling well-financed IMOCAs participating. Then we could have a real conversation

 

AnotherSailor, I got a bit overheated... Sorry about that.  No alcohol involved; I don't even have that excuse !

What I love about this class is that it is open design (but not too much) and managed by the skippers; which is the best thing that can happen to have a perennial class and still have technical evolution. The quote by stief is a good example. At the time, canting keels and wide boats were questioned. Today, nobody in the class would challenge the idea of a canting keel... Actually it is one of the only part that are true One Design...

Yes, foils bring in a slew of new issues; they will get fixed, limits on the design will take place. But I hardly see them going away. That being said, I agree that an opening of the class rules to have a true scow design would be interesting as an armchair sailor, to see the difference between the two options.

End of my rant.

Back to normal broadcasting...

 

 

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1 hour ago, huey 2 said:

Thanks for qualifying that  it was old footage just posted now.......is the course showing  delayed charting...

 

Good to get the feet dry

Screen Shot 2020-12-18 at 6.37.50 am.png

The interesting part in that picture, is the comment on the right.

"Encouragez Thomas qui tente actuellement un coup stratégique... alors qu'il est toujours deuxième au classement général du Vendée Globe."

Support Thomas who is currently trying a strategic gamble while he is still second in the ranking.

So I guess he has calculated that since he was already further North than Apivia and Maitre Coq, it was possible for him to punch through that high pressure system and end up on the right side of the LP barrelling down from Australia, before his competitors, and take advantage of that position???

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Laurent said:

So I guess he has calculated that since he was already further North than Apivia and Maitre Coq, it was possible for him to punch through that high pressure system and end up on the right side of the LP barrelling down from Australia, before his competitors, and take advantage of that position???

Or avoid heavy winds, forecast changed slightly again...
But nice to see a gamble.

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56 minutes ago, OPAL said:

Thomas

 

First part of the video, Thomas on deck. At that point, he does not know yet what the cause was. He is heaving to. The water level is so hight that he cannot open his water tight bulkhead inspection panel, so he had the pumps working from the top. He had to make electrical extension cords to install the pump on deck just by the hatch.

Second part in the cockpit. "I have never had an easy race... I am a bit despondent.... a bit despondent..."

Third part, inside the forward compartments: he was able to get the level low enough in the large forward compartment to bring the pumps down and pump out the forward most compartment.

Fourth part in the cockpit again: Thomas is obvously more upbeat. He has found the cause now. He had checked the forward hatch locks the day before and they were closed; the impact of the water on deck at 25-30 knots slowly opened the locks and the compartment filled up in 30 minutes while he was sleeping. He says that he pumped 15,000 liters !!! 15 tons!!! I am not sure how he evaluated that volume... That seems A LOT !

He is back on track, after 7 hours of pumping.

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Speaking of forecasts, did I understand Richomme right? The sailors pay 10K euros to access some special ECMWF model forecasts? 

https://youtu.be/DPZpM5173WE?t=1681

(btw, he gives a nice little demo of how to use the Windy overlays. I'd forgotten how using the sea temp layer can help guess  ice areas)

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35 minutes ago, stief said:

Speaking of forecasts, did I understand Richomme right? The sailors pay 10K euros to access some special ECMWF model forecasts? 

https://youtu.be/DPZpM5173WE?t=1681

(btw, he gives a nice little demo of how to use the Windy overlays. I'd forgotten how using the sea temp layer can help guess  ice areas)

That's what he says!

The European system is paid by our taxes, but now, you have to pay to get access to the data and the package for the whole Vendée Globe is 10,000 euros...

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12 minutes ago, Laurent said:

That's what he says!

The European system is paid by our taxes, but now, you have to pay to get access to the data and the package for the whole Vendée Globe is 10,000 euros...

It is why so many on the other side of the pond are so worried NOAA is being privatized and GFS being made proprietary despite being funded and developed by public resources. 

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9 minutes ago, Laurent said:

That's what he says!

The European system is paid by our taxes, but now, you have to pay to get access to the data and the package for the whole Vendée Globe is 10,000 euros...

Thanks Laurent. 10K is not cheap for the low budget campaigns. I got that he was comparing the American free GFS and the ECMWF funding, but I can switch between both for free, so not sure what the sailors get for 10K more. Thought it might be more detailed sat pics of the ice or something like that.  Will keep an eye out for more details. Cheers

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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

Or avoid heavy winds, forecast changed slightly again...
But nice to see a gamble.

Been looking at that. Not much difference in sea state forecasted (would advantage his foils and help preserve the boat,) but looks like a really long shot 1 day ahead. Yannick should get into the flow about the same time, but still ahead. Will be great if it works though. (ignore the squid routing for Thomas). As H&H pointed out earlier, Macquarie is a mess ;) 238981163_ScreenShot2020-12-17at3_46_56PM.png.d225ed36f4cff5ec48d1c24faf487b59.png

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2 hours ago, ant1 said:

If we want to keep the old boats relevant and not give an even greater advantage to the big budgets, imho foils should be one design or very tightly specced (like the keel and mast). Priority No1 should be to keep the costs down, that's why there are 30+ boats on the starting line, practically everyone has a chance, and IMOCA is still a skipper lead/owned class.

This year's VG is the one where there is the biggest (on paper) theoretical performance differential between the newest and older boats, and imho, that's a problem.

Within the rules there are always lots of design choices to make and things to optimize on IMOCAs to gain an advantage. The appendix that need an excessive investment in research and production, or that are critical to security, should be specced at class level, where everyone can agree on the best price/performance evolution of the class. Its what they did for the mast and keel, and it would only make sense to do the same thing for the foils.

I don't hate foils per se... I just love the Jean Le Cam, Damien Seguin, Benjamin Dutreux, Louis Burton, and Boris Hermann hunting group...

Come on guys ! Catch those damn foilers !

 

You do realize that Burton and Hermann are using foils?

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4 hours ago, Laurent said:

Guys, can we stop bashing on the foilers? "

Same people were like this with move to fin keels nearly 50 years ago..... they went truly mental when they started swinging 20 years later. 

By my figuring they should be dead soon and put of their misery

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2 minutes ago, despacio avenue said:

Is there an English translation available for this? 

Would Safari English count? :lol:

Quote

PRB, the Imoca skippered by Kévin Escoffier on the Vendée Globe, and which sank in the sinking on 30 November, belonged to the PRB company, located at La Mothe-Achard in Vendée and chaired by Jean-Jacques Laurent.

This Verdier VPLP plan of 2009, to which Vincent Riou had added a pair of large foils designed by architect Juan Kouyoumdjian, was still considered one of the very good boats in the Imoca fleet. Moreover, at his helm, Kévin Escoffier legitimately played a place in the Top 5, or even a podium in the Vendée Globe. Its estimated value on the used Imoca market reached €2 million. And yet, its owner, PRB, had not insured him.

Foils, mast, sails never insured..

"The boat was not insured, confirms Jean-Jacques Laurent, but we will see if there were possible recourse against studies or others... You should know that for the insurance of a €2 million boat, you remove €700,000 of foils that are not insured, €500,000 of mast that is not insured, €300,000 of sails that are not insured and you put €70,000 deductible. You have €500,000 left... So today, you have to insure a new boat but a boat that is more than ten years old, there is no economic interest..."

In the same interview in Ouest-France, the PRB boss confirmed that if he returned to the Vendée Globe in 2024, it would be good "with Kevin Escoffier". But he confirmed that his company would not make a new boat.

READ ALSO. Vendée Globe. Kévin Escoffier: "I really want to leave in 2024"

"We already had views before the departure on already existing boats. We have to debrief a little, that's what we'll do tomorrow morning all morning. What is certain today is that we do not have the means alone to make a new boat. If we have a partner who comes with us, it is a call for applications, we can consider a new boat. If the Dupont company wants to come with us and do 50-50, if the boat is called Dupont-PRB me, it doesn't bother me..."

 

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13 minutes ago, stief said:

Thanks Laurent. 10K is not cheap for the low budget campaigns.

Is the organisation paying for the package and distribute it to the sailors ? So once 10 K ?

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3 hours ago, Miffy said:

I don't see how any insurance actuary can quantify the risk of Vendee Globe & prototype boats and not charge a premium that is basically the replacement cost of a new boat. 

“Il faut savoir que pour l’assurance d’un bateau de 2 millions d’euros, vous ôtez 700 000 € de foils qui ne sont pas assurés, 500 000 € de mât qui n’est pas assuré, 300 000 € de voiles qui ne sont pas assurées et vous mettez 70000 € de franchise. Il vous reste 500 000 €”

you don’t need much French to figure out that he is saying you can only recover €500k on the insurance when you take into account €700k of foils, €500k mast, €300k sails and a €70k excess. 

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And that’s going to be, what, 40% rate on line business or something?Comparable to Florida hurricane risk!

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That isn’t the actuarial risk? I’m not talking about the coverage limits but from the insurance carrier’s POV, before you even offer a policy term you have to figure out the likelihood thresholds and risk & expected premium in the market. 

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8 minutes ago, Rainbow Spirit said:

You do realize that Burton and Hermann are using foils?

I do :)

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9 minutes ago, Miffy said:

That isn’t the actuarial risk? I’m not talking about the coverage limits but from the insurance carrier’s POV, before you even offer a policy term you have to figure out the likelihood thresholds and risk & expected premium in the market. 

I think I quoted the wrong post, meant to reply to whoever posted that article... apologies. 

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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

Is the organisation paying for the package and distribute it to the sailors ? So once 10 K ?

The way Y Richomme talks about it, I understand it to be per team. I don't think that the organization can buy one package and send it to 27 competitors. That must be against licence/product purchase policy.

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2 hours ago, stief said:

Would Safari English count? :lol:

 

Thank you very much, Stief. How did you do that translation?  I couldn't figure out how.

 

 

6 hours ago, Miffy said:

I don't see how any insurance actuary can quantify the risk of Vendee Globe & prototype boats and not charge a premium that is basically the replacement cost of a new boat. 

Indeed. It would not only be a very high premium, but with a hefty deductible. "Possible recourse against studies or others..." Good luck with that, particularly given Kevin's own apparently very extensive involvement in the modifications and his expertise.  While E5000,000 isn't chump change, the recent court case involving ATB is instructive.

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8 minutes ago, despacio avenue said:

How did you do that translation?  I couldn't figure out how to do it. 

It's new (beta) so still trying it out in MacOS Big Sur. https://support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/safari/ibrw646b2ca2/mac

Usually, I just copy the link or passage and paste it into https://translate.google.com/?sl=auto&tl=en&op=translate

For Spanish, I usually just use Chrome as my browser and have key bookmarks there (pain switching between bookmarks, though)

Others like deepl, but I haven't used it

Far better than bugging Laurent, and if there are major mistakes, there are enough cunning linguists here to catch them.

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3 hours ago, Miffy said:

It is why so many on the other side of the pond are so worried NOAA is being privatized and GFS being made proprietary despite being funded and developed by public resources. 

THe privatization of NOAA was being pushed by Trump's appointee to head the agency, who owned AccuWeather. That hasn't happened (either issue) and is unlikely to occur in the Biden administration as it was and is strongly opposed by unions.

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Damn it! Who put that wall there!

20201217_171628.thumb.jpg.c53ac24ade3a5a6f1d8251eb8166ce3b.jpg

Sure hope he makes the corner well before that low. Riding the front end sure beats the backside, so I'm told.

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6 minutes ago, Varan said:

Damn it! Who put that wall there!

Sure hope he makes the corner well before that low. Riding the front end sure beats the backside, so I'm told.

Bummer, I guess.

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Thomas now back to course but slowed..... aiming at Macquarie Island....??

 

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Armel back with breeze, and to get round the corner.... but the next front on the way.... and maybe in a position to exploit it without being on the fence....

 

Jeremie heading due south.....a bit of positioning.......to finally get a ride     and no fence for a bit... cause its the long track round the next HP

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/21094/jeremie-beyou-charal-i-sail-better-when-there-are-others-around

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Some interesting points from Kevin

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/21107/bestaven-sets-pace-in-pacific

  here is a heartfelt tribute to being rescued by the way possible years ago....by aircraft  the Avro Shackelton

The Shackleton

The Griffons, they are silent now, but still they live in memories long
Of endless hour o'er darkened sea with ten tired men for company.
But ask those men in dinghies cold drifting close to death's dark door
What sound was it they treasured most?
It was the sound of Griffons roar.

Paul P. Davis - 201 Squadron

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Will Harris sees the top 10 trapped by the high, and an upcoming gybe fest for all.

 

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Karver, which makes great equipment, has a good page on their equipment in the Vendee Globe, which a lot of the boats use. The page serves as their info center during the race to avoid disinformation from spreading... which is a very good idea in this day and age where rumors spread like wildfire.

https://www.karver-systems.com/en/news-uk/vg2020.html

Does anyone know a website that lists or details all of the specific fittings and equipment used by each boat ? I'm curious...

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Will Harris.....he does a good job of showing the testing of the field , coming from the  building HP ahead..

   Thomas on a different course

This edition of the Vendee is quite something

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17 hours ago, troll99 said:

"Let's open the debate" Ian Lipinski talk's SCOW Bows and the Vendée Globe

 
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When one of the most accomplished Mini6.50 and Class40 sailors gives their opinion on the state of play within IMOCA, well, we listen! Ian Lipinski, speaks to Emmanuel Versace about his views on traditional IMOCAs, the latest generation of foilers and the constraints imposed by IMOCA on the maximum bow volume.

 

It is safe to say that Ian Lipinski is a fan of a “Scow” designed boat. It is a familiar type of boat to him and one he’s won races and broken records on. According to him, these voluminous bows could also be the solution to (finally?) reducing the exponential cost associated to the research and development of foils whilst also increasing reliability and reducing the risks associated to striking UFOs!

 

“I’m currently in Thomas Ruyant’s (LinkedOUT) boat yard and I’m so happy with the race he’s racing! He’s about to pass the place in which his race came to an end in 2016. I’m also in admiration of guys like Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA-Water Family) and Damien Seguin (APICIL). I think it's great that they're rookies, racing at the forefront, with older generation boats.

 

At the front, Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ), Thomas and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) remain well grouped. Material damage will remain an important element in major races such as the Vendée Globe. The slightest problem immediately reshuffles the cards! I was seriously impressed with how little time in took Charlie Dalin to repair his broken port foil system. Let’s see if the repair holds but it seemed like a good and incredibly efficient fix!

 

Let’s open the debate

 

We can see the limits of these new, large and latest generation foilers in these big solo races. The average speeds have been relatively low, that said I think they’re going as fast as they can! It difficult for them to go any faster. The question is, is it the violence and discomfort of being onboard or the fear of the catastrophic damage that limits the speeds we’re seeing, we won’t have an answer to that question for a while yet.

 

I am quite convinced that under the conditions currently seen by the Vendée Globe fleet, and even without foils, a “scow” type boat would be hugely competitive. I’m thinking particularly of the boats from David Raison (the designer of Class40 #158 Crédit Mutuel, editor’s note) and Samuel Manuard, the designer of L’Occitane en Provence skippered by Armel Tripon.

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I think we should open the debate on limiting bow volumes within IMOCA. I think it would be interesting to really open up the possibilities – after all it is a Class born out of continual innovation. The conversation could also bring about solutions to reduce costs. It would increase the reliability by reducing the complexity of parts like foils, their manufacturing and design costs. It would also decrease the likelihood of a collision with an ‘UFO’ in our ever more polluted oceans!

 

600,000 € for a pair of foils

 

While it is hard to compare Armel’s speed with those leading the front of the fleet, Armel proved earlier in the season that his boat was quick, perhaps even considerably faster than others. He’s very quick at the moment and I think life on board for him probably remains much simpler too. The scow concept is limited to certain constraints, but you can imagine going much further than we have before with the IMOCA60. It’s surely an interesting avenue to explore.

 

Today we see historic Vendée Globe sponsors such as PRB, who according to what they say, are struggling to finance new projects like they always have. It’s too bad!

 

It is true that the technological race is hugely exciting but when you see the cost of the foils, and the big teams that replace them once, twice, or even three times before for the start of the Vendée Globe before hitting or breaking them less than one month in, at €600,000 a pair the maths and unsustainability of it becomes pretty clear, pretty quickly.

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Since discovering the ‘scow’, one thing is sure, performance levels increase substantially quicker than the financial ask made to a sponsor. In this Vendée Globe, when we see the boats of Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA - Water Family), Damien Seguin (APICIL) or Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) performing so well, posting big averages and exceeding all expectations let’s imagine what they could have done with a ‘scow’…

Interesting discussion. That "scow bow" is referring to a Dutch design called "schouw" AFAIK. Pronouncing "schouw" as the Dutch can with a hard "g" is impossible for people speaking other languages. See here for the fishing boats where the scow bow comes from (in Dutch) ; https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schouw_(historisch_scheepje)#:~:text=De schouw is een vissersscheepje,Er zijn verschillende typen schouwen.

These boats have no foils but 2 boards on port and starboard on the hull of the boat, as there is no centre board nor keel. You have to stand on the board to get it in the water if you drop it too late when tacking, and there is a lot of wind. In the middle of the boat was a wet storage for the living fish, called the "bun". Nowadays the motor is located there. These boats have very little draft and can sail almost anywhere, but were not intended for Northsea fishing, which required different fishing boats.

I have sailed on a 10 m steel salmon schouw apply named "Piscator", a very nice boat for the Dutch inland waters listed in a separate Dutch class book. Which was build in 1980 with sleeping quarters, toilet, kitchenette etc. Modern comfort on a very reliable boatdesign. Keeping it up to the speckless state it was in when I sailed it cost a fortune though for the owner. Good memories!

 

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16 minutes ago, Herman said:

Interesting discussion. That "scow bow" is referring to a Dutch design called "schouw" AFAIK. Pronouncing "schouw" as the Dutch can with a hard "g" is impossible for people speaking other languages. See here for the fishing boats where the scow bow comes from (in Dutch) ; https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schouw_(historisch_scheepje)#:~:text=De schouw is een vissersscheepje,Er zijn verschillende typen schouwen.

These boats have no foils but 2 boards on port and starboard on the hull of the boat, as there is no centre board nor keel. You have to stand on the board to get it in the water if you drop it too late when tacking, and there is a lot of wind. In the middle of the boat was a wet storage for the living fish, called the "bun". Nowadays the motor is located there. These boats have very little draft and can sail almost anywhere, but were not intended for Northsea fishing, which required different fishing boats.

I have sailed on a 10 m steel salmon schouw apply named "Piscator", a very nice boat for the Dutch inland waters listed in a separate Dutch class book. Which was build in 1980 with sleeping quarters, toilet, kitchenette etc. Modern comfort on a very reliable boatdesign. Keeping it up to the speckless state it was in when I sailed it cost a fortune though for the owner. Good memories!

 

https://www.instagram.com/st16schouw/

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Weather update

The cold front I mentioned a couple of days ago is still steaming slowly but steadily eastward with 20 kts. See the blue line in pic 1 with ECMWF. Only the top-4 boats have not been caught-up it seems. JLC will be first, after that Ruyant and Dalin. Finally, Bestaven looks if he can outrun the front for the coming days. Visible clouds in pic 2. Cold front as blue line.

The HP zone below Tasmania is moving east, but later it will start moving SE too. Projected above Campbell Island on Saturday. This will hurt the top-3 boats of course, as that HP zone will be bugging them for days to come. That explaines also the short excursion away north from the AEZ just before the virtual WP, as the core of the HP is projected at that moment (Wednesday) 200 nm north of them. And that is very (read too) close to this large HP zone. Routing for Bestaven and Le Cam gave polar errors I have to look into. Dalin and Ruyant routing was possible, see pic 3. A week sailing to the virtual WP in light weather and winds. Good sea state. Foil away if you (still) have them. Hugging the AEZ is expected when the HP gets closer.

 

ECMWF 181220.jpg

vis clouds 181220.jpg

routing 181220 Ruyant and Dalin.png

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12 hours ago, stief said:

Thanks Laurent. 10K is not cheap for the low budget campaigns. I got that he was comparing the American free GFS and the ECMWF funding, but I can switch between both for free, so not sure what the sailors get for 10K more. Thought it might be more detailed sat pics of the ice or something like that.  Will keep an eye out for more details. Cheers

You can't download ECMWF GRIBS for free anywhere that I know of though. You can get version of them online if you have live internet and some navigation packages give you some access but you are paying via what you pay for those packages. They pay to able to get the fine detail packages in binary form that they can load into Adrena or whatever they use. I understand that they also get specific detailed analysis / interpretation along the route too. 

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God, those autopilots are good. I never get sick of watching the level of control in both the really light and the converse shitty conditions.  

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13 hours ago, stief said:

Thanks Laurent. 10K is not cheap for the low budget campaigns. I got that he was comparing the American free GFS and the ECMWF funding, but I can switch between both for free, so not sure what the sailors get for 10K more. Thought it might be more detailed sat pics of the ice or something like that.  Will keep an eye out for more details. Cheers

 

47 minutes ago, littlechay said:

You can't download ECMWF GRIBS for free anywhere that I know of though. You can get version of them online if you have live internet and some navigation packages give you some access but you are paying via what you pay for those packages. They pay to able to get the fine detail packages in binary form that they can load into Adrena or whatever they use. I understand that they also get specific detailed analysis / interpretation along the route too. 

From what I've seen there is limited ECMWF data for free, you are generally consuming the data from someone who has paid for it. Predict Wind used to provide ECMWF grib's as part of their professional package, but then ECMWF found out and made them stop it. Instead you get Predict Winds own model fed by ECMWF.

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9 hours ago, huey 2 said:

Jorg Riechers planning for 2024

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It'd be awesome to see Jorg racing in the VG but I'm not sure he'll make it! Pretty sure he had Jean Le Cam's boat and did some pretty major work on it - replacing the bow section?. He's a good sailor but one hell of a personality - got a great ability to fall out with his sponsors too. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Laurent said:

The way Y Richomme talks about it, I understand it to be per team. I don't think that the organization can buy one package and send it to 27 competitors. That must be against licence/product purchase policy.

Was there not a rule that skippers only can use publicly available weather data. So it is for the teams at home not for on the boat ?

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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

Was there not a rule that skippers only can use publicly available weather data. So it is for the teams at home not for on the boat ?

Indeed only general available weather software and info (GRIBs; synoptic charts; sat pics) authorized by the RC. But this can also be ECMWF data provided via the various weather data providers. So that EUR 10K fee is for the skippers. See below.

See the NOR for details what is allowed/disallowed;

4.3.2. Routing and weather  
In addition to NOR 6.4, 

Is prohibited:  
• personalised weather meteorological assistance, 
• routing, defined as “personalised analysis, interpretation or processing of information or data, specifically prepared for one Skipper or a group of Skippers, coming from outside the boat and enabling various meteorological situations and choice of the course(s) to follow or not to follow to be understood, with the exception of the meteorological information sources authorised in NOR 6.4”. 


Are authorized  
• weather data requests on Squid / Predictwind / Avalon / /Sailgrib / Dorado/ Zygrib, with remote routing, and weather data requests on Expedition / Adrena / Maxsea or any other navigation software subject to prior authorization by the race management before November, 5th.  

 

NOR 6.4 has a lot more details and says in short;

- a daily safety report is mailed to the skippers with the main meteorological information;

- additional meteorological data may be used; "Access to this digital or graphic information will only be authorised if the 
information comes from an official governmental meteorological agency or any weather private company, be it directly or indirectly: Météo France, the Met Office, ECMWF, NOAA, NCEP, Copernicus, DWD, KNMI, MeteoBlue, Predictwind, Great-Circle, GEM." 

I think the list is clear what software and what models are allowed. Any additional weather information not allowed (personalised) is a 24 hr time penalty or up to DSQ, as the jury sees fit. See SI appendix 5.

Zygrib is my GRIB provider btw.

 

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I always thought it was short sighted to disallow scow bows yet allow lifting foils into IMOCA.  One of these concepts has no moving parts per/knot.  The argument initially was to avoid obsolescence within the fleet, yet that same year a bunch of existing boats had significant bow surgeries and since then retrofit foils haven't exactly been cheap.  Ian's right.  It should be brought up for discussion again.

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11 minutes ago, r.finn said:

I always thought it was short sighted to disallow scow bows yet allow lifting foils into IMOCA.  One of these concepts has no moving parts per/knot.  The argument initially was to avoid obsolescence within the fleet, yet that same year a bunch of existing boats had significant bow surgeries and since then retrofit foils haven't exactly been cheap.  Ian's right.  It should be brought up for discussion again.

It's not like these rules are handed down arbitrarily. If the skippers want scows they'll allow scows. Ian has to convince the others it's the right step, and it's worth the trade off in other races. He'll have the support of the likes of Armel and Boris, so who knows :) 

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Should be a pretty easy pitch - maintain existing max beam rules for foilers. Remove hull form shape regs for boats that don’t foil. If you can convince enough nonfoiling owners and show the viable upgrade path for existing hulls - you win the vote. 

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19 minutes ago, JonRowe said:

It's not like these rules are handed down arbitrarily. If the skippers want scows they'll allow scows. Ian has to convince the others it's the right step, and it's worth the trade off in other races. He'll have the support of the likes of Armel and Boris, so who knows :) 

After Tripon passes everyone and wins this edition after trailing by thousands of miles, I suspect there will more scow converts. 

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Just now, Varan said:

After Tripon passes everyone and wins this edition after trailing by thousands of miles, I suspect there will more scow converts. 

If ;)

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2 minutes ago, Varan said:

After Tripon passes everyone and wins this edition after trailing by thousands of miles, I suspect there will more scow converts. 

I think another "pitch strategy" is that it gives a way to give nonfoiling boats a development path that doesn't involve half a million euros on just foils and require the removal and replacement of all the nomex core material in front of the keel. *point to PRB, initiatives coeur or AP (on 3rd set of foils so... over 1 million euros spent for... getting to Cape Town).

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13 minutes ago, Miffy said:

I think another "pitch strategy" is that it gives a way to give nonfoiling boats a development path that doesn't involve half a million euros on just foils and require the removal and replacement of all the nomex core material in front of the keel. *point to PRB, initiatives coeur or AP (on 3rd set of foils so... over 1 million euros spent for... getting to Cape Town).

How much is cut and shutting the bows going to cost though? 

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It'll probably depend on hull in question and whether the existing boat and weight balance makes a scow form viable. I've seen the inside of the Idb Maxi 650s and looking at what's available from Lipinski's credit mutuel tour, the interior structure doesn't seem dramatically different and unusual. Needs to be said just because there is an upgrade path doesn't mean it'll be the sensible economical decision for every program - but we've seen multiple programs spend millions converting non-foilers into foiling boats with varying levels of success. At least with a scow you're not worried about the boat breaking itself around the foil casings. 

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I mean from my armchair prospective, to go full scow you're looking at replacing all of the ring frames (depending if they have them or the stringer type used with the monolithic carbon boats? my knowledge here is hazy but any transverse structure that extends the full width would need to altered), the bow bulkhead, hull and deck forward of the living compartment, which seems like a lot even if its simpler and more reliable than adding foil casing.

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It isn't insubstantial amount of work - but it'll cost less than a pair of foils and replacing the core material for the entire front half of the hull. Again it'll depend on whether or not it can be done for the specific boat - the NA's will be the ones who make that determination, but there's nothing "hard" about cutting the hull and stringers & making new ones to bond a new hull section to, it is just boat building. 

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Can the core material can be reused in the new shape?

I'm curious here, not negating the idea at all, don't tell some of my mini friends but I like scows :)

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3 minutes ago, JonRowe said:

Can the core material can be reused in the new shape?

Is that a serious question?

 

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4 minutes ago, r.finn said:

Is that a serious question?

Miffy was suggesting it wouldn't have to be replaced, but the underside of a scow is quite different to the traditional hull shape.

This level of boat building knowledge is beyond me, I would have thought y