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Interesting departure timing for Team HB, relative to the fleet's position.  They're close to the same latitude as the leaders.  They'll need to work some downwind angles, so I'm guessing they'll pass by Fernando de Noronha in some kind of "competitive but behind" position...  Like maybe in the gap between Tripon and the pack ahead of him...  Fully crewed, they may then be able to put on a show of blowing through the fleet.  I'm having trouble deciding if that would be good marketing or a dick move..  Either way, I guess my point is that I'm wondering if their departure timing relative to the fleet's position was random coincidence or not.

Or...  Maybe they'll be sailing fully in delivery mode and I'm totally wrong about this.

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":A 2h18 heure française, le team PRB a été informé du sauvetage de Kevin Escoffier par Jean Le Cam. " Kevin has been rescued.  

Give it a rest chaps. HB was another attempt at evolution, and they should be applauded for spending a fuck ton of money to do so. If you want to try and be innovative you run the risk of breakages al

VG sailors at sea in the rough A translation: JLC: Damien can you receive me ? DS: Yes Jean I can (garbled)... I don't think you're receiving me that well but I receive you very well. JL

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More details here :

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/fr/actualites/21588/isabelle-joschke-le-coup-dur

Isabelle was sailing in 30/35 knots when the fake hydraulic ram broke, meaning the keel is free to move, which is not safe. This led to a small water ingress.

Alain Gautier, team manager said:

Quote

Isabelle is currently working on the issue. She has to keep moving forward to manage the sea state and avoid too much water ingress. The problem is that shed is sailing in the same direction as the low pressure and that conditions will worsen in the night. Tomorrow, when the wind changes, she should be able to head towards the NE to get away from the LP with an easier seastate that will ease things.

It is clear that Isabelle cannot continue and will have to retire. We are in permanently in touch and are looking at the options for the next few days.

 

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3 minutes ago, Your Mom said:

Interesting departure timing for Team HB, relative to the fleet's position.  They're close to the same latitude as the leaders.  They'll need to work some downwind angles, so I'm guessing they'll pass by Fernando de Noronha in some kind of "competitive but behind" position...  Like maybe in the gap between Tripon and the pack ahead of him...  Fully crewed, they may then be able to put on a show of blowing through the fleet.  I'm having trouble deciding if that would be good marketing or a dick move..  Either way, I guess my point is that I'm wondering if their departure timing relative to the fleet's position was random coincidence or not.

Or...  Maybe they'll be sailing fully in delivery mode and I'm totally wrong about this.

Hmm. Good point. I was just glad to get a hint they are moving forward with training.

"For us, the next three weeks provide a very good opportunity to get some more miles under our belts and to learn even more about this beautiful boat and what she’s capable of."

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19 minutes ago, troll99 said:

isabelle in 30kt winds .. not good! 

At least it doesn't look like anyone has been diverted to her position, so hope that's a good sign.

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https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/21590/additional-keel-ram-damage-for-isabelle-joschke-macsf-who-has-abandoned-her-vendee-globe

Additional keel ram damage for Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) who has abandoned her Vendée Globe

The Franco-German skipper Isabelle Joschke has been forced to abandon her Vendée Globe on the 62nd day of racing after a further failure of the keel canting system on board her IMOCA MACSF.
Joschke was lying racing in 11th place racing in difficult conditions, in 30-35 knots of wind in the South Atlantic some 1100 miles east of the Argentinian coast.

During the late afternoon today Saturday 9th January Joschke realised that the hydraulic cylinder which was holding her keel centred had failed. After the main keel canting system failed on January 3rd she had been sailing with the keel centred, held in place by this replacement ram. But the keel is no longer held centred. She immediately lowered the mainsail and was sailing under storm jib to keep the boat as stable as possible.  

Alain Gautier, MACSF team manager, explained: “Isabelle is currently taking stock of the situation.  She has reduced speed completely to minimise the effect of the waves and to make sure water doesn't get into the boat. The first problem is that she is sailing in the direction of the depression and conditions will deteriorate overnight. Tomorrow a shift in the wind direction should allow her to escape to the north-east to escape this low pressure, and flatter seas should make things easier. It is obvious that Isabelle can no longer continue with her Vendée Globe and will have to retire. We are in constant contact and are studying the various options with her for the next few days. "

On Sunday January 3, the of the hydraulic keel cylinder ram became detached from the keel head so  Joschke could no longer cant the keel. A false cylinder was put in place which fixed the keel in the vertical position and it was this cylinder which has now broken.

On the 1800hrs ranking Isabelle Joschke was in In 11th position, the first woman in this Vendée Globe fleet. She was having a remarkable race, going well In the main ‘peloton’ after dealing with each and every one of several technical problems. She has shown great determination and mental strength but this evening she is devastated to have to pull out of the race when she had sailed 21224 miles of the race course and had just 5853 nautical miles to sail to the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line.

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https://isabellejoschke.com/nouvelle-avarie-de-quille-et-abandon-pour-isabelle-joschke/

New keel damage and abandonment for Isabelle

This Saturday 9th January in the late afternoon on the IMOCA MACSF, Isabelle Joschke noticed the breakage of the false keel cylinder installed on Sunday 3rd January following the loss of the hydraulic cylinder rod. She was sailing in difficult conditions near the centre of the low pressure system coming from Argentina, in 30 to 35 knots of wind and in strong, breaking seas. The positioning of her keel is no longer controlled; the keel remains attached to the boat but the loss of the jack has led to a slight leak on board her IMOCA. The skipper of MACSF immediately lowered her mainsail and is sailing under a storm surge alone to stabilise the boat; Isabelle Joschke is currently safe.
 
Alain Gautier, team manager of MACSF, explains this evening :
 
"Isabelle is currently taking the measure of things. She has to keep up speed so that she is not a toy of the waves and the water doesn't get into the boat. She is subject to the boat's behaviour, the problem being that she is sailing in the direction of the depression and the conditions are going to deteriorate tonight. Tomorrow a rotation of the wind should allow her to head further north-east to escape this depression and a more orderly sea could make things easier for her. It is obvious that Isabelle can no longer continue this Vendée Globe and will have to give up. We are in permanent contact and are studying with her the different options for the next few days".

On Sunday 3 January, the rod of the IMOCA MACSF's hydraulic keel jack had become detached from the keel head, depriving it of the pendulum system enabling the keel to be tilted into the wind. A solution was immediately put in place by Isabelle Joschke, in consultation with her technical team, namely the activation of a false jack which allowed the keel to be blocked vertically in the axis of the boat. It was this false jack that broke that day.

In 11th position at 6pm and first woman in this Vendée Globe, Isabelle Joschke was doing a remarkable race at the front, coming back stronger and stronger after each of her technical problems and showing incredible pugnacity and mental strength.

Tonight, the disillusionment is immense for the sailor.

Eric Mollard, communications director of the MACSF Group, reacts :
 
"The damage that forced her to retire is unfortunately part of a challenge such as the Vendée Globe. The adventure that Isabelle has helped us live through, in these difficult times, is exceptional. She put in an incredible performance, demonstrating that she could compete with the best. The MACSF and all its employees are proud to see the colours of their group worn by a sailor of this calibre. Our priority remains, of course, Isabelle's safety and the whole team is mobilised to get her to port as quickly as possible, with the help of the race organisation. We will be particularly attentive in the coming hours. Isabelle and her team can count on our unfailing support. »


Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 

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Armel gets past Clarisse......finally.......But with Isabells news I would imagine it would be a comfort to know there are two close-ish  by and heading her way....especially with distance to the coast and port...as is Maxime and Boris and Benjamin

Screen Shot 2021-01-10 at 9.18.35 am.png

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This is really bad... she ran it hard aground at the start of the TJV and the entire structure had to be rebuilt. Now it sounds like the hydraulic ram first broke because it was fighting against undesigned cycling because of the keel pin was moving relative to the ram. Then the false keel that supposed to keel the head from moving broke... 

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1 hour ago, ant1 said:

Maybe the pin failure is collateral damage to a foil hitting a UFO yesterday (a small piece of the foil broke off according to Isabelle)

Thinking the same thing. UFO might have hit more than just the foil.

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If Isabelle can stabilize the keel, it looks like her best bet would be to make for somewhere like Montevideo. That way she would be crossing the back of the fleet if she needs assistance.

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13 hours ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

the first woman in this Vendée Globe fleet. She was having a remarkable race, going well In the main ‘peloton’ after dealing with each and every one of several technical problems. She has shown great determination and mental strength

So sad, great driver.

Isabelle Joschke (0).jpg

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55 minutes ago, ant1 said:

Jean Le Cam has a message for Isabelle

 

A classy man and I feel the same way.  She made a real go of it and before systems started to crap out on her she was still pushing for a higher spot.

Pip as well had such support for Isabelle given her own trials.  Pip may not be able to sail to the boat's full potential, but she's still holding her own.  I feel that both of them will be back for 2024 and with more money and support.

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17 minutes ago, ant1 said:

Isabelle on her retirement from the race, she's extremely sad of course...

 

So gutted for her. :(

Not good conditions for the keel to be swinging around loose, which seems to be the case. Guessing that’s got to create a lot more mechanical stress than if it’s locked into a fixed canted or central position...

Really hoping it doesn’t get any worse, especially the water ingress.

And I’m wondering where she’s headed tbh, getting further away from the South American coast all the time. Not much option in the current weather given the boat’s state, but what next? 

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And near the front, Dalin is happy...

“The wind went to bed with the sun, after a beautiful fast day yesterday. The sea was smoother and the angle was good: I finally expressed the potential of the boat, it was nice to finally make speeds more worthy of my boat. But the wind has died down this evening, we are somewhat under the influence of a small bubble which should move during the day as it shifts to the east. I have wind this morning which is not expected, it allows me to go to 11 knots at a good angle, which is good news.

Yannick has got away a bit again he has managed to extricate himself from this cell that is currently holding me, but I'm happy to have narrowed the gap so much. The rubber band should compress again, up to the cold front at Cabo Frio which is ahead for us. The passages in this cold front change from model to model, it is not easy to find the right route.

Tomorrow, I will encounter this cold front from Cabo Frio in the east-south-easterly. It will be the key moment, the last hurdle before the trade wind; it is all moving, there will be opportunities which open and close according to the models. Since you can't teleport from East to West, you have to make choices early enough, which makes it difficult.

It was nice to make these good averages on decent seas, it was a beautiful day. The weather was nice, it's good for morale to see the miles go by so quickly, the gaps are closing so quickly, it was great. There will be more, I hope. We will find some wind again next night, it will bring me closer to the front. There are still more to be done, which is good news. This front is going to redistribute the cards one way or another. Everyone will have their East / West positioning with which they will have to play until the doldrums. This is the last big strategic obstacle (until the doldrums, editor's note), then everyone will sail their line.”

 

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https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/21607/the-vendee-globe-s-final-5-000-miles-are-set-to-be-a-cliffhanger

(...)

Isabelle Joschke trying to bring MACSF to safety with a keel swinging
Still fighting through big winds and seas with her keel swing Isabelle Joschke is attempting to extricate herself from the nasty low pressure which dealt a final blow to the temporary keel fix which had been set up to hold her keel central after her ram failed a week ago. She still had 30 knots today but sent a moving video, saying,

“I am bitterly disappointed, so sad not to be able to finish this course. But I am proud. Proud of sailing this far and proud of my race. Proud to have rounded the three capes. And to have shown that with MACSF we are all present and a force to be reckoned with. That’s something they can’t take away from us.” bravely stated The Franco-German skipper who had been lying 11th in the South Atlantic after actually sailing more than 21,000 miles on the water and with less than 5,700 miles to sail.

She explained, “This is not the easiest thing at the moment. I’m sailing in conditions that are fairly rough with quite heavy seas. There must be a swell of 5m and and between force 7-9 Beaufort. A bit like the conditions when I rounded Cape Horn. I spent the night bailing out the boat, as there is an ingress of water. I bailed and I pumped. I have managed to stem the flow of water. Now the most important thing is to get to a port and safety and to get myself to safety. I am extremely sad to have to retire. I think the Vendée Globe has been cruel to me.”

Technical Director of the MACSF team Alain Gautier recapped, “A few days ago, Isabelle had an issue with her hydraulic cylinder which is used to cant the keel from one side to the other and so when there is an issue, we had a cylinder which allowed us you to block the keel in the central axis. We set up a form of false cylinder that allows you to maintain the keel blocked in the central axis so you can continue sailing and this is what failed,”

(...)

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https://isabellejoschke.com/isabelle-video-abandon-vendee-globe/

Isabelle expresses herself after her abandonment

Less than 24 hours after the announcement of her retirement, Isabelle comes back to the damage that forced her to give up the Vendée Globe. This Sunday, the keel of the IMOCA MACSF is hanging downwind and our skipper has no choice but to sail as flat as possible to preserve the boat. She is currently sailing under staysail alone in heavy seas with about 5 metres of swell and winds of 30 to 50 knots. She spent part of the night waterproofing her boat, the water ingress is now limited.
 
"I am extremely sad to have to give up. I think the Vendée Globe was hard on me, but I'm still proud. Proud of my course, proud of my race, proud to have passed the three capes and to have shown that with the MACSF we were there and that we could be counted on. And that won't be taken away from us".

Since the announcement of her retirement last night, Isabelle has been manoeuvring to quickly get out of the very big depression that has taken her keel actuator repair out of its hands. She is focused on finding manoeuvrable sailing conditions, while waiting to be able to choose a destination where she can bring her IMOCA safely back. For this, she can count on the assistance and expertise of Christian Dumard, meteorologist, the Race Direction and his technical team. This unit will accompany her and guide her from a distance to her new home port.

But before we know Isabelle's destination, we have to hold on, while waiting for the depression, which is still shaking up our solo sailor, to make its way eastwards for good...

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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4 hours ago, jimmyuk81 said:

So gutted for her. :(

And I’m wondering where she’s headed tbh, getting further away from the South American coast all the time. Not much option in the current weather given the boat’s state, but what next? 

I wonder where she will go to... From there Rio de Janeiro might be the easiest and safest option. Downwind to Cape Town is and option but would require more time in potentially big sea. Punta del Este will be quite tough from that location. 

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21 hours ago, Your Mom said:

Interesting departure timing for Team HB, relative to the fleet's position.  They're close to the same latitude as the leaders.  They'll need to work some downwind angles, so I'm guessing they'll pass by Fernando de Noronha in some kind of "competitive but behind" position...  Like maybe in the gap between Tripon and the pack ahead of him...  Fully crewed, they may then be able to put on a show of blowing through the fleet.  I'm having trouble deciding if that would be good marketing or a dick move..  Either way, I guess my point is that I'm wondering if their departure timing relative to the fleet's position was random coincidence or not.

Or...  Maybe they'll be sailing fully in delivery mode and I'm totally wrong about this.

I'm surprised that the AT racing tracker does not show them, they should be able to superimpose on the VG tracker.

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A very nice article on Jean Le Cam was published on FranceInfo today...

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/sports/voile/vendee-globe/vendee-globe-jean-le-cam-le-tonton-flingueur-des-mers_4246611.html

Vendée Globe: Jean Le Cam, the "Tonton Flingueur" of the seas

Even if he will probably not be the first to cross the finish line at Sables-d'Olonne, the 61-year-old Breton sailor, dean of the fleet, is the undisputed star of the 2020-2021 edition of this solo sailing around the world.

"He's a true sailor at heart, for the fun and for the win. Come on Jean, King Jean, impressive record, you cross the oceans always carried by the wind." Here is the refrain of Yes We Cam , a song by Breton musician Alan Bleuzen composed four years ago, to the glory of Jean Le Cam, now hero of the Vendée Globe 2020 . "It didn't take me long to write it, there was a lot to say" , smiles this regular at Fest-Noz, who wanted to offer an ode to "King Jean". "A lot of sailors have theirs, it was amiss for the character," he says.

And that the Billboard be warned, a sequel is in preparation after the exceptional race of the eldest of the event. "It starts like this: 'Jean's fifth Vendée, the most beautiful, the greatest ..."  Return (without rhyme) on the career of the sailor who shines in this sailing race around the world alone , nonstop and unassisted.

The skipper Jean Le Cam, glass of red in hand, celebrates his arrival in the Vendée Globe 2016, concluded in 6th place, on January 25, 2017, in Sables-d'Olonne (Vendée).  (JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP)
The skipper Jean Le Cam, glass of red in hand, celebrates his arrival in the Vendée Globe 2016, concluded in 6th place, on January 25, 2017, in Sables-d'Olonne (Vendée). (JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD / AFP)

There are those who enter the world of sailing on tiptoes. And there is Jean Le Cam. Well known to sailors who train in the bay of Concarneau (Finistère), the kid landed on the Solitaire du Figaro in 1978, at the age of 19, when he was officially passing his baccalaureate for the third time, as a free candidate. Microscopic budget, boat loaned by a local shipyard three days before departure and preparation of this skiff with a group of friends who helped him without counting their hours ... "Nothing has changed" , smiles Gilles Le Baud, the winner at the time.

The young boy who shakes the coconut tree

The youngster brilliantly impressed everyone during the 2nd stage -  "three days and three nights without wind, we had hallucinations"  - and finishing 11th overall , ahead of a certain Mike Birch, fresh winner of the Route du Rhum , and other big names in the field.

And that year, Le Cam did not only prove his talent at the helm of his boat. His debut on Radio Cocotier also marked the sailors of the fleet. Radio Cocotier? Imagine late night public-access radio for young people transposed to VHF between figarists. "Someone speaks on the radio, often an experienced sailor like Eugène Riguidel, and he initiates a dialogue, describes Gilles Le Baud. It was not easy to find a place there, and when we poured out our misfortunes, we were embarrassed. " Not Jean "Difool" Le Cam. "He made his place instantly, with his offbeat tone. With a friend from La Trinité, they engaged in dialogues that made the whole fleet laugh."

If he voluntarily dodged the baccalaureate -  "I would have continued in a path that would not necessarily have suited me" , he justified himself to the website L'Etudiant years later - it was impossible to skip military service. The child of Port-la-Forêt (Finistère) did it it under the orders of legend Eric Tabarly, like the future elite of the hexagonal sailing. But passing Cape Horn with a crew does not have the same aura as doing it solo: "We pass Cape Horn, we go up to the left, and then there we are," he explains without false modesty to TV Vendée .

His racing science, developed on the family dinghy from an early age with the Desjoyaux family, particularly the eldest, Hubert, is not lost on the godfather of French sailing. "Jean was one of the two or three helmsmen to whom Tabarly entrusted the helm when the conditions were really bad" , underlines Serge Madec, another skipper who raced with "King Jean" in the years 1980-1990.

Respected and feared

Madec reunites with Le Cam on a record attempt to cross the Atlantic which has the sweet taste of sailing of yore. Before engineers, millimeter routing and the race for performance.

"We left New York Harbor completely drunk. Literally. We end up alongside a dock, I don't know how I end up on top of a building, and Jean wants me to jump into the net of the multihull. . But it was seven to eight meters high ... "

Serge Madec, skipper

Fortunately, the real starting point of the attempt, which will prove to be victorious, is only reached after a few hours of navigation. " We had totally sobbered up , smiles Serge Madec. I tried the same record again four years later, it already had nothing to do with it. It would have been out of the question to leave in this state."

Jean Le Cam is a certain idea of sailing, symbolized by his remarkable attitude during one of his victories on the Figaro, in 1996. Once he arrived, "he waited for the 40 sailors on the pontoon, each time with a cold beer in hand for each of them, whereas he could have gone to bed to recover , underlines Denis Horeau, former race director of the Vendée Globe. He is unanimously respected. " Somewhat feared too. According to legend, he generously chided Eric Tabarly, responsible for capsizing their trimaran in 1989 during a double-handed transatlantic race from Lorient to Saint-Barth. An anecdote that "King Jean" denied in a book published in 2011 .

From left to right, Jean Le Cam, Patrick Morvan, Serge Madec and Marc Guillemot, record-breakers for the crossing of the Atlantic, off the island of Saint-Nicolas (Finistère), April 16, 1984. (LANGEVIN JACQUES / SYGMA)
From left to right, Jean Le Cam, Patrick Morvan, Serge Madec and Marc Guillemot, record-breakers for the crossing of the Atlantic, off the island of Saint-Nicolas (Finistère), April 16, 1984. (LANGEVIN JACQUES / SYGMA)

Several of those who shared a boat with him say they had this Damocles sword above their heads. Like Yves Le Blévec, at the helm of Actual  during the Transat Jacques Vabre 2009, a few hours after the start. The moment the boat chose to do a forward somersault in the dismantled Channel. "The boat could have fallen on top of me ... Fortunately it didn't. But the only thought that crossed my mind is: 'When he [Jean Le Cam] will see me, I'm going to get a memorable chiding '. But in fact, not at all! "

"Here, take the helm"

Brought back to Cherbourg by a freighter, the two skippers debriefed their mishap. After a few drinks, Yves Le Blévec ends up confessing to Jean Le Cam what really scared him that evening. “With Jean, you have to have the manual, smiles the skipper Roland Jourdain, his friend of forty years. You could say that he is a little bear, gruff, a very shy side. A character with a big C. "

The legend of "King John" is on the move. Ask Kito de Pavant, spotted by the master in 2000 during a Transat AG2R, half for his performances as a rookie who dominated part of the race, a little also for the name of his boat, Soft-shelled turtles . "It made him laugh and we got his attention." Nevertheless, you have to go through the breton's armor.

"I was impressed, it was like meeting Tabarly in person. Jean Le Cam is a mountain of knowledge, an ocean racing star. He was already a standout."

Kito de Pavant, skipper

And apprenticeship à la Jean Le Cam is a pedagogy that can be described as ... particular. "You see the famous photo of Gilles Martin-Raget, during the Course des Phares in 2002 , where we see Loïck Peyron's Fuji in rough seas off Ouessant? It is exactly in these conditions that Jean said to me: 'Here, take the helm.' He had complete confidence in me. While I had much less in myself! And how could he be so serene, since it was the first time he let me helm? "

The man who ran on Krisprolls

The teammates follow one after another, anecdotes rain. "Every morning, you had to bring him his coffee with a hint of condensed milk at the bar , laughs Gildas Morvan, embarked with Jean Le Cam on the Jacques Vabre 2007. It happened to me to get yelled at when the coffee was too hot. As long as he had some, he could helm for hours. At the end of the transatlantic race, I perfectly mastered this art of lukewarm coffee. I must say that I do not remember having seen him drink water during the fifteen days of the race ... "

The skipper Jean Le Cam, in & nbsp;  the day before the start of the Vendée Globe 2004, in Sables-d'Olonne (Vendée).  (ALEXANDRE MARCHI / GAMMA-RAPHO)

The skipper Jean Le Cam, on the eve of the start of the Vendée Globe 2004, in Sables-d'Olonne (Vendée). (ALEXANDRE MARCHI / GAMMA-RAPHO)

For Bernard Stamm, his partner in the Barcelona World Race 2014, the memory is stronger.  "He needed bread and butter. Failing that, packs of Krisprolls. He hung them up high, in nets, so that they remained crisp without taking water. The cabin was full of them!"  Married to a restaurateur, Jean Le Cam is not the type to be satisfied with freeze-dried products, the daily bread of skippers for decades. Monsieur pan cooks, rain or shine, "because already, there is the smell that emerges, so it makes you want to eat" , he confided to France 3 Bretagne in 2012. Amused comment by Roland Jourdain, who has known him since his teenage years:"Jean is not a fitness junkie. I don't know how he relates to his nutritionist, but she probably has to make concessions."

The general consensus is that, Jean Le Cam speaks little. But when he opens it, it's not to stir air. Few can boast of having nailed Philippe de Villiers's mouth. The scene takes place at the Sables-d'Olonne cinema, the day before the start of the Vendée Globe 2008. The hall is packed to the brim, the skippers occupy the front rows, the journalists behind. The president of the General Council of Vendée crows at the microphone, estimating to several hundreds of thousands of people the crowd expected on the pontoon for the departure. Jean Le Cam speaks: "It's great, Philippe. But all the same, how are we going to make it to the pontoon on time tomorrow morning, with a bag, boots and family?" Taken aback, De Villiers turns to the two race directors present at his side on stage, who cannot hide their embarrassment. He requires them to provide a police escort for the Le Cams at 7 am at  their hotel.

The politician then launches: "Who wants one, too?" Twenty-nine fingers go up, and race director general Sophie Vercelletto leaves to spend her afternoon negotiating thirty escorts with the national police on the eve of the start, when she has other things to do. Denis Horeau, who recounts the scene in his book Mon Vendée Globe (ed. François Bourin, 2020) , comments: "It's always Jean who speaks up for others."

Not popular with sponsors ...

In recent years, Jean Le Cam's star had turned pale. Fault to a new generation of skippers, often engineers, often employees of their sponsors, who have a bit dated the lone skipper who leads his project from A to Z, with the sponsor only there to contribute to the pot. The rock becomes a dinosaur. "We were called the 'Tontons flingueurs', Jean, Mike Golding, and me," smiles Swiss skipper Dominique Wavre. Sailors in their fifties who had the same way of working. In addition, for Le Cam, an outspokenness that sent chills through the spines of more than one marketing director.

"He's not the most diplomatic. It's hard to imagine him at La Défense with a tie and shiny leather shoes doing the rounds of CAC 40 companies."

Dominique Wavre, skipper

In the last three editions of the Vendée Globe, Jean Le Cam has found the money and the boat - or both - in the last few weeks before the deadline. "Doing it on the limit, it looks like him. He is happy in his shipyard, to optimize his boat." We see it particularly this year when, with a 13 year old boat pampered with love, Jean Le Cam is in the fight for a podium, even after having made a hook to save Kevin Escoffier . "I don't really like it when we talk about 'old sea wolf' about him , pests Yves Le Blevec. It's not like he's still sailing with a sextant."

 

 

Not really in the game for the win, it's still Jean Le Cam who puts on the show, with a memorable press conference on his return from the 2012-2013 edition. We should rather talk about a giant karaoke, with the navigator standing on the table performing Johnny's hit Light the fire , air guitar version. "If you look closely at the video, we see the general manager of the race and other officials who hold the table so that it does not collapse, laughs Denis Horeau. And after, Jean Le Cam left for a nightclub, which he did not come out of until 7 am, even though he had 80 days of racing on his back. "

... But a big rating with the public

Still, Le Cam, like Johnny by the way, smelled a little too much of mothballs for the sponsors. "For having worked with the Caisse d'Epargne on Isabelle Autissier's project in 1996, the sponsors only target young people, customers to retain, slips Denis Horeau. There is very little communication designed for a more senior audience. . " But artists have more flair.

"I remember an evening at the restaurant with the crew of the film 'En Solitaire' and the Vendée Globe skippers. François Cluzet had taken the pulse of the room for a quarter of an hour and had never let go of Jean during the rest of the evening. "

Denis Horeau, ex-race director of the Vendée Globe

Back in 2020-2021. Money was really lacking at Le Cam's before the start of the race, in November, to the point that they could not even put aside an budget for Manu Guiavarc'h, the designer who had posted a daily cartoon on the race of "King Jean" in 2016 (up to 60,000 visits per post at the time). "I post a first drawing for the start, had to. Then a second, in black and white, to indicate that we have no money. I wanted to do it, but not for free. In under a second, an Internet user put up an online fundraiser. " The amount needed is collected in a few hours. And since then, Manu Guiavarc'h has been telling his darling's Vendée Globe, drawing after drawing.

Did you know ? Jean Le Cam has achieved the shortest trajectory since the start of the Vendée Globe: 19,457 nautical miles!

Posted by Manu makes his Vendée Globe on  Monday January 4, 2021

"The script is him. I'm just a thief. I prick his words, his emotions and draw a picture of them." The book compiling the drawings of 2016 had exceeded the expectations of its publisher. A second is on track for next spring. "Would it have worked with another skipper? Frankly, I don't know. But what I'm sure is that Jean has something more. The last time we had a meeting, at the Sables-d'Olonne, he arrived late because a guy had made the trip from Nancy to greet him. " The Le Camania has a bright future ahead of it.

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44 minutes ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

She is focused on finding manoeuvrable sailing conditions, while waiting to be able to choose a destination where she can bring her IMOCA safely back. For this, she can count on the assistance and expertise of Christian Dumard, meteorologist, the Race Direction and his technical team.

Her VG has indeed been cruel, but admire the way she handles it. Win indeed.

Wondered why she so quickly made a formal retirement, but see it was necessary in order to access the help of Dumard (and the RC).

They will certainly find her the safest way and help she needs.

(and thanks Virgulino for keeping us updated)

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1 hour ago, ant1 said:

From left to right, Jean Le Cam, Patrick Morvan, Serge Madec and Marc Guillemot, record-breakers for the crossing of the Atlantic, off the island of Saint-Nicolas (Finistère), April 16, 1984. (LANGEVIN JACQUES / SYGMA)

From left to right, Jean Le Cam, Patrick Morvan, Serge Madec and Marc Guillemot, record-breakers for the crossing of the Atlantic, off the island of Saint-Nicolas (Finistère), April 16, 1984. (LANGEVIN JACQUES / SYGMA)

Blimey, what happened to his face?! :lol:

 

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2 minutes ago, Rainbow Spirit said:

I have no expertise in swing keels whatsoever, but couldn't there be a standby system installed that will lock the keel in a vertical position that is separate from the rams?

She has one, but it broke as well.

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2 minutes ago, Rainbow Spirit said:

I have no expertise in swing keels whatsoever, but couldn't there be a standby system installed that will lock the keel in a vertical position that is separate from the rams?

She had that and it also broke. Edit- Bebmoumoute just beat me to it

 

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5 minutes ago, Bebmoumoute said:

She has one, but it broke as well.

This surprised me, actually. I’m assuming the emergency keel brace is a solid metal component. Given it doesn’t have to move, with no fiddly hydraulics, it should be stronger and more reliable than the regular canting gear, shouldn’t it?

It seems rather unlikely to me that it just broke under regular sailing conditions, even in heavy weather.

So I’m wondering if the damage was in fact to something else - such as the mounting points in the hull. This could also explain the water ingress. And of course, as others have pointed out it’s possible the UFO collision also damaged the keel - perhaps exerting a load that the brace couldn’t handle.

Idle speculation, but will be interested to learn more, if we ever do...

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2 hours ago, littlechay said:

I wonder where she will go to... From there Rio de Janeiro might be the easiest and safest option. Downwind to Cape Town is and option but would require more time in potentially big sea. Punta del Este will be quite tough from that location. 

Another option is Itajaí, half way between Rio de Janeiro and Rio de la Plata.  The Volvo Ocean Race stops there, as did the Transat Jacques-Vabre. Incidentally, on the 2015 TJV Isabelle's boat, then Quéguiner, won 3rd place there.

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Tripon closing the gap and likely to continue to do so for another couple days...  Should get close enough to at least make things interesting.

Conditions also look fast the next 4 days from Cape Horn to the leaders' current position...  Beyou isn't going to close the whole 2,000 nm gap, but he could make some significant gains if he eventually decides to step out of delivery mode.

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1 hour ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

 

Blimey, what happened to his face?! :lol:

 

 

 

 

Blimey, what happened to his face?! :lol:

 

 

 

Decades of sun and wind, I understand the problem personally getting skin checks for melanoma regularly.

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49 minutes ago, jimmyuk81 said:

This surprised me, actually. I’m assuming the emergency keel brace is a solid metal component. Given it doesn’t have to move, with no fiddly hydraulics, it should be stronger and more reliable than the regular canting gear, shouldn’t it?

It seems rather unlikely to me that it just broke under regular sailing conditions, even in heavy weather.

So I’m wondering if the damage was in fact to something else - such as the mounting points in the hull. This could also explain the water ingress. And of course, as others have pointed out it’s possible the UFO collision also damaged the keel - perhaps exerting a load that the brace couldn’t handle.

Idle speculation, but will be interested to learn more, if we ever do...

Even a couple (or some even number) of high strength lines (probably would want them to be low modulus so that impact would not transmit all of the force instantly) would work? And be lighter?

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Still feeling for Isabelle... Jean said it all really, I have nothing to add. It was an impressive race from Isabelle. Getting such a spontaneous and thorough commendation from Jean Le Cam is... something.

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2 hours ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

Another option is Itajaí, half way between Rio de Janeiro and Rio de la Plata.  The Volvo Ocean Race stops there, as did the Transat Jacques-Vabre. Incidentally, on the 2015 TJV Isabelle's boat, then Quéguiner, won 3rd place there.

Yes, much nicer place too, but a little more difficult to reach due to prevailing wind and currents. 

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Also feel for Isabelle,

It's yet another swing keel issue. They're still breaking after all this time. Is it time to re-re-evaluate the whole swing keel thing again?

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50 minutes ago, gaw said:

Also feel for Isabelle,

It's yet another swing keel issue. They're still breaking after all this time. Is it time to re-re-evaluate the whole swing keel thing again?

Maybe they need to adopt the Volvo 65 keelbox. Survives hitting a reef at 20kts and then pounded by 3m swell propped up on the keel,  should be good enough for an IMOCA 60.

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20210110_181657.thumb.jpg.dd108716fcdb77e5b6728232b610f0c8.jpg

This group looks to be routing for a close flyby of Cape Horn. Hopefully it will be in daylight and the Chilean navy will post some pictures. Sure hope the lighthouse keeper received the most awesomeness drone for xmas.

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2 hours ago, heymatey said:

Man, Louis Burton is tearing it up: 376 miles in 24 hours, compared to 284 by Damien Seguin.

As predicted, the foilers are finally coming into their own

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Louis Burton has also been pushing hard since his repairs at Macquarie Island.  He's moved from 11th to 5th position, made up something like 700 miles on the leader.  Pretty awesome sailing, no one else has made that sort of a jump in the past 2 weeks.  Not even Damien Seguin.

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Pics from Sam Davies' Logbook about her keel problems. Snipped from V&V  

The next adventure was to discover that my keel actuator had slipped... and that the area around it was flooded... so I had to turn the boat out of the water, pump it and close the keel cylinder.

MjAyMTAxYzg3ZWVjNmEzYzFkODY5MzM2YTg4MmI3NzFkZGQ5M2E?width=940&focuspoint=50%2C50&cropresize=1&client_id=bpeditorial&sign=0beddbc90b4dda5563d9bdfeb4a9a4d38b1ac9f489324719a4d715b5a7a70546 The keel cylinder head repaired. | SAM DAVIES
A little grinding, gluing and laminating later, the cylinder was secured

While I was doing my routine checks, I discovered that the head of the cylinder (the part attached to the keel) was unscrewing... At sea, it is impossible to screw it back on, so the solution was to create a system to block it and prevent it from unscrewing further. A little grinding, gluing and laminating later, the cylinder was secured. By a happy coincidence, I happened to be in an area with very little wind.
 

The cylinder now has more play than usual which makes my keel a little "noisy". It was a little worrying, so I carried out many checks to make sure that the noise came only from the keel and was not a sign of another problem but everything is fine.

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Sound familiar?

 "I love to wait and watch the leaderboard. I'm totally addicted to it, I wait for updates like a child waits for Santa Claus. I look at the trajectory of those in front, I try to see how I could pick up some more, and it is exceptional: I did not enjoy anything like this pleasure four years ago! " chuckled Louis Burton this morning.

More here.

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1 hour ago, Varan said:

Sound familiar?

 "I love to wait and watch the leaderboard. I'm totally addicted to it, I wait for updates like a child waits for Santa Claus. I look at the trajectory of those in front, I try to see how I could pick up some more, and it is exceptional: I did not enjoy anything like this pleasure four years ago! " chuckled Louis Burton this morning.

More here.

Oh yes--but this time, I'm having so much trouble following the tracker because of fall rabbit holes made by COVID and CosCOUP :P

Good thing that Louis and the others are too busy. 

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In the latest position report Yannick is losing his lead.

He makes less speed ad well.
Charlie 12,8 kN and 8,9 kn for Yannick.
Rest of the fleet catching on him as well.
The miracle navigator made a mistake for once to chose the westward route close to the brazilian shore.
330778790_Vendee11-1-2021.thumb.PNG.9d9e62dd66e955777d3804291d9f390d.PNG

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From Kevin, about foils and more. Too much to quote, but another good rabbit hole here

https://www.imoca.org/fr/news/news/kevin-escoffier-les-foilers-sont-l-avenir-de-l-imoca

'"I'm back ashore but I'm not on vacation; I'm working on my project and I imagine what I'm going to do with the boat and the big goal is the next Vendée Globe, for sure. "

Edited by stief
changed link to EN version
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4 hours ago, stief said:

bow crack

Impressive resolve, but... he's a real masochist... :) About halfway after 65 days... its going to be very very tight to finish the race, the time limit is 163 days to finish the race. He already finished a VG, so he doesn't really have anything "new" to accomplish now... but he does seem to be enjoying it in a way...

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1 hour ago, jimmyuk81 said:

He’s got to retire & head to NZ. Surely?

Pretty sure the organisers would breathe a huge sigh of relief if he does...!

He made it sound like he would continue, but yes, I'd join the relief party.

Quote

Taking advantage of the fact that Merci is sailing close to New Zealand, I made contact with Angelo Lavranos, the architect of the boat. After checking his files, Angelo is categorical, the bowsprit is not structural to the bow of the boat. There is therefore no risk of dismasting and Merci can navigate normally with her J2. That's a good news.  The less good is that Merci will probably not be able to use any of its gennakers without a serious repair to the bowsprit. Angelo studies the photos of the problem  to refine his diagnosis. 

 

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12 minutes ago, Schakel said:

In the latest position report Yannick is losing his lead.

He makes less speed ad well.
Charlie 12,8 kN and 8,9 kn for Yannick.
Rest of the fleet catching on him as well.
The miracle navigator made a mistake for once to chose the westward route close to the brazilian shore.
330778790_Vendee11-1-2021.thumb.PNG.9d9e62dd66e955777d3804291d9f390d.PNG

 

^^^ This is almost exactly how CD and TR caught up to, and eventually passed, AT heading the opposite direction.  AT went too close to the Brazilian coast..  Amazing.  It will be interesting to see whether YB can hold off his pursuers.  

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Schakel said:

In the latest position report Yannick is losing his lead.

He makes less speed ad well.
Charlie 12,8 kN and 8,9 kn for Yannick.
Rest of the fleet catching on him as well.
The miracle navigator made a mistake for once to chose the westward route close to the brazilian shore.
 

I don't know if it was a mistake as much as a favorable weather system allowing the others to catch up. In any case, poor guy is in trouble!

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Darn! She doesn't give Ellen MacArthur's time. But-- looks like Pip is going to make that 66 day (?hrs) benchmark shortly ("fingers crossed")

 

 

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18 minutes ago, ant1 said:

Impressive resolve, but... he's a real masochist... :) About halfway after 65 days... its going to be very tight to finish the race, the time limit is 163 days to finish the race.

Thanks--had missed that in the NOR

3.3 Time limit

The time limit of the race is 163 days (Jean-François Coste's race time, the last competitor to finish in the first edition of the Vendée Globe).

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14 minutes ago, heymatey said:

I don't know if it was a mistake as much as a favorable weather system allowing the others to catch up. In any case, poor guy is in trouble!

I have seen Yannick doing things close to cape horn that looked like he was going the wrong way, turned out brilliantly in his advance.
Perhaps he has another trick up his sleeve. There is a wind hole in the area, perhaps Yannick is avoiding that.
Knipsel.PNG.402844906196cc9d9150b6d6be8b70de.PNG

 

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With the amount of rust in that photo and the way the rust stains are concentrated at the crack, I'd hazard a guess that there has been a problem in that location for sometime.

 

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The best plan  for Isabelle would be to get some line around the keel fin and then out to the outrigger on either side and get some tension to stop the flopping around.

This will be tough to do.   In the normal way of things it would be a matter of slowing the boat and doing a modified "flossing" in to get a line around the keel in both directions. With the hydrofoils this is very hard to do.  Maybe if she came head the wind and did it backwards.... 

On Red Herring the top of the keel goes all the way to the deck, so there is about 5 feet of lever arm to pull against if I had a total failure of the hydraulics.  But the IMOCA 60 is 10 times the problem.   Good Luck Isabelle!

SHC

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26 minutes ago, heymatey said:

Conrad being so easy on the eyes as well as knowledgeable sure makes these updates compelling. ;)

Ears, yes. 

And as for ears, lots of really good info in today's Live with my favourite Conrad --> Colman. Sure hope he's right about being back on the start in  2024

Re comms:"satellite communication costs have come down so much in the last 4 years"that even the small teams have a 24/7 connection"
And money: "I had 5% of the budget of Armel Le Cléac'h"

Christian  Dumard: "If the start would have been a week earlier or later . . " Andi: "could have been a record pace?" "Yes."

Huh. First I've heard of the race providing "roadbooks" for the fleet. Sounds like a VG specific pilot chart.

Dumard gives an update on Isabelle's situation: wind down, sea state 5m still bad, decide tomorrow finding a downwind route to Brazil or less likely, Capetown.

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Four years ago, when Armel le Cleach was in roughly the same spot as Yannick Bestaven is now, six boats had passed Cape Horn.

This year the 17th is about to pass that landmark and there are six boats within 200 miles of the leader.

This is a truly captivating race!

 

Screenshot_2021-01-11_at_17_52_40.png

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 17.52.16.png

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27 minutes ago, troll99 said:

Armel melts distance down to 750nm at the moment. 

Someone had commented that his progress has maybe had more to do with fortuitous weather than his skill/the boat. So, out of curiosity, I scrolled through the timeline:

  • 11/11: J3 hook breaks, <5 nm from Thomas Ruyant. Sets course for La Coruna, then works out how to stabilize the mast with his team and turns south again, sailing very cautiously.
  • 11/14: Sufficient calm to climb the mast and get the J3 up again; DTL over 500 nm. Behind by a weather system, "expecting to be possibly 1000 miles behind by the Doldrums."
  • 11/17: Climbs the mast again to "complete the work", but had hit over 18 knots before then, so this was likely safety work rather than performance. Jeremie Beyou sets sail, about 2700 nm DTL.
  • 11/24: Crosses the Equator with a DTL of over 2k nm. Jeremie Beyou was 1k nm further back.
  • 12/06: Passes the Cape of Good Hope, still over 1900 nm behind. Jeremie had 3700 nm DTL.
  • 12/18: Cape Leeuwin, 1825 miles behind. Jeremie had DTL of 3800 nm. Here's when he really started catching up (and apparently, Jeremie too).
  • 12/24: Passes south of NZ, 1300 nm behind; Jeremie, 3100.
  • 12/30: Approaching Point Nemo, 850 nm behind; Jeremie, 2500.
  • 01/06: Crosses the Horn, 1000 nm back; Jeremie, 2700.

For completeness, Jeremie has ~2200 nm DTL as he crossed the Horn today.

I recall Armel saying in one of the on board videos from somewhere near the Cape of Good Hope that he's finally getting to know the boat.

So is this just fortuitous weather or a skilled sailor with a great boat?

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10 minutes ago, HeartOfGold said:

Someone had commented that his progress has maybe had more to do with fortuitous weather than his skill/the boat. So, out of curiosity, I scrolled through the timeline:

  • 11/11: J3 hook breaks, <5 nm from Thomas Ruyant. Sets course for La Coruna, then works out how to stabilize the mast with his team and turns south again, sailing very cautiously.
  • 11/14: Sufficient calm to climb the mast and get the J3 up again; DTL over 500 nm. Behind by a weather system, "expecting to be possibly 1000 miles behind by the Doldrums."
  • 11/17: Climbs the mast again to "complete the work", but had hit over 18 knots before then, so this was likely safety work rather than performance. Jeremie Beyou sets sail, about 2700 nm DTL.
  • 11/24: Crosses the Equator with a DTL of over 2k nm. Jeremie Beyou was 1k nm further back.
  • 12/06: Passes the Cape of Good Hope, still over 1900 nm behind. Jeremie had 3700 nm DTL.
  • 12/18: Cape Leeuwin, 1825 miles behind. Jeremie had DTL of 3800 nm. Here's when he really started catching up (and apparently, Jeremie too).
  • 12/24: Passes south of NZ, 1300 nm behind; Jeremie, 3100.
  • 12/30: Approaching Point Nemo, 850 nm behind; Jeremie, 2500.
  • 01/06: Crosses the Horn, 1000 nm back; Jeremie, 2700.

For completeness, Jeremie has ~2200 nm DTL as he crossed the Horn today.

I recall Armel saying in one of the on board videos from somewhere near the Cape of Good Hope that he's finally getting to know the boat.

So is this just fortuitous weather or a skilled sailor with a great boat?

I Guess Jérémie and Armel are not in the same mood neither, Jérémie had to overcome his dreams of victory, and he is in delivery mode since his restart

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1 hour ago, Left Shift said:

He just discovered that crack today?  Seems like the definition of "not paying attention".   That looks like a month's worth of rust staining.  

Could be, but at sea in that location on the boat with constant wetting and plenty of oxygen that kind of stain can appear very quickly (a few days).

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