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from Isabelle's blog: a few more details about her keel problem and the rendezvous with Sam, Safari trans and snip.

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With Sam (Davies) we contact each other all day to find out how the night went, how it goes on board and to take stock of the condition of the boats. She has the worst boat in point of the two, which is why I got a lot ahead of her in the end, because she can't move very fast upwind or downwind. It is still quite slowed down. So we keep abreast of the conditions we have and she tells me what she can put on her veil so that I can adapt my cadence to her. Since we left, the idea is to be able to watch over each other in the event of a problem. For the moment, it is rather Sam who may have risks in his rigging. No one is ever immune. We know what it's like to have unpleasant surprises at sea. So I'm not in too hurry, I'm waiting to see what rhythm she will be able to give her boat when the wind comes back and I'll adapt my pace accordingly.

In Salvador de Bahia, my team mainly worked on the keel. The question of the cylinder was complicated because the rod was very slightly twisted and it was not possible to straighten it. So today I have a cylinder that is fixed again in the keel but with risks of breakage that are still high and risks of hydraulic fluid leakage, because the cylinder is still twisted. So I can't really quil. I made the entire crossing in the trade winds without angulating the keel and I will keel very little on the rest of the route, because the objective is to keep the main and secondary system safe. I know how precious it is to have a keel that holds. Even if I can't hang it, the fact that it doesn't move is a very valuable element, especially when approaching the coast and crossing the Bay of Biscay. In addition to this, there is also slight damage to the structure. When the boat lay down in the storm after my abandonment, the keel head got stuck against the actuator and it damaged the box in which the actuator is enclosed. Repairs have been made, but there are always some cracks and points of fragility. The boat is therefore not 100% of its capacity. I am serene, but I must navigate with caution.

full article and audio at https://isabellejoschke.com/ces-derniers-moments-sont-precieux/

English-French-German cooperation. ;) 

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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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Hmm. Andi R does EN podcasts. https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/22266/voices-from-the-ocean-9

In this one Clement talks about the carnage getting around Finisterre before he arrives soon, Isabelle,  Sam (who apologies to her EN audience, explains her rigging and sails issue, and talks about who does what at home with Romain), and . . .

. . .  for Varan, "discover also a few words from Sam Manuard, architect from L'Occitane in Provence, who spoke to us this morning about the performance of his first IMOCA and the challenge that he is facing."

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Sorry to post a large piece........but I think a thought provoking piece , as we are Sailors on an Ocean.....

 

Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest stands on the ocean shoreline.

 

 

LISTEN

29m 3s
 
 
 
 
 
Volume 27%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
00:00
00:00
 
Image: 

Supplied

02 | Lighting up our ocean

 

Andrew Forrest's fascination with the ocean began as a young boy camping on the picturesque Urala coast, near his childhood home Minderoo in Western Australia's Pilbara.

It's an obsession that culminated in him completing his PhD in marine ecology in 2019.

In the second of his 2020 Boyer Lectures, Dr Forrest mounts a passionate defence of our oceans.

Dr Forrest argues the key issues facing our oceans — deoxygenation, overfishing and plastic pollution — are our fault, and it's us who must fix them.

He says it's philanthropic and government interventions, at a scale not yet seen, that will save our seas.

Duration: 29min 3sec
Broadcast: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 12:00pm
 
More Information

Dr Andrew Forrest is a leading businessman and active philanthropist. He and wife Nicola co-founded the Minderoo Foundation in 2001, and to date they have supported over 300 initiatives across Australia and internationally with their total philanthropic donations now exceeding A$2 billion.

Andrew recently completed a PhD in Marine Ecology and is passionate about ocean conservation. He is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Scientific Advisory Committee on the Assessment on Marine Litter and Microplastics.

Dr Forrest was appointed by the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Australia to Chair the Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programs to end Indigenous disparity through employment.

In 2017, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the mining sector, a year later he was inducted into the Australian Prospectors & Miners' Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal and the Australian Centenary Medal. Andrew was Western Australia's 2017 Australian of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community.

Transcript

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Geraldine Doogue: Hello, I'm Geraldine Doogue and I'm delighted to introduce this year's Boyer lectures. This ABC flagship series of talks began in 1959, and each year a prominent Australian is invited to share their views on the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead. This year's Boyer lecturer is leading Australian businessman Dr Andrew Forrest AO, with a series titled Rebooting Australia: How Ethical Entrepreneurs Can Help Shape a Better Future.

Dr Forrest is the founder and chairman of Fortescue Metals Group. He is also a leading philanthropist, having co-founded the Minderoo Foundation with his wife Nicola in 2001.

In this, the second of his Boyer lectures, Dr Forrest turns his attention to environmental problems and some possible solutions for the world's oceans, which is one of his preoccupations, as you'll hear. Here now is Dr Forrest with Lighting Up Our Ocean.

Andrew Forrest: Lighting Up Our Ocean.

The Urala coast is a landscape of burnt orange earth that meets bright blue water, near Minderoo Station, where I grew up. I remember camping on the beach when I was 10 or 11, looking out of the dark waters of the Indian Ocean and noticing that for every star I could see in the sky, there was a light twinkling on the ocean. I remember asking Dad what all the lights were. He said they were prawn trawlers, a relatively new industry in the area. Dad explained that the reason the clear, coral-rich waters near our station were turning murky was because they were dragging dredge-nets over the pristine ocean floor. This was a defining point in my life.

The ocean, I've learned more and more since that day, is far from the pure untouched wilderness I had imagined as a child. And the scale of the problems facing our oceans is not limited to a handful of trawlers. I say 'ocean' in the singular. Our planet is one interconnected ocean that doesn't care about political borders or indeed political leaders.

Over the last few years, struggling between philanthropy and business, I've completed a PhD in marine science. When I started the PhD I had a number of common misconceptions. I saw pollution in our rivers and on our beaches, and assumed this problem was limited to waters near our shore. It's not. Our trash is now at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches and on the most remote tropical beaches.

I thought over-fishing was a local problem. It's not. Subsidised fishing fleets now menace every corner of our own policed waters. I thought the ocean was known. It's not. We know less about the depths of our oceans than the surface of the Moon. The problems facing our ocean are utterly enormous and, at the same time, completely heartbreaking.

We have a relatively clear picture of the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. But we have virtually no idea how many fish are in the sea, how many are caught, or what decades of treating our ocean as a rubbish dump means for these ecosystems. The ocean didn't create these problems, they are all due to us, and it's we who must fix it.

If business holds the key to climate change and therefore ocean deoxygenation, as argued in my first lecture, it's philanthropic and government interventions at a scale not yet seen that will save our seas. To put it simply, all the problems of the ocean can be distilled into three simple areas; the deoxygenation of our oceans, overfishing, and plastic pollution. These problems are fixable.

Humans have been fishing, largely sustainably, for an unbelievably long time, almost 100,000 years. And we have been pretty good at it for a long time too. Like the prawn trawlers I saw as a child, humans have used bonfires, torches and other forms of light to lure prey into the shallows for thousands of years. We invented the fishing hook almost 10,000 years ago, and by the 1600s the Dutch were using drift nets, vast nets that float through the ocean, catching and killing everything in their path.

Today, the global fishing industry is worth well over $200 billion, with more than 4.5 million boats fishing our oceans. Nations that have exhausted their own supplies of seafood now subsidise vast fishing fleets that roam the ocean, with the capacity to decimate entire populations of ocean wildlife, like they have done in their own seas, in just a few years. Everyone is in on the act.

The spotlights illegal fishing fleets use are so powerful, they can be detected from space. The EU, the world's champion of sustainability, takes home almost a quarter of the yellowfin tuna court in our Indian Ocean, a species that has been overfished for years and is on the brink of collapse. Iran's fishing fleet illegally plunders the water of Yemen and Somalia, where millions of children are on the brink of starvation. And our own Australian trawlers fished out 90% of the population of orange roughy, a deep-sea perch, before we realised that this fish grows incredibly slowly and lives for up to 200 years.

In 2017, I was sitting in the audience of a lecture hall, listening to a talk by one of my PhD supervisors, the very famous Professor Daniel Pauly from the University of British Columbia. At the end, someone in the audience asked, 'Do we know what caused all the big fish to disappear from the Caribbean?' I'll never forget his reply, he just shrugged, 'Nothing remarkable or noteworthy happened, they simply got eaten.'

Fishing is, at least, something we regulate, even if rather badly. But our oceans are not only our food bowl, they have also become our garbage bin. For decades, the petrochemical companies that manufacture plastic from fossil fuel have peddled the myth that it's okay to keep churning out huge quantities of the stuff, as long as we make token efforts to recycle. But you have been lied to. The reality is that these companies have been knowingly overselling and underfunding the recycling system. Why? Because recycling reduces demand for new plastic products, the ones they make. These companies are dinosaurs. They don't like change, but if they don't change, they are going to take the planet down with them. As a result, plastic is piling up in our landfills, on our beaches, in our rivers, in our oceans, and in ourselves, certainly in the stomachs of our sea life.

If a fish or seabird is lucky, the plastic it eats pierces its insides and kills it quickly. But it's more likely that it will die slowly, from unrelenting hunger, its belly full of plastic junk. It will die of starvation without even realising it was starving.

Plastic is such a wonder material, that it never truly disappears, it just gets smaller and smaller, and that's where it is most dangerous. It becomes so tiny that it can enter your bloodstream, it can enter your brain. It enters through the air that you breathe, through the seafood you eat, the water you drink. You, me, unborn babies, we are all accumulating these tiny plastic particles in our bodies and the toxic chemicals they release. And it's not a question of if plastics are making us sick, it's a question of how much. The chemicals in plastic are reducing our fertility, it's reducing our birth weights, and increasing cancer risk in all of us, not to mention lung disease, heart disease and diabetes.

My foundation, Minderoo, is taking this research one step further. We are starting to look at whether plastic particles are also entering our brains, crossing the biological blood-brain barrier that normally keeps all the bad stuff out. With micro-nano-plastic, it's not working. Once it is in there, it will wreak havoc to your brain. And these early warning signs will only get worse the more plastic we produce because it doesn't go away, it accumulates.

Only about 100 companies produce the vast majority of polymers, the building blocks to all plastic, and they are responsible for inflicting this slow violence on human health and the ocean. Don't tell me we can't change the behaviour of just 100 companies, I know we can. They are quite comfortable producing plastic from oil and creating plastic products that are very hard, if not impossible to recycle.

Modern plastics are designed to be cheap and easy to produce, not cheap and easy to recycle. And so they aren't recycled. Instead, they are dumped or burned. Pressure from multiple directions can change this. Companies that use plastic must demand recycled plastic from the major petrochemical producers. Consumers need to boycott products that aren't recycled. Governments need to step in and ban (many have) the worst products, including those with toxic additives. Chemists need to design new plastics that are engineered right from the beginning for reuse. Plastics that can be cheaply recycled back to clean, pure polymer and reused responsibly.

We need a circular economy that isn't a myth or a green-washing exercise but a genuine and fully functioning economic system. This needs to be led by the big petrochemical and plastic companies of the world. They must dump their old model and vigorously adopt a new one, supporting reuse and recycling all the way through the chain. The honourable path is through voluntary action, but the likely path for many of the worst actors will be through regulation.

We have used light to draw out creatures from the sea for thousands of years, to catch them in our nets, on our hooks and spears. But it's now time to shine a different light on our oceans, one of knowledge and of care. We face a major inflection point and it's time to make a major course correction. See, 99% of the liveable space that organisms can survive in isn't the atmosphere or the surface of the Earth, it's the ocean. It's time to make a major course correction because if we help destroy 99% of the liveable space of our planet, what chance do you think we have?

The fishing industry has been light years ahead of marine science for way too long, efficiently finding and annihilating what was in the oceans before researchers even knew it was there, or indeed policymakers could protect it. We have to flip that situation. The sea life in our oceans is priceless. It is being destroyed before we even know what is there. We need a massive scalable and automated system that tells us if a species, if a fish stock, or a critical ecosystem is spiralling out of control and we could destroy it, before we destroy it. And this includes tracking pollution and revealing the true toll of our immense plastic consumption on ocean ecology.

For me, coming from a background in industry, tempered by a humbling education in science, the answer lies in genomics, big data approaches, and meaningful collaboration across governments. Most surveys of sea life, if not drawn from the fishing industry, are done at a tediously small scale, with small research vessels deploying cameras that drift through tiny areas of the ocean. Someone then literally has to count the fish by watching hours and hours of video. Usually this is a humble PhD student. I know because I was one. Eventually that data gets published in a journal and is read by just a handful of people. That's about a two-year process. And we don't have time for this.

I believe there is another way, and it's as simple as collecting cells from the water. Already scientists have started playing with eDNA, the fragments of genetic material floating in the ocean, to try and better understand the diversity of life in our seas. eDNA are the tiny scraps of genetic information left behind by sea creatures as they feed, shed their scales, and decompose. These clues give us a highly accurate picture of what fish are in a specific area and how many of them. We don't do this on land because cells break down so quickly in a terrestrial dry environment. Applying these genomic tools at scale across our oceans will allow us to take large-scale snapshots of the health of fish stocks or entire marine ecosystems, using nothing more than samples of seawater.

The team at Minderoo Foundation is launching a program to do just this. It's called OceanOmics, and it will help identify where there are endangered species and the feeding and breeding grounds of species, like the shortfin mako. And we will be able to sequence entire cells, as well as these snippets of DNA. Today, we have only sequenced the genomes of 20 of Australia's 4,000-odd marine fish species. But, using these technologies, we could feasibly sequence the genome of every marine species on Earth. It's a technique that has been around for some time in medicine and cancer research, but it needs to be adapted and fine-tuned in the ocean, then massively scaled. A fast boat with a single genomic sequencing machine, and a dozen technicians aboard, could learn more about fish stocks in a week than we would traditionally discover using fishing data or video cameras in a decade.

PhD students could spend 99% of their time sifting through real live data to uncover the secrets of the ocean, rather than compiling data from a fishing trawler or counting fish on a computer screen. Artificial intelligence will do the identification for us, allowing researchers to get on with the job of determining the health of the ocean.

A global fleet of these boats, supported by a small army of steadfast marine scientists could shine a light on the whole ocean so we can know it and we can protect it. It is no use protecting a species once it has already been destroyed by the fishing industry. We must work out what is there before it's destroyed by overfishing.

Approaches like OceanOmics will also help governments decide which bits of the planet's 360 million square kilometres of ocean to protect. Currently, just 2% of the ocean is protected from commercial fishing. Scientists across the world agree that figure needs to rise to 30%, and the communities that rely on unsustainable fishing need our support to transition to new industries, like agriculture and sustainable fishing.

Through the Blue Nature Alliance, Pew, Conservation International, and the Minderoo Foundation have made huge strides in establishing this network of global marine reserves. Our foundation has committed US$25 million, and by 2025 we aim to establish or grow 50 marine parks. But we all know laws must be policed to have any effect. Even on the Great Barrier Reef, which has dedicated air and water patrols, there are 600 cases of illegal fishing detected every year, both by holidaymakers and the commercial fishing industry. Just imagine how bad the problem is elsewhere.

On best estimate, 20% of the world's fish catch is illegal, unregulated and unreported, and it costs the industry more than $40 billion a year. Yet, it is becoming possible to detect illegal fishing efficiently. Like planes, most big boats automatically send out location pings, largely to avoid smashing into other boats. Fishing vessels that want to sneak into a marine park can simply turn these pingers off or 'go dark', to use the lingo. This is where innovations in satellite technology and artificial intelligence step in.

Satellite images used to cost thousands of dollars, and even then we had to wait days for them, assuming the military didn't just jump the queue. By the time you had your image, the guy doing the illegal fishing had long gone. But satellite data is increasingly lower cost, quick to access, and much higher resolution. Some satellite technologies can find illegal fishing boats based simply on the brightness of their lights, and other satellites that measure the roughness of the planet's surface can detect the presence of any ship, 24 hours a day, regardless of the weather and regardless of whether or not its location pinger is on.

Merging these diverse satellite technologies with powerful algorithms is how we will develop a single, scalable fabric of surveillance, one that will allow us to automate the process of detecting illegal activity. The beauty of such a system is that law-abiding fishers, the trusted travellers, can be rewarded, ushered into ports, fast-tracked through inspections, whereas dodgy vessels can be rejected. Indeed, ports are the ultimate leverage, as Japan found out in 1998 when we banned them from our ports for fishing our depleted stocks of southern bluefin tuna. To make this happen, we must work together at the country level to share our vessel data. Currently, only a handful of countries, including Indonesia, have taken this step, yet we all must step up.

Perhaps all of these problems seem very far away to you. Maybe you are thinking; illegal fishing is sad, but what does that have to do with me? But guess what? Australia imports around 70% of the seafood it eats, and most of that comes from countries like Vietnam and Thailand, where illegal fishing and modern slavery are rife. For a nation girt by sea, with the third-largest exclusive economic zone in the world, it's a pretty embarrassing state of affairs.

While we love to brag about where our local seafood comes from, oysters from Coffin Bay, blue swimmer crab from Mandurah, and hold our own fisheries to the highest standards, we are quite happy to throw those standards out the window when it comes to the canned tuna or the ready to eat prawns we import. In fact, Australia is currently one of the most backward of the developed countries in the world when it comes to the laxness of our own import laws. The EU and the US are leaders in this space, but not us. Even Japan, the long-time wild child of the seafood industry, is taking action.

But without import laws, how do we stop illegal seafood from ending up on our plates? We need to make sure that little children, or adults like Tin Nyo Win, a Burmese migrant enslaved by a Thai factory, didn't peel our prawns. Often these children are woken up at 2am, made to stand with aching hands in icy water for 16 hours a day, captured if they try to escape, and kids so small they have to stand on stools to reach the prawns. Is this an Australia we are proud of?

We need an import law that rejects illegal seafood products at our border, and we need to clearly label what we do import. What species is it? Where was it caught or farmed? Is it slavery free? Right now, most of our imported seafood is basically anonymous, and frankly we should be ashamed of ourselves. When it's anonymous you'd likely know it's illegal and modern slavery is involved, otherwise label it. Australia can and we must do so much better.

To conclude I want to share the plot of a science-fiction story. This is a sci-fi plot that marine researchers recently put together to attempt to visualise possible futures for our oceans. A company bioengineers and copyrights a new species called Super Tuna. Underwater drones act as sheepdogs, herding the fish along their migration routes, and artificially fertilising prey supplies as they go. This might sound utterly ludicrous, but the way we produce seafood is already verging on dystopia.

In Australia, we lasso schools of wild baby bluefin tuna in huge nets and toe them to floating farms where we fatten them to precise Japanese eating standards. Humans are starving across the planet, yet we feed almost every single fish caught by the largest fishery in the world, the Peruvian anchovy fishery, to cattle and farmed salmon. And more than 70% of the plastic that washes up on Australia's beaches comes from Indonesia. And ironically a lot of it has Australian labels because we shipped it there in the first place because we didn't have the factories to recycle it. It has come boomerang right back to us.

Millennia of innovation have landed us here at the absolute nadir of ocean exploitation. We've thrown every last scrap of technology and intellect at the ocean to dredge up its last remaining prizes. We have almost lured that last sea creature from the deep. Soon we may turn to the ocean for more of its bounty, just to find there's nothing left.

Now is the moment to stop, now is the moment to think. The super predator must become the super defender.

I discuss climate change in my last essay. Now we must address overfishing and plastics. We defeat these two giants, we win the oceans forever. The accountability, transparency and governance which we expect from every company on the Australian stock exchange must apply to our oceans. We need to figure out the rhythms and movements of our sea life and then carve out serious large-scale marine reserves that enables these species to both recover and flourish. We need to protect these areas with the same diligence we protect our own borders. We need to be sharing economic and satellite data, sharing science and sharing enforcement resources. We need to understand the immense value of our oceans and its tremendous resources.

It's time to light up our seas, to heal our ocean environment, to stop the destruction of our ocean, to light it up, and this time for good.

Geraldine Doogue: You've been listening to the second of this Boyer series, Rebooting Australia: How Ethical Entrepreneurs Can Help Shape a Better Future. It's presented by Dr Andrew Forrest. I'm Geraldine Doogue. I do hope you can join me at the same time next week, when Dr Forrest addresses the issue of inequality.

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2 hours ago, huey 2 said:

Satellite images used to cost thousands of dollars, and even then we had to wait days for them, assuming the military didn't just jump the queue. By the time you had your image, the guy doing the illegal fishing had long gone. But satellite data is increasingly lower cost, quick to access, and much higher resolution. Some satellite technologies can find illegal fishing boats based simply on the brightness of their lights, and other satellites that measure the roughness of the planet's surface can detect the presence of any ship, 24 hours a day, regardless of the weather and regardless of whether or not its location pinger is on.

The comms cost is more and more becoming the unexpected new development of this edition of the VG. Ironic when I figured it would be about foiling. Thanks for the long post (it was surprisingly easy to read).

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On 2/15/2021 at 8:24 AM, Fiji Bitter said:

Bump.

Only 1 likey (from me) for this post? 

One of the best onboard reports yet, right from the heart, and a philosophical one as well.

And you know what, no so awfully English like some of the other great girls. "You know what I mean?"

Those with French partners seem less affected, unsurprisingly...

 

I'm fresh out of likes for today, but it's very cool B)

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On 2/16/2021 at 5:34 AM, stief said:

 Thanks for the long post (it was surprisingly easy to read).

yes indeed, the short version of Andrew Forrest  is also very memorable:

'Do we know what caused all the big fish to disappear from the Caribbean?'  he just shrugged, 'Nothing remarkable or noteworthy happened, they simply got eaten.'

 

exists a night fish or whale image on a monitor of oscar?
and by the way, helped oscar in the search of escoffier?

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Congrats, Miranda. Quite the history. 

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With her usual quiet, understated efficiency British skipper Miranda Merron completed the Vendée Globe solo round the world race quest this Wednesday night, breaking the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne, France at 22:16:51hrs UTC after 101 days 8hrs 56mins 51secs at sea to take 22nd place in the race on her IMOCA 60 Campagne de France. She finishes 21d 5hrs 12mins after winner Yannick Bestaven and 1d 12hrs 48mins after 21st placed French skipper Clement Giraud. 

Her result is highly commendable and fulfils the simple target she set herself, to finish the course bringing her boat and herself back to Les Sables d’Olonne in good shape, having fully embraced and enjoyed all of the challenges that came her way on a race she considered she was peaking for at ‘just the right age for me’,  51 years old.

Backed by a leading French dairy and farming cooperative, Merron achieved her Vendée Globe success on a modest budget thanks to a carefully executed preparation period working long days and evenings alongside her hugely experienced life partner Halvard Mabire with occasional outside help. Largely unflappable on the water thanks to her tens of thousands of ocean racing miles and her naturally calm demeanour, Merron has cherished each day, and although she visibly missed her nearest and dearest, she proved a sailor well able to choose her optimal route and press hard enough to make good average speeds for her reliable, solid, boat without putting herself or her boat in danger.

Her elapsed time places her between that of Swiss skipper Dominique Wavre who placed seventh in 2012-13 at 90 days when her Owen Clarke design was newer and the 107 days of Rich Wilson on the last edition when the boat was Great American IV.  

The Vendée Globe is very much the peak of her ocean racing career, a professional career which really started in 1998 when she was part of Tracy Edwards 1998 crew to take on the Trophée Jules Verne record – alongside a young Sam Davies – intensifying in 1999 when she won the 50 foot class of the Transat Jacques Vabre with Emma Richards.

Back then the Cambridge educated Merron, was just ‘taking a short break’ from a flourishing career in advertising, working in Tokyo, Paris and Sydney. But she has never looked back since then and her own pride today is magnified by many of the sailors – both female and male – who she has sailed with over her 25 year career.

Starting out crewing for her father in an International 14 at the age of nine, by 1979 she had already completed her first Transatlantic, west to east as her family returned from Canada to the UK for her father to take up a new job,  At Cambridge she was a contemporary of Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper and double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, who reminded her during her Vendée Globe

“Back then who would have ever thought we would both have gone on to race round the world. We used to spend hours practising gybing in strong winds, I think we called it gybe ‘til you die!” Walker chuckled…

Since then Merron has raced the Route du Rhum with a career best sixth in Class 40 in 2014, the Transat Québec St Malo and the Volvo Ocean Race as navigator on Amer Sports TOO. She won the Transat Jacques Vabre, Quebec - Saint Malo, the RORC Transatlantic. As part of an all female crew of Aviva in 2009 they set a new record around the British Isle.

[snip]

And some 23 years later, Tracy Edwards last night expressed the feelings of so many of Merron's legions of friends and peers "You are my absolute hero.”  

Full article on the VG site

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On 2/17/2021 at 3:29 AM, haribo said:

exists a night fish or whale image on a monitor of oscar?
and by the way, helped oscar in the search of escoffier?

Not sure I fully understand, but OSCAR can only recognize disruptions in the wave patterns (so nothing under the water). Hoping to hear more about how well it worked this VG.

Have you heard more about why Boris Herrmann's systems didn't prevent his collision with the fishing boat? Not much i the English press recently, and our German anarchists have been pretty busy elsewhere recently.

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Best line from Miranda's presser

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Did you do any mental coaching or preparation or did Halvard coach you?
I'm 51 so if I don't know myself now, I'll never know myself.

Yup. No psycho-babble. (cred VG highlights)

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5 hours ago, stief said:

Not sure I fully understand, but OSCAR can only recognize disruptions in the wave patterns (so nothing under the water). Hoping to hear more about how well it worked this VG.

Have you heard more about why Boris Herrmann's systems didn't prevent his collision with the fishing boat? Not much i the English press recently, and our German anarchists have been pretty busy elsewhere recently.

it recognizes temperature differences in the infrared range, i.e. a delphin floating in the bow wave or a flying marlin in front would be an exciting picture, but I do not know whether they store pictures, and also not how far can be seen. but a rescue boat with a people at night must be well recognizable, or?

from boris you hear little here, once he said the fishing boat was green, and not red as it was depicted in the newspaper...

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2 hours ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

...there are more British women than French women to have completed the Vendée Globe

Yeah, but since Sam and Miranda chose French partners and homes. . . Miranda is trolling  :D

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13 minutes ago, stief said:

Enjoy the AC and Prada, and good sailing when you can, Varan. Thanks for your posts. Cheers. (Like the VG, I gotta see it to the finish ;) )

Yep, I got sucked into the AC mess. But don't worry. I'll be lurking here for a while longer. Still ski season, so it will be a while until we sail again. No traveling this winter thanks to covid. Please continue the good work you have done here.

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And congrats to Manuel Cousin, for livin' the dream. Nice escape from forklift sales, though maybe he can do something in sales of keel hydraulics, autopilots and halyard locks. He can probably find a few other disappointed clients once the others get ashore.

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'You have to live your dreams not dream your life away’
That was the maxim that drove Manuel Cousin to leave his life as an executive selling forklift trucks to major accounts with Toyota, to move from his native Normandy to Les Sables d’Olonne and pursue new goals ocean racing.
Cousin, 53, reached the pinnacle of that new life today when he completed the 24,365 nautical miles Vendée Globe, crossing the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne at 07:35:40 hrs UTC this morning in 23rd position. After struggling at times with a cracked rudder and more recently keel ram damage, Cousin’s elapsed time on Groupe SETIN is 103d 18hrs 15m. He sailed an actual course of 29,116 nautical miles at an average of 11.69kts. 

Having acquired a lot of technical knowledge after working in the automobile sector for twenty years, Manuel Cousin, a keen sailor since he was young, decided to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional sailor at a late age. Since the start of the race, his aim has been to complete the round the world voyage and throughout the adventure, the skipper of Groupe SÉTIN has shown determination, dealing with each difficulty he encountered.

He set off on 8th November at a fairly fast pace, as if he was about to sail across the Atlantic, but with the aim of sharing his experience with the public. The Doldrums were not kind to him, but Manu always had a smile on his face. “Before the start, I was worried about time dragging, but in fact, everything happens quickly,” he declared on his way down the Atlantic. He looked forward to dealing with the low-pressure systems in the South Atlantic and showed almost child-like amazement when he saw his first albatross. He kept pushing hard during the first few weeks, but was forced to slow down when faced with a series of problems.

“We quickly go from a feeling of total satisfaction to the impression that the world is about to fall in.” Incidents would in fact mar his performance in the race. On 11thDecember after passing the Cape of Good Hope, Manuel Cousin noticed a huge crack on the top of his port rudder, which forced him to carry out repairs during the night. He would not give up and attempted to set off again as quickly as possible, although at reduced speed.

In early January, his autopilot failed, causing the boat to broach and leading to a lot of damage, in particular to his mainsail. On 8th February, his keel ram rod gave up the ghost. He spent 48 hours carrying out repairs day and night, always with the lure of the harbour in Les Sables to motivate him. His race has been characterised by his tenacity in the face of such adversity. His goal has been to complete the voyage, and he has regularly expressed his satisfaction at what he has achieved. The Vendée Globe may not have been everything he imagined or dreamt of, but the memories of an extraordinary adventure will surely remain with him. “When times get tough, you wonder what you are doing here, but once you get back, you want to do it all over again. I have enjoyed myself so much. I never thought about giving up and always tried to find solutions to ensure I could sail all the way.”

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/22300/manuel-cousin-groupe-setin-is-23rd-in-the-vendee-globe

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210221-isabelle-joschke-imoca-macsf-2.thumb.jpg.e8eaf81d77dbe58fd57ea1d2133bc1ff.jpg

Isabelle is on approach to Les Sables d'Olonne: "I'm preparing to land"

https://isabellejoschke.com/isabelle-approche-sables-dolonne-je-me-prepare-a-atterrir/

"It's going well. Yesterday the conditions weren't simple: I passed a front with a strong north-westerly wind and a really tough sea, with very strong and violent squalls. It reminded me of the South Seas in fact!  There were 6 metres of swell forecast, I slowed down a bit to let the big one pass and I spent the night manoeuvring because the wind kept changing. Today it's cooler, I'm taking the opportunity to rest a bit. I'm getting ready to land soon and finish this long adventure. And before that I am also getting ready to take one last gust of wind. I'm going to have to go through a depression just before entering the Bay of Biscay tomorrow evening. I'm resting a little to be able to face this with all the energy I need.

The wind is going to pick up at the end of the day, it's going to rise slowly. It's going to blow hard until I enter the Bay of Biscay. I think it's not going to be easy. It's a bit like the final stretch. On the whole my boat is doing well but I still have the keel in line from Brazil. It doesn't help to get through the gales and squalls. The boat often goes to the luff, it's much less steep on the canvas. I'd like to sail faster but it's not easy. I'm going to play it safe in this last gale. I can't escape it, it's spreading out over a long distance and it's going to last for a while. The idea here is to try to get through before it gets too strong.

We communicate a lot with Sam (Davies), we give each other news throughout the day about our conditions, how we are sailing... Yesterday we agreed to cross this depression with the same strategy. But in the end, I will have to move a little bit, Sam unfortunately still has to be quite slow, as in the light airs, she doesn't really have the sail to move forward. She has no more solent, no more J2. She can hardly sail with her mainsail up I think... Yesterday we were 70 miles apart, so the distance has increased. So I'm going to pass in front of the bulk of the low and probably Sam will pass behind. We agreed that we wouldn't arrive together at Les Sables d'Olonne because of the constraints there. As we get closer to the coast, she also needs less escort. Of course we stay in contact but for the moment it's OK for me to get a head start and I'll probably arrive a day ahead of her.

I sometimes have some downtime. Yesterday it wasn't easy with a lot of manoeuvres last night. Today I am taking advantage of the calmer conditions to settle down and read. During my two months in the race, I read very little because I was very absorbed by the competition and also because I didn't have much on hand. Now that has changed. I am having fun at sea, I am relaxed, it is also part of this adventure, because there is no more competition. Coming back from Brazil was more of a convoy than a race. Afterwards it's true that I want to arrive as quickly as possible! I think it's great, it also allows me to prepare mentally for the return to land, to get off my boat and leave this Vendée Globe".

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

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Have been re-visiting various videos from this Vendee edition.

I made the mistake of doing this on lunch break (honest!) at work, where I use noise-cancelling headphones (as needed due to loud bullshitting in the office).

Then came across this clip from Day 2:

https://youtu.be/QIJmpD-bWmE?t=74

The sound (through headphones) from time mark 1:19 – 3:16 is unbelievably – immersive.

 

But even more compelling is Pip’s tour above (thanks Stief). One feels the call to do the same.

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12 minutes ago, jimmyuk81 said:

Sounds like a miserable time for Alexia with a nasty back injury. :( Sailing an IMOCA while having to crawl around on all fours can’t be a pleasant experience...

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/22309/sore-but-determined-alexia-barrier-struggling-with-back-injury

Ouch. Really bad

Quote

I fell on my lower back. The muscles on one side are damaged, that's for sure. I don't know if I broke the transverse bone which is a little rod that holds the ribs at the bottom of the back. It is not known if this is fractured or not. We can't do a scan at sea…not yet!  I know my kidneys are fine, I was able to do a urine test which revealed that I had no blood in the urine. I am taking codeine paracetamol. I wouldn't want the pain to get worse because that would mean taking morphine and then you lose control a bit. I'm not depressed or anything. I will soon have completed my Vendée Globe and that’s all that matters.

Good that race doctor Jean-Yves Chauve is prescribing her meds. Doping and the VG is a hot topic lately https://www.letelegramme.fr/voile/il-n-y-a-aucune-raison-que-la-voile-soit-epargnee-par-le-dopage-20-02-2021-12707778.php

https://twitter.com/desjoyeaux/status/1363477898368286726?s=20

 

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Sounds like a few "fun" days for Alexia. At least the weather seems somewhat reasonable. 6 days or so for her to arrive.

Ari is moving again. Another 5 or 6 days after Alexia. Not breaking any speed records, not breaking anything else either. 117(ish) days.
Go faster Ari! With a bit of luck you still an catch a foiler. (From last edition, 116 days 9 h and change).

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Ari very nice guy. I used to see him at various airports in as AF and FinnAir had similar flight schedules. Wasn't aware he sailed until meeting up again on Mini circuit 99-08. Good luck to him, hope he still has some food.

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not this time     but Vendee 2000.    when so many beaches in Potrugal are rocky ..

Echouage de Patrick De Radiguès / Patrick De Radiguès beached in Portugal

149894789_10164829973485187_3532618268457903035_o.jpg

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Great effort and very brave dealing with a loose keel in the south Atlantic. Hope she can go again.

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From a long Japanese article about Kojiro's sailing history and the current plans for his boat (thanks, gtrans)

Quote

 However, the idea after this becomes the true value of Kojiro. "I want to bring the ship to Japan, show it to the people who support me, and make them happy." Some team members said that they should bring it back to France and prepare for it four years later, but Shiraishi Was looking at something different. "My job is to make people happy and to cheer them up by showing them that it's okay to fail," he says. Shiraishi traveled all over Japan on his round-the-world racing yacht, which will be unveiled for the first time in Japan. And from that activity, we will be connected with the president of DMG Mori Seiki, the team owner of Shiroishi this time.

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/847112

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In 3 days the wind turns NE for Ari and after that a big high pressure, seems a bit unfair hasn’t the guy been through enough already!?

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2 hours ago, JL92S said:

In 3 days the wind turns NE for Ari and after that a big high pressure, seems a bit unfair hasn’t the guy been through enough already!?

Yes, it's really been tough since a few days before the Horn. (good review with AndiR here, yawns and all)

One of his latest tweets show he's still working hard to keep up with his super-happy sailor project. I imagine by now he'll expect the worst from the upcoming forecasts. Tough challenges for all these back markers.

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So tracker shows Sam sailing away from the finish. Makes sense since it's low tide in a few hours and dark now.

New dawn and day arrival. Good news is she has exceeded her goal.

"Sam Davies is expected this Friday February 26 in Sables-d'Olonne where she should cross the channel around 1:00 p.m. Her arrival will be followed live on our Facebook page. To date her #VendeeGlobe will have saved 1 ⃣ 0 ⃣ 2 ⃣ children and the clock is still running"

https://twitter.com/initiativecoeur/status/1364942535131545603?s=20

 

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Pain killers working for Alexia,

Funny that YT's auto translate had trouble with her enthusiasm. Nothing to do with American cowgirls fighting in Iraq. :lol:

(She says, Bravo Sam . . . Go girls, you rock!"; pic is a timestamped vid link)

346451330_ScreenShot2021-02-25at1_03_12PM.thumb.png.d92d9edbbf381fb91b7bcd1af1ee03af.png

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18 minutes ago, stief said:

So tracker shows Sam sailing away from the finish. Makes sense since it's low tide in a few hours and dark now.

New dawn and day arrival. Good news is she has exceeded her goal.

"Sam Davies is expected this Friday February 26 in Sables-d'Olonne where she should cross the channel around 1:00 p.m. Her arrival will be followed live on our Facebook page. To date her #VendeeGlobe will have saved 1 ⃣ 0 ⃣ 2 ⃣ children and the clock is still running"

https://twitter.com/initiativecoeur/status/1364942535131545603?s=20

 

I would encourage all give Sam like on any social medias, is worthy cause.

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Yes , Isabelle did the same....with a fair bit of swell good to get a bit of depth under the keel and  slow the movement.    Im sure Sam is in better condition but yes the right time  is tide and maybe daylight ...??  but hard to stay alert to other traffic now the gaol is in sight, if you let you guard down....lets hope all goes well...

400 for Alexia.....

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2 hours ago, stief said:

So tracker shows Sam sailing away from the finish. Makes sense since it's low tide in a few hours and dark now.

New dawn and day arrival. Good news is she has exceeded her goal.

"Sam Davies is expected this Friday February 26 in Sables-d'Olonne where she should cross the channel around 1:00 p.m. Her arrival will be followed live on our Facebook page. To date her #VendeeGlobe will have saved 1 ⃣ 0 ⃣ 2 ⃣ children and the clock is still running"

https://twitter.com/initiativecoeur/status/1364942535131545603?s=20

 

Was wondering about that until I looked back at the tracker...

 

Stief beat me to it.

 

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10 minutes ago, Corryvreckan said:

Was wondering about that until I looked back at the tracker...

Stief beat me to it.

Sorry, but what a marvellous way to finish. I knew she was a top, world class skipper, navigator, leader, etc., but this fish might just be the best yet. World Class. Talk about leveraging a miserable situation into a victory. . . 

Two to three hours to complete the heart track, then about two hours to return on her original trajectory to the finish line on on to the canal in time for high tide. Wind looks cooperative.

She's got my heart beating watching her execute such a plan. 

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30 minutes ago, stief said:

Sorry, but what a marvellous way to finish. I knew she was a top, world class skipper, navigator, leader, etc., but this fish might just be the best yet. World Class. Talk about leveraging a miserable situation into a victory. . . 

Two to three hours to complete the heart track, then about two hours to return on her original trajectory to the finish line on on to the canal in time for high tide. Wind looks cooperative.

She's got my heart beating watching her execute such a plan. 

pretty cool

image.thumb.png.f58332fd6e88c2d8ec75b91e144d9074.png

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She's showing Ben Ainslie how to calculate time on distance, over about 40 miles in order to catch the tide and daylight for her entrance and presser. :P 

Kudos to whomever came up with this finish strategy (suspect it was Sam). I vaguely recall prior examples of such tracker art . . . but this is a cunning stunt for the record books. Expect we'll see this imaged plastered everywhere for many years to come.

And to pull it off with broken ribs, keel, and boat . . . all for kids with broken hearts.

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almost done!

image.thumb.png.023fa584b00aa324206d8a362c10db50.png

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4 minutes ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

almost done!

image.thumb.png.023fa584b00aa324206d8a362c10db50.png

Yup, and now the trajectory to the finish. Expect she'll get back on the same heading she had earlier. I'd wondered why it was remarkably straight  . . . 

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goin around again!

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Thought maybe a box around the heart, but the north west edge would be straight upwind (unless she motors that leg).858686478_ScreenShot2021-02-25at6_45_11PM.png.e19892a37e10c790a5fa941f72e0a2e1.png733264020_ScreenShot2021-02-25at6_40_11PM.png.6142201941280696c4e0b85af92c38b9.png

Well, she sure has me guessing what will happen next :lol:

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3 hours ago, stief said:

Now what is she doing???? About to spell '102' for the hearts saved?

And of all the participants, her track is the right colour.
The 72 carat diamond at the right is a nice touch too.
1578601298_ScreenShot2021-02-25at5_16_00PM.png.1818cb7de7bea678f0aad641d8e6efca.png

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Good on Sam....to finish the job and get greater recognition for her sponsor.... Children need help from Adults ,  ..because the system of our world has scant regard for any one with no voice , and no power. ....

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Ari says some little points about Sam and Isabelle about their Mini....its always great hearing the bits of back stories...

But a hell of a hammering he has had, but moving forward with his Coffees...!!!    Gotta luv him...

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/22330/ari-huusela-my-last-24-hours-has-been-horrible?utm_source=email&utm_medium=cpm&utm_campaign=20210225-La-NL-quotidienne_-_EN

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