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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

Posted Images

10 hours ago, Tunnel Rat said:

An arrow?  What ever it is I love it!

True that. 

In the live presser, she laughs and mentions the panic messages she got as she began drawing the heart, some wondering if she was heading home to Lorient without finishing. She took those ashore by surprise too. But, no mention of the track after completing the heart. 

So, let's go with a "broken arrow." :P

This is what is:

1413040090_ScreenShot2021-02-26at9_35_37AM.thumb.png.8f351dc81d92748516c49ed9ef287bc6.png

Here's the "coulda shoulda woulda" 

419857626_ScreenShot2021-02-26at9_36_15AM.thumb.png.aaee220c211b3b7032a0bda264a7a64b.png

Edited by stief
added timestamp to presser
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Ari's project and sponsor won 3 awards last week. Hope that helps him through the next few days

Quote

Finnish Vendée Globe skipper and his main sponsor Stark have won the top categories in the Finnish Sponsorships and Events Awards the 18th of February.

Huusela’s Vendée Globe project was awarded as the Sponsorship of the Year and Audience Favourite in sponsorships.

The Jury evaluated more than 40 projects and selected Stark and Ari Huusela for the finals in three categories, Sponsor of the Year, Sponsorhip of the Year and Sports Sponsorship.

"An exceptional equation where stakes are high but results even tougher. The sponsor’s brand is influenced by a surprising connection, a huge visibility value as well as potential long-term effects. A great storytelling case that has provided it’s followers an extraordinary experience”,the Jury commented it’s coice.

https://www.imoca.org/en/news/news/ari-huusela-and-stark-awarded-as-the-sponsorship-of-the-year-in-finland

(apologies if previously posted--I checked, but didn't find)

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A huge thanks from me to all of the contributors to this thread for the analysis, routing and entertainment over the last 133(!) pages.

I haven't had anything to add but I have been following since the start. It's been great to have lots of English-language coverage gathered in the one place.

What a rollercoaster!

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16 hours ago, Eoin said:

I haven't had anything to add but I have been following since the start. It's been great to have lots of English-language coverage gathered in the one place.stumpjumper

What a rollercoaster!

Once again, this year has confirmed IMHO that this is the best place to follow Ocean races. 

As for posts, typically they are only 2% of the views (usually long Ocean race threads average about 50 views per post). Was a bit surprised by this, since the shitfighting entertainment that often uses up many pages and views, has been tame this edition, especially with the Sidney Hobart being cancelled.  Still, lots of action went  to the COVID, Brexit, Trump and, though less than usual so far, the AC threads. 

( @Nh stumpjumper can't see what there was to downvote in @Eoin's post. )

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4 hours ago, staysail said:

Sam's arrival at Les Sables. Well supported - an understatement!

IMG_9957.jpg

She got quite the welcome (even AndiR and Sam dared to comment in the Live Arrival about the local COVID measures). Still, I cringed every time one of the VG arrivals, tired and weakened, were exposed to the reality ashore. Fingers crossed--so far so good.

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Alexia 130 nmiles to go ...coming in from the north.

Ari 960nmiles to go.....Then the ocean is clear of Vendee sailors , but it wont be long before it all gets going again .... will 4 years seem short this time round..??

  Pretty blown away by the support for Sam....epic stuff

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Tracy Edwards arranged quite the welcome for Sam and her project from 9 of her 11 old Royal & SunAlliance (ex Formule Tag, ex ENZA) teammates. So many stories behind that team and trimaran.

Problem: Spent most of the last couple of days trying to name the nine speakers and figure out the original crew list.

Pic of the 1998 JVT crew, showing all 11 sailors. Screenshot linked to the large version; CDN $575 ;)

Screen_Shot_2021-02-26_at_1_44.35_PM.thumb.png.0ff86661f5812dd5d0a4dfe7fb044b7b.png

another Getty image by Mathieu Polak, also $575, here

Nine of the eleven 1998 Jules Verne Trophy attempt crew were named at their reunion in 2018, and also gave this great quote from Sam. 

Quote

“It was Tracy Edwards who made me want to try offshore racing,” Sam Davies, who today skippers Initiatives-Coeur and is about to embark on her 25th transatlantic race, said. “At the time, I was in secondary school, I sailed for pleasure and I did not even know that the Vendée Globe existed.

“Before, I thought that “going around the world” was for crazy people (laughs). But thanks to the experience I have gained in single-handed offshore racing, on the Mini and Figaro circuits, I felt competent and confident enough to do something even bigger.”

 Nine sailors appear in the tweet. Sam makes 10.

1. Tracy Edwards. Perhaps the most currently famed of many famed female sailors?

2.  Sharon Ferris Great vid about her sailing history

3.  Emma Richards. Now Emma Sanderson. She left Scotland to partner with Moose in New Zealand.  @Haji knows her history.

4. ? Mikaela von Koskull The Nordic warrior, now doing high latitude tours. Least sure she is this person, based on early photos.

5. Frederique Brulee Vive la France? 

6. Emma Westmacott The other Emma.

7. Adrienne Cahalan The original.

8. Miranda Merron. With her prized beer, of course.

9. Helena Darvelid (Helena and her partner Paul Larsen, the Vestas Sail Rocket man, are on Pip Hare's team)

Who is #11? 

Hannah Harwood most likely, but couldn't find a pic of her. Possibly another crew mate, based on the Maiden II JVT attempt in 2002,  is Anne Monmousseau.  Best link found of 2002 JVT crew showing 9 of the 13+ sailors Tracy wanted for this attempt

Confirmations, corrections, and completion welcomed. 
 

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Speaking of trailblazers, here's one not often mentioned: Dame Naomi James, "The first woman to sail solo around the world."

Westabout. 

Quote

At the age of 29 she received a damehood.

James had no sailing experience when she met her future-husband Rob in St Malo, France, during the summer of 1975. Born on a sheep farm [in New Zealand], she didn't even learn how to swim until the age of 23.

But just five years later, she began her circumnavigation aboard the loaned Spirit of Cutty Sark, renamed Express Crusader by her sponsor the Daily Express.

James suffered radio silence for 8000 miles heading south in the Atlantic. A broken mast and a capsize in the Southern Ocean, three months into the journey, helped her realise she was miscalculating latitude with longitude on her distance chart.

The final paragraph of her 1979 autobiography, At One With the Sea [no .ebook, sigh], summed up what the achievement meant.

"In attempting this voyage I risked losing a life that had at last become fulfilling; but in carrying it out I experienced a second life, a life so separate and complete it appeared to have little relation to the old one that went before. I feel I am still much the same person now, but I know that the total accumulation of hours and days of this voyage have enriched my life immeasurably."

James stopped sailing after winning the Round Britain race with her husband in 1982. He was killed in a nautical accident the following year, 10 days before their daughter's birth. In her last published interview, 10 years ago, she still lived in the house they bought together on Cork Harbour in Ireland.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/trailblazers/news/trailblazers-dame-naomi-james/ZLCXPVSME3HKLFZC5FSOX3MDTA/

Ouch. 

(another good link about her and Ellen MacArthur https://www.independent.co.uk/news/the-forgotten-dame-who-sailed-round-the-world-1530210.html ) 

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4 hours ago, stief said:

Tracy Edwards arranged quite the welcome for Sam and her project from 9 of her 11 old Royal & SunAlliance (ex Formule Tag, ex ENZA) teammates. So many stories behind that team and trimaran.

Problem: Spent most of the last couple of days trying to name the nine speakers and figure out the original crew list.

Pic of the 1998 JVT crew, showing all 11 sailors. Screenshot linked to the large version; CDN $575 ;)

Screen_Shot_2021-02-26_at_1_44.35_PM.thumb.png.0ff86661f5812dd5d0a4dfe7fb044b7b.png

another Getty image by Mathieu Polak, also $575, here

Nine of the eleven 1998 Jules Verne Trophy attempt crew were named at their reunion in 2018, and also gave this great quote from Sam. 

 Nine sailors appear in the tweet. Sam makes 10.

1. Tracy Edwards. Perhaps the most currently famed of many famed female sailors?

2.  Sharon Ferris Great vid about her sailing history

3.  Emma Richards. Now Emma Sanderson. She left Scotland to partner with Moose in New Zealand.  @Haji knows her history.

4. ? Mikaela von Koskull The Nordic warrior, now doing high latitude tours. Least sure she is this person, based on early photos.

5. Frederique Brulee Vive la France? 

6. Emma Westmacott The other Emma.

7. Adrienne Cahalan The original.

8. Miranda Merron. With her prized beer, of course.

9. Helena Darvelid (Helena and her partner Paul Larsen, the Vestas Sail Rocket man, are on Pip Hare's team)

Who is #11? 

Hannah Harwood most likely, but couldn't find a pic of her. Possibly another crew mate, based on the Maiden II JVT attempt in 2002,  is Anne Monmousseau.  Best link found of 2002 JVT crew showing 9 of the 13+ sailors Tracy wanted for this attempt

Confirmations, corrections, and completion welcomed. 
 

I reckon No. 4 is Hannah and Mikaela wasn't there. In the pic we have back row left to right, Miranda, Sharon, Helena, Hannah, Emma W, Sam, Miki, front l to r, Fred, Emma R, Tracy, Adrienne, and R and SA was a catamaran, not a tri.

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55 minutes ago, staysail said:

I reckon No. 4 is Hannah and Mikaela wasn't there. In the pic we have back row left to right, Miranda, Sharon, Helena, Hannah, Emma W, Sam, Miki, front l to r, Fred, Emma R, Tracy, Adrienne, and R and SA was a catamaran, not a tri.

Oops. Right, thanks for the catamaran correction (had been reading about Olivier de Kersauson's JVT attempt in a tri)

Re Mikaela Von Koskull, agree that's her on the back row furthest right. 

Accent also didn't fit. But, she changes her look, (bio pic and Maiden gala pic shown), figured she was worth a guess as #4.

image.png.8e1fabfc711c2a31db327cd139cf1771.pngScreen_Shot_2021-02-27_at_6_08.16_PM.thumb.png.041d248c729f47b4370515c28b7e5651.png

Interesting sailor.  Her career now lets her roam from pole to pole and to Portugal.

Quote

Mikaela Von Koskull

Expedition Guide 

Originally from Korpo, in the southwestern Archipelago of Finland, Mikaela inherited her love and respect of nature and sea, from a long line of seafarers in her family. She started her career graduating as Radio Officer from Mariehamn Maritime Institute, working on merchant ships,  followed by ship´s purser on passenger ships . Slowly she gained seamiles and experience to follow her real dream:To become a professional yachtswoman on sailing yachts!

These yachts have taken her around the world several times, participating in races like the Volvo Ocean Race, Jacques Vabre and Jules Verne. Having spent so many miles and years on fast, extreme yachts, both in the Northern and Southern Hempishere, she now enjoyes being part of similar expeditions , although on somewhat slower ships.

Since 2009 she has been working as a tour guide, mainly in Europe and Africa, as well as zodiac driver in Svalbard and Greenland. When not enjoying her two favourite areas, the North and the South Pole, Mikaela enjoyes being at home on her small farm in Portugal, riding her horse or hiking in the Alentejo countryside.

So Hannah is now the best guess for #4   . .  apologies if you know this for sure.  Any chance you ran across a link to a pic?

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Alexia Barrier now within the 60nm/5 min update circle. 53 nm DTF @ 10 kts.

Weather is a bit rough, close reaching in 20 kts of wind. Sea state forecast looks OK, so that should help with her back problems.

High tide in 3 hrs, so that helps her get right in. Guessing she won't delay and do some tracker art :lol:

Looking forward to Andi Robertson notes on her sailing history, and a great welcome home.

Link to her pre race interview, about her sails, med kit, "Yann Eliès" grab bag,  and how this has been her dream since she was 10 yrs old.

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14 hours ago, stief said:

Once again, this year has confirmed IMHO that this is the best place to follow Ocean races. 

As for posts, typically they are only 2% of the views (usually long Ocean race threads average about 50 views per post). Was a bit surprised by this, since the shitfighting entertainment that often uses up many pages and views, has been tame this edition, especially with the Sidney Hobart being cancelled.  Still, lots of action went  to the COVID, Brexit, Trump and, though less than usual so far, the AC threads. 

( @Nh stumpjumper can't see what there was to downvote in @Eoin's post. )

My mistake. Bleary eyed punching at an ipad screen after a couple of whiskeys.  Rectified. 

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Alexia Barrier On Final Approach

The back injury? 
I was offered a wheelchair for the pontoon but no thanks I think I can walk. I might have a stick. Once the arrival protocol is complete, I will go directly for my medical examination. There has been some improvement in the last few days, but it's far from good yet. I can't live without the drugs… I try to eat well when I take the drugs, I also drink a lot of water.

Are you going to be able to draw a penguin before entering the Sables d'Olonne channel !?
I loved what Sam did, she is really smart! I thought about it for the penguin but I'm in too much of a hurry to go home, it will be for next time!

:o:o:o

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Congrats on successful completion.

Nice highlights vid (didn't know she almost lost the mast when a runner broke).

 

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Ari   766 nmiles to go      it feels so strange to now have him as the only person still on the race course..... and no problems with the boat and sailor to report. 

    and the new leader.  as Stief commented...

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1 hour ago, Corryvreckan said:

When Ari arrives, we'll finish with a Finnish finish.

No place for such Stark ravings. :lol:

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Stark Snicker :P

Anyhoo, Ari trying to get under 600 nm DTF, and also working on selling the boat:

Quote

I don’t think anyone will bring their boat back in as good condition as yours, that is an achievement?
Yes, that was my goal because of the personal financial crisis (laughs) to get here. I have to do it this way. Miranda was the same in terms of her approach. But the good thing here is that a next owner can take the boat and be training immediately for the Transat Jacques Vabre, they can get started.
Have you sold the boat?
Not yet but I hope to soon so that we don’t have to worry about things. I have tried to connect with Cali (Arnaud Boissières, who is based in Les Sables d’Olonne and who Ari bought the boat from) so I can leave the boat here and someone from his team can look after the boat and show it to anyone who is interested. Cali knows the boat well as he had it for a while. Rich Wilson bought the boat from Dee and then put it up for sale, Team Plastique  had it for Alessandro di Benedetto but could not get the funding to do the race, so then Cali had it  (or part of it) before he had a better option to buy the boat he has now and put foils on it. I bought it from Team Plastique. I like Cali he is a good guy who has done an amazing job on the Vendée Globes. He is amazing.

more at https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/22360/a-fastnet-and-a-little-bit-to-go-for-ari-huusela

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21 hours ago, stief said:

Congrats on successful completion.

Nice highlights vid (didn't know she almost lost the mast when a runner broke).

 

Amazing that Alexia makes 4 official women finishers, double the previous record.  And all 6 women who started crossed the finish line solo.

The  total number of finishers looks like it will be 25 of 33, again a records for the highest number and the highest percent (75%) of finishers.  This even after all the concern about more UFOs early on in the race.  The boats must be becoming more reliable?  Are skippers / teams more prepared?  Is better weather information / routing software protecting the boats more?

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1 hour ago, tama_manu said:

Amazing that Alexia makes 4 official women finishers, double the previous record.  And all 6 women who started crossed the finish line solo.

The  total number of finishers looks like it will be 25 of 33, again a records for the highest number and the highest percent (75%) of finishers.  This even after all the concern about more UFOs early on in the race.  The boats must be becoming more reliable?  Are skippers / teams more prepared?  Is better weather information / routing software protecting the boats more?

Lots of good questions--hope we can get an authoritative answer. With no inside knowledge, here are some initial impressions: 

--Indian and Pacific legs were relatively 'easy.' N. Atlantic (Theta, and Biscay on the return), were more brutal but closer to help. That helped a bit. Pip, JLC, and a few others (will have to check--thinking of Charlie,, Louis at Macquarie) figured they would have to drop out, but successfully completed, maybe because they trusted the ice line and the ANSO cycle predictions more. Their risks payed off. Even Sam, Isabelle managed to complete the circuit, despite risky keels.

Better comms definitely helped. Other than JLC (only one who seemed to be quiet when maybe he could have asked for help about his delimitation), I think almost all finishers mentioned better support from shore and other skippers--both technical and personal. Would there have been more mistakes and fewer finishers without the help? No way to know. Ironically, and sadly, this was not enough for arguably the most prepared boat, Herrmann's. 

Better race support seemed to play a role too. The key here might be Seb D. His builder advised that his boat was safe enough, and it seemed he was going to head for the Horn, but race management seemed rather to discourage him. Race management advised Clarisse and Maxime to hold back for Biscay. This had been done in the past according to Dee Caffari (in a Live, somewhen, IIRC), but perhaps more openly this time. The race doctor really helped Alexia finish. In any case, the boundaries of "outside assistance" seemed to shift and in favour of skippers being able to complete the course. Since the Jules Verne Trophy and any individual is free to go RTW anyway, seems like the VG's stance here is a reasonable evolution.

--I don't think the boats are more or less reliable, or prep was better or worse. Old boats like Seb D's, Pip's and JLC's failed as often as new boats like Alex's, Jeremie's, Sebastien's and Nicolas.' Still, keel and halyard lock failures seem high. If they are, that seems a supply issue, rather than a boat prep one. Frankly, expected uncertainty over COVID restrictions to have been the scapegoat here for prep failures, but that happened less tan expected.

--The skippers in general were more cautions, as we saw early on with Theta. At the time, it seemed worrisome that skippers were saving their boats-- so it could break near Point Nemo? Anyway, the mantra of 'first you have to finish' looks like it paid off. 

Best example is Ari. To be the first Fin to finish, first the Fin has to Finnish. There are many honorary Fins this time.

Short answer (guess): better weather, comms and management encouraged skippers to be more cautious and helped them fix problems. 

And of course, duh, with the leaders out early, the others weren't pressured as much to keep up.

 

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Nice little debrief from Sam and Romain about their races

Comms:

Quote

Sails and Sailboats: Did you call yourself regularly? Did you have a protocol to communicate with each other and your nine-year-old son Ruben?

Romain Attanasio: We wrote via WhatsApp. On the other hand, we had a Skype call all three with Ruben almost every Sunday night, and which was kept at home in Brittany by Sam's parents.

Samantha Davies: We almost never called each other. In fact, when you are racing and your spouse is on the ground, there is a gap, and it is you who calls to hear from you, talk about everything and nothing. It's not the same thing at all when you are two racing in a Vendée Globe. We're in the juice, we don't have too much time to chat. And then when Romain arrived (20 days before), I thought he was going to call me all the time, but in fact he didn't dare. He didn't want to show off saying that he had finished and not me. We just had a daily summary by email, and he sent me photos...

Mast climbing (a bit more info). Rotating mast factor. Not sure about "nerve."

Quote

Sails and Sailboats: But how do you explain that there have been so many sailors to climb on the mast, more than 25 times I think?

Romain Attanasio: There were many problems with the J2s and in particular the fall nerve that ended up breaking by dint of the sails, with the hooks, with the winding cakes, the trolleys, the aerials... but we will have to wait to debrief to better understand. And then I think that when you have a mast that doesn't rotate and that was my case, there are torsion phenomena on mainsail carts in particular, and it doesn't help.

Samantha Davies: We used the J2 (the intermediate front sail) a lot in the South, because under gennaker you go too fast, and so you pass under J2 and overload. As the masts are more and more on the rear, the front sails are getting larger and larger, not far from the surface of the J1 (planned for the medium).

Sounds like Sam will not retire: she looks forward to getting the best out of her boat. Or maybe she really does want to 'shoot' it. 

Quote

Samantha Davies: Do I want to redo the Vendée? This was our discussion on the road when coming to Paris (laughs). After my crash, I really wondered if I wanted to continue touring the world race... I had the chance to continue and complete this Vendée Globe. I must validate the choice of my co-skipper for the Transat Jacques Vabre next November. When I left Cape Town, with my ribs broken, I could not shoot the boat. I was in fast convey mode, so I can't wait to get the quintessence out of it again. I learned a lot about him, but I still have to learn to make a great Route du Rhum in 2022.

Snips from Safari trans of V&V article (also noteworthy Sam mentions Neal Macdonald's description of HB keel problem)

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5 hours ago, stief said:

Nice little debrief from Sam and Romain about their races

Comms:

Mast climbing (a bit more info). Rotating mast factor. Not sure about "nerve."

Sounds like Sam will not retire: she looks forward to getting the best out of her boat. Or maybe she really does want to 'shoot' it. 

Snips from Safari trans of V&V article (also noteworthy Sam mentions Neal Macdonald's description of HB keel problem)

He is talking about the "nerf de chute"; in English, I believe it is called the "leech line", to avoid fluttering of the mainsail (or stay sail) leech.

Also, when Sam is saying that they are "in the juice", she means being in the thick of it. Then you do not call your partner...

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 Ari now within the 200 nm/30 min update circle. Less than a day should see him Finish, though the conditions do look light. 

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Ari150 nm.  .......wishing him the best as he sees the breeze stay light and keeps him in the Path of Shipping and Fishing...

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1 hour ago, huey 2 said:

Ari150 nm.  .......wishing him the best as he sees the breeze stay light and keeps him in the Path of Shipping and Fishing...

is he sailing direkt to finnland?

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We're back online?

Quite the disturbance in the forums. Anyone else put their head outside and hear thousands of isolated voices crying out in withdrawal? 

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Congrats Ari. The show at the end of the press conference was a major cringe, with bad dancing and singing. After all you'd been through, had hoped for a better ending to a good edition.

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ari-huusela-at-his-press-conference-c-16 © Olivier Blanchet / Alea

Ari Huusela on his welcome, his race and his pride in his team.

05 March 2021 - 13:36 • 3532 views

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Article

The last skipper to cross the finish line of the ninth Vendee Globe, Ari Huusela was given a big, warm welcome as he returned into Les Sables d'Olonne to complete the dream he has held for 22 years since he first sailed a 6.5m Class Mini across the Atlantic. Here are the words of an emotional, touched Finnish skipper who completed an exemplary race as an amateur skipper who races across oceans solo for his hobby. 

At the pontoon, first words
I was crying most of the last night, I have been thinking about this for so long. I am so thankful to my team without them I would not be here, and to Alex Thomson who was the first one who pushed me and helped me a lot to start the project. That was the 2016 Helsinki boat show and since then we have been well connected and the next summer I got the chance to sail on his boat from Poland to Finland and with his team all these professional guys got me into this. Alex helped a lot.

premier-finlandais-a-finir-le-vendee-r-3

Tough moments?
The hardest boat was when the boat was slamming when the sea state was so terrible and confused, the boat was slamming, slamming at the time. I though the boat would break into pieces. And it was so uncomfortable to be in the boat at that time that lasted two or three days and I called Niina and I said had reached a point where I hoped the boat would break in two pieces and I could be rescued by a cargo ship, saving me.

ari-huusela-accueillit-par-le-public-r-3

 

Cape Horn was big?
Since I started to dream about this then Cape Horn has been such a big thing, and you start to think about what your chances will be to see Cape Horn when you are rounding it, the chances are not so big, it might be that you have to round a long way off or in the night time, but in the end I had perfect evening sun, nice conditions and I was able to go close and to talk by VHF to the lighthouse keeper and then I was able to see the lighthouse blinking and that was amazing. But climbing the Atlantic was quite tough but the conditions these last days have been what I was hoping for, I was so happy and the last two days have been champagne sailing.

In the media mixed zone
To have done the Mini Transats, the Route du Rhums, the Transat Jacques Vabre and finally now the Vendée Globe is just amazing. And now to have been to all the starts of this race since 1996 and now to finally have finished today seeing all these people on the sea, in the Channel and now on the land is just amazing, to be able to enjoy it myself. I am so happy Les Sables d’Olonne and the Vendée region arrange this race, and so to see these nice people from Les Sables d’Olonne taking care of us is just lovely.


A victory for the support of his friends and family
This is a big victory for me. It was already a victory for me to be able to start. Now I am the biggest winner. It is very emotional now, it goes so deep into your emotions. I am so touched to be able. Every evening, every night for the last four years I have gone to sleep thinking ‘am I able to finish this race, am I able to start the race. And then once I had started the race, every day I was wondering when it would stop, what might be the major catastrophe that stopped me, a whale of whatever, but I had some good luck, I had a well prepared boat with some good people, Joff Brown and Mikey Ferguson with whom I did the Transat Jacques Vabre with, learned me to sail IMOCA 60s, and my amateur team around me who are my friends, my colleagues, my closests, my family they are all amateurs. They have done such good work for the last four years, working so hard all the time to make me able to start and to make me able to finish. And of course I feel the pressure sailing that I can’t be the weakest link in the chain, I have to finish, also to be able to do it for them.

andi-robertson-recueille-les-premiers-r-

 

I am proud of my friends and the team and all the people who have followed me with encouraging messages, that has powered me up when I have had low days or low moods. These people have kept me going.
 

Airline pilot and safety
As an airline pilot there are a lot of things the same but the main thing for me is the way of thinking about safety. I was an aircraft mechanic, a maintenance engineer for many years and there you start with safety as the first priority. It is my way of thinking about things you are doing, it doesn’t matter if I am going flying or if I am going sailing. I try to avoid all the risks whether I am going sailing or going flying, that is the reason I am here with a boat which is in good condition and safely back here. It maybe took a bit longer

 

Press Conference
Ari Huusela:
Thank you to all the people that made this possible. The Vendee and the people of the Vendee

It is a big honour to close the course isn’t it?
It feels now like it is yes. To see the crowds on the channel when I came in felt really good. I did not imagine there could be so many people cheering me.

Getting to the start line is often the hardest, is that the case for you?
Yes, it was the case for me. It was really hard! 6 months before the start I did not have the main sponsor yet and we had the big keel change to do and no money for that. We were really close to shutting down the project but then in May we found our main sponsor and we were really busy getting organised.

90% of the time you said you were happy, tell us about your down moments?
The start of the race was really hard. The big front that we had to pass and after that front, I had a wipeout and mast on the water. It was a horrifying moment and fell from the upper side of the boat to the bottom side. I managed to save the boat, save the rig and continue sailing and a few days after that I woke up to a blackout on the boat, I had no electricity on board. Luckily we had the same situation one month earlier and I knew what to do and I had some spares and I could one by one recover those electrics and continue the race. It felt quite bad that in the first week you had a wipeout, almost lost the boat and then the electrics. You then wonder how you can survive around the world with these kind of things.

What stands out now when you look back at the race?
I just enjoyed staying there day by day with my basic routings. I felt good if the sea state wasn’t too bad and the weather conditions not too bad. I enjoyed it a lot. Maybe it was because I didn’t have any goal to win the race or be in a good position, I just wanted to finish and I had no pressure for that kind of things. I could enjoy the race that way

You are an amateur sailor, this is your hobby. What would your advice be to someone else coming in as an amateur?
First is to learn to speak and read French, it is a major thing! The second one is that you have to start with class Mini. That is a good path and a good way to start and you get known with the right people and get into this and it is much easier that way. And you have to be really good with the sponsors!

A few words about your sponsor, you won three sponsorship awards in Finland.  
It is hard to make sponsors believe in us. We did all what we could to make our sponsors happy and that was a big success. That was mainly because me and Niina (his partner) made communications and media. She is professional so she made such good work with that!

Give us a few words about the support of other skippers during the race?
It started a long time ago, at least five years ago with Alex and since then it has been continued with all the other skippers more or less. Before this race I spoke and met Alex a few times. I was scared to go to the Southern Ocean as it was my first experience and I did not know what to expect and I had heard horror stories. It was helpful to get advice from other skippers like Sam during hard time such as approaching cape Horn. It helped me a lot to hear their advice and to know that the other skippers are  struggling also so It wasn’t just me

You have a special deal with Sam Davies don’t you?
We have a special deal but we don’t tell it to you!

You are going to take Sam for a flight in your plane?
Yes when I was scared approaching Cape Horn and I had never experienced anything like that. I told Sam my fear and she told me she has more fear on an airplane so it can’t be so bad

Then I promised to take Sam into the cockpit to show how it looks when we pass storm clouds and that it is not so scary when you can see the weather radar and what is happening around.

Before your first Vendee, you said you don’t understand other skippers coming back again and again?
After this I am even more amazed of skippers that come back! I understand, it is such an experience and challenge and race. But when I am an amateur and this is my hobby. If we do it a different way, instead of working two jobs at the same time then it is the only way it can be possible to do it again.

You know for the next four years you have to take breakfast in bed to Niina?
I think even that is not enough!

What was the most challenging technical problem?
It was the technical electronic situation with the electronic systems blacking out. I knew how to fix the thing and continue but that was quite scary. When you start you accept that you might have to abandon the race on anyday, even on the first night. But when you fight through all this way and get to the Bay of Biscay then it is hard to accept that you are out of the race. So then the pressure rises as you go through the race as you don’t want to abandon having got so far but it is always possible

You must be the most popular Finn in France today, do you guys agree?  (question to the audience!). How does it feel to be popular for once Ari?
It feels quite stressful now, I have to behave and learn how to speak French and do a lot of things

You earlier said that Stark is ready to go again, it is completely fixed and there is nothing wrong with it.
That is true! That was my goal. First goal was to start the race and the second was to finish with a boat that is in a good condition because I need to sell the boat. I made all what I can and could during the race to keep the boat in one piece and that is the case now. There is even enough food for two crew and diesel for that race and almost all the supplies and spare parts to go again.  

What do you think about the welcome here in Les Sables?
It was really touching. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a huge amount of people come to see me. I want to thank you all and all who ade this. I will remember this for the rest of my life.

How did you manage to stay in good health?
I took it very easy so that might be the answer. I didn’t push the boat, I tried to enjoy the sailing and that is how my days passed by quite fast. I didn’t do as much work as the first skippers, that is the reality. If you change the sails several times a day then it is hard on your body in this kind of race. Chocolate helps too!

What is going to happen to the boat?
I hope that if someone wants to have a good boat that is immediately ready for training and the TJV and after that we can revisit it. It is a good boat for someone that wants to start approaching the next Vendee

 

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Must be fun to hear captain Huusela welcoming you aboard this Finnair flight to somewhere when you fly on Finnair... probably the only airline in the world to have a VG finisher commanding one of its planes...

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On 2/27/2021 at 10:30 PM, stief said:

Speaking of trailblazers, here's one not often mentioned: Dame Naomi James, "The first woman to sail solo around the world."

Westabout. 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/trailblazers/news/trailblazers-dame-naomi-james/ZLCXPVSME3HKLFZC5FSOX3MDTA/

Ouch. 

(another good link about her and Ellen MacArthur https://www.independent.co.uk/news/the-forgotten-dame-who-sailed-round-the-world-1530210.html ) 

Dame Naomi went eastabout. Dee Caffari was first woman to sail solo rtw westabout.

Incidentally, my friend Ben Lowings has recently written a biography of David Lewis that I am very much looking forward to reading now that I will have time to rediscover books*. He managed to convince Dame Naomi to write the forward for it.

There's an episode of the On the Wind podcast in which Ben is interviewed about the book. 

 

* perhaps...although hoping actual  sailing may fill up much of void left by the VG finish.

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And that's a wrap.
Looking at first and last boat through the finish a normal edition. Ari needed ~45% more time on the water. No record by any means but better than ~67% later from the last round.

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On 3/5/2021 at 7:27 PM, stief said:

Congrats Ari. The show at the end of the press conference was a major cringe, with bad dancing and singing. After all you'd been through, had hoped for a better ending to a good edition.

But it was better than him turning up to find almost everyone had packed up and gone home, surely? I think part of the "show" was an effort on the part of the organisers to demonstrate that his finish was no less important/impressive than any of the others, and part of it was the staff blowing off steam after a long period of hard work. There was a real "end of term" vibe in the race village on Friday. It's been super interesting to have been able to witness it all firsthand, and I feel really lucky to have had that opportunity.

Anyway, a few little observations from Friday:

I'm sure the relatively light conditions during his last few days helped, but Ari's meticulous and humble nature really shined through at the finish, from his having sorted out everything he needed to safely light handheld flares on the bow as he crossed the line, to having his dodgers on each quarter and the flags flying from the forestay before arriving at the dock. Most skippers left those tasks to their support teams. He's also the only skipper I noticed wearing a lanyard and id card, even as he was having his official portrait taken!

I may be wrong here (it's hard to recognise people with masks on), but I believe Sam was the only other skipper there to welcome him. Big props to her, as she had to set off well before dawn to drive down from her home in Brittany to be there in time. On top of that, she told me she'd been up all night looking after her son, who was ill. My estimation of her (already pretty high) is now through the roof.

Finally, the boat really did look in great condition and ready to go again, apart from this surprising growth (pictured) on the transom. Perhaps all the extra provisions he talked about still having were stored all the way aft?

Not long before the pontoon will be filled with Figaro 3s for the Solo Maître Coq...

IMG_0807.JPG

Ari_portrait_session.png

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Yeah Violette,.. shes pretty special.. then to Figaro....

the hardest part is the money then the rebuild then the pre races. ...then the start.....but she s now seen a bunch of gals do it....!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Little Bride of the Atlantic"

Six Years years ago She Passed....Not a Vendee Woman But at Route du Rhum Woman.   

 I had not quite remembered quite right the events of the Finish until re reading.... truly impressive...!!

image.png.aa554dc37900199826ca30af54b09276.png https://www.bateaux.com/article/20072/Deces-tragique-de-la-navigatrice-Florence-Arthaud-dans-un-crash-d-helicoptere

https://www.bateaux.com/article/20075/Florence-Arthaud-l-eternelle-Petite-Fiancee-de-l-Atlantique-1-2

https://www.bateaux.com/article/20076/Florence-Arthaud-l-eternelle-Petite-Fiancee-de-l-Atlantique-2-2

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  • 2 weeks later...

Marins des Cimes au Féminin 2021

210401-marins-des-cimes-166826372_1807939896045092_4443145123639394068_n.thumb.jpg.ba98a8b39fd55b69a9e4b6c340e7ff99.jpg

Sam Davies, Miranda Merron, Alexia Barrier, Isabelle Joschke and Clarisse Crémer

210401-marins-des-cimes-7B3A4759.thumb.jpg.199387746fa38e07dd87db21ea98a20e.jpg

 

 

Quote

https://isabellejoschke.com/marins-des-cimes-navigatrices-vendee-globe/

For the fifth consecutive year, Isabelle returned to the Buffère refuge in Névache (Hautes-Alpes) to experience a new edition of "Marins des Cimes au Féminin". A special event this year, as it brought together five of the six sailors who who took the start of the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe (Pip Hare was held back by the British government's health regulations).

The "Marins des Cimes au Féminin" operation, created in 2017 and sponsored by Sylvie De Ligondes (the first female sailor to complete a crewed round-the-world race), is now a traditional event for many female sailors.

(...)

 

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On 2/27/2021 at 5:30 PM, stief said:

Speaking of trailblazers, here's one not often mentioned: Dame Naomi James, "The first woman to sail solo around the world."

Westabout. 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/trailblazers/news/trailblazers-dame-naomi-james/ZLCXPVSME3HKLFZC5FSOX3MDTA/

 

She went eastabout. Not to take away from her achievements, just for accuracy

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