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51 minutes ago, Laurent said:

I am gutted for Alex; he has thrown more media outreach to us English speakers energy and effort on the VG than most, and maybe any, other sailor in this edition.

One has to wonder if he has reach the limit of what you can do by working "alone" in your backyard, when the competition is mutualizing effort. As said by others, there are "sailing academies" in France where all key IMOCA sailors are working together to get better: not only on the water, but also weather analysis, nutrition, sleep management, safety, boat tuning, etc.

When the rest of the competition is so well organized, trying out on your own, without getting into that virtuous circle of constant mutual improvement is making success even tougher.

Maybe I/we have overlooked or are not aware of the energy and effort thrown at the VG by all the other teams. I’m sure it is considerable, as they are out on the course now. 
I agree with you on the mutualizing effort and the ecosystem that France has developed around offshore racing. I would think that the club and inshore race structure must also be strong for development. Can anyone comment?

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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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7 minutes ago, Bebmoumoute said:

So what did the other foilers do in Theta ? They sailed the boat very very conservatively ? Clearly the Alex conservative is not the same as the other ones.

You know better than the engineers who designed the boat? Do you think it's the first time a boat sailed through such conditions? 

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56 minutes ago, Bebmoumoute said:

I also remember the images from the French Navy in the South in the 2016 VG, Le Cleac'h was sailing relatively flat and Alex was a lot more heeled with lots of sail area.

I got the impression that AT was capitalizing on the media exposure opportunity and did well with it at the time. Was certainly great to watch then and now. I’m sure we all questioned why all sails up at the time, until he ran around with the flag. Seems like it wasn’t a surprise for him. VG is a big business. 

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20 minutes ago, Geert said:

A few days after Theta their was an interview with the ATR team captain and he confirmed AT sailed the boat very conservatively. They have all the data from the sensors, so if he was wrecking the boat they would know. 

I would not be so sure about those after what I've been explained here about their limitations few pages back

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1 minute ago, Geert said:

You know better than the engineers who designed the boat? Do you think it's the first time a boat sailed through such conditions? 

Alex's boat, yes. It is common that newly built boats get problems. Give it another 4 years and it will be better. 

Again, sensors are tricky to set up. Not perfect.

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52 minutes ago, BozoC said:

He has now 4 years to make this one reliable (and not build another one that will break) and it will win because it's probably a very fast boat... 

Would be a big undertaking to redesign, and more importantly to take the deck off to replace that defective central beam. Anyone know if that is feasible? Then maybe 24 months to crash test it and rework as required. 

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1 minute ago, DVV said:

I would not be so sure about those after what I've been explained here about their limitations few pages back

I understand these limitations, But in my option the structural sttrenght of the bow should not get compromised as long as I don't push the boat that far that it loses its rig. Otherwise it's under dimensioned. 

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5 minutes ago, Geert said:

You know better than the engineers who designed the boat? Do you think it's the first time a boat sailed through such conditions? 

Never said that. Again, you are struggling to understand...

Where do you think it is more likely the boat broke then ? Also, how do you explain the amount of carbon spares he was carrying (Richomme and Le Cleac'h were really surprised by how much he had). They had very little confidence in the boat me thinks.

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6 minutes ago, troll99 said:

Alex's boat, yes. It is common that newly built boats get problems. Give it another 4 years and it will be better. 

Again, sensors are tricky to set up. Not perfect.

It's clear there are issues. But this whole discussion started with the insinuation that AT was the weak link in ATR's program. 

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1 hour ago, BozoC said:

..... and he already knew that the Hugo Boss boat was not really tested (they were adding pieces to the foilers just the week before the start) , will break (so he had to take 30 kg of carbon plate, glue.....) and was sure he will not win. He has now 4 years to make this one reliable (and not build another one that will break) and it will win because it's probably a very fast boat... 

....christ above. 

 

It has shown no evidence of being quicker than the other foilers - what brought that boat to the front was Alex being a brilliant sailor. 

You also assume the tech stays steady and no one builds a faster boat in that four years

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1 minute ago, Geert said:

It's clear there are issues. But this whole discussion started with the insinuation that AT was the weak link in ATR's program. 

Is it not contradicting that sensors showed it is ok to push the boat within limits but it still broke so it is not ATs fault?

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2 minutes ago, Bebmoumoute said:

Never said that. Again, you are struggling to understand...

Where do you think it is more likely the boat broke then ? Also, how do you explain the amount of carbon spares he was carrying (Richomme and Le Cleac'h were really surprised by how much he had). They had very little confidence in the boat me thinks.

Can you stop insulting me and try to have a constructive discussion. It does not matter where the boat broke. The question is if it was sailed beyond it's design limitations. Do you think a boat that breaks in its first storm is suited to sail the Southern Ocean? 

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6 minutes ago, troll99 said:

Is it not contradicting that sensors showed it is ok to push the boat within limits but it still broke so it is not ATs fault?

What's your point exactly? AT managed to push the boat in a way that's not captured by the sensors? 

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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 along the way, they knew that, tried anyway and shit happens. That makes me respect them more, not less. 

Full kudos to them, I hope they work it through and come back even harder. 

If you don't want breakages, don't go ocean racing in a sail boat. 

 

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I think the naval architects and engineers have a lot of head scratching to do. My opinion is the boat failed when it shouldn’t have. I doubt a skipper of AT’s calibre would have gone through Theta in that way if he didn’t have total confidence in his boat. IMOCA’s are known for being pretty much bulletproof, which is expected considering what they’re built for. Broken rudder from a UFO is just plain bad luck. I wonder if Charal and Kojiro’s technical teams are having similar questions along with VPLP.  
 

I think this one of the first VG’s where so many contenders for victory are out of the race. Jeremie, Thomas, Armel and Nicolas. Francois Gabart has transfered his lucky gene to Dalin..... for now, still a month in the SO to go for him and around 2 months of racing still to go. 

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The fact is that all new boats are in unknown territory in terms of engineering.  There was a huge jump in performance and loads on the structure from the 2015 boats and the architect can only make educated guesses based on past expériences.  No teams have the resorcess to fully explore numericly what a boat goes through.  The boats fly now at times 3 meters above the surface then drop off a wave weighing 7 tonnes.  It is insane.  It is just not that easy to understand and will take time to figure things out.  So we can't get our panties in a wad when a new boat breaks.

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1 hour ago, Bebmoumoute said:

We don't, but from past experience, skippers that sail their boats too hard often end up being "unlucky".

Bernard Stamm was like that, and he broke several boats. Alex was the only foiler to go throught hte midle of Theta. I also remember the images from the French Navy in the South in the 2016 VG, Le Cleac'h was sailing relatively flat and Alex was a lot more heeled with lots of sail area.

Wasn't this after he'd lost a foil?  IIRC, at the time the thinking was that he had to push the boat differently and sail at greater heel to compensate.

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1 hour ago, Laurent said:

I am gutted for Alex; he has thrown more energy and effort on the VG than most, and maybe any, other sailor in this edition.

One has to wonder if he has reach the limit of what you can do by working "alone" in your backyard, when the competition is mutualizing effort. As said by others, there are "sailing academies" in France where all key IMOCA sailors are working together to get better: not only on the water, but also weather analysis, nutrition, sleep management, safety, boat tuning, etc.

When the rest of the competition is so well organized, trying out on your own, without getting into that virtuous circle of constant mutual improvement is making success even tougher.

Ellen MacArthur mentions in her book several times that speaking French is the key. They don't lock you out because you are a foreigner, but it is purely a language barrier. MacArthur was well accepted into the French scene, and as we see clearly the French sailors respect AT. Nevertheless, and this might be your point, he is a unique personality doing his own thing. He skips some of the races, is not part of the mutual effort, and never has been. This is not because they don't want him, but because he does not want to be.

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4 minutes ago, AnotherSailor said:

is not part of the mutual effort, and never has been

Minor addition: Alex is still on the IMOCA board, and was key to linking IMOCA and the Ocean Race.

Quote

Alex Thomson, who is on the IMOCA class board, says the vote to allow the VOR to adopt the rule was “nearly unanimous. Only three out of 80 were against it.

more at https://www.yachtingworld.com/news/vendee-globe-imoca-60-designs-adopted-next-volvo-ocean-race-114319 and the forum .

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An interesting video (in english featuring will harris, co-pilot of sea explorer) that goes into the technical aspects of the boats and the process through which the sailors/teams develop their boats and prepare for the Vendee Globe,

Brings up the importance of training with others and comparing technical solutions

 

 

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17 minutes ago, yl75 said:

Maybe what Alex caught his rudder in was a drifting FAD (Fish Aggregating Device) ?

(or the debris from one, as they can be made of any kind of junk)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_aggregating_device

Do we know his rudder was caught in something? This is the first time I hear about that, which does not mean that it is not true, but please let me know if you have a source.

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11 minutes ago, AnotherSailor said:

Do we know his rudder was caught in something? This is the first time I hear about that, which does not mean that it is not true, but please let me know if you have a source.

yes :

Quote

"At about 19:00 UTC last night, I was averaging 21 knots, flying the small gennaker and one reef in the mainsail," Thomson said.

"I was down below when there was a huge bang and the boat broached violently. The steering system was jammed and all I could do was roll the sails away.

"Once on deck I could see the rudder blade was broken and swinging around with a large piece of fishing gear jammed into the cracks.

"So I think I must have hit something. It certainly looks that way. With this level of damage, a repair at sea is just not possible. We have to accept that this is the end of the race for us.

https://www.skysports.com/more-sports/sailing/news/30786/12145219/vendee-globe-british-sailor-alex-thomson-out-of-yacht-race-due-to-irreparable-damage-to-vessel

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4 hours ago, AnotherSailor said:

Ellen MacArthur mentions in her book several times that speaking French is the key. They don't lock you out because you are a foreigner, but it is purely a language barrier. MacArthur was well accepted into the French scene, and as we see clearly the French sailors respect AT. Nevertheless, and this might be your point, he is a unique personality doing his own thing. He skips some of the races, is not part of the mutual effort, and never has been. This is not because they don't want him, but because he does not want to be.

I did not want to imply that the French "sailing academies" did not want Alex as part of the group. I agree that it is most likely not the case. I believe it is his choice; or his way of doing things to stay based in the UK, on his own. And I am just wondering if by doing so, he is not inherently making things harder for him.

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I hope he can, what am I saying... yes we cam !

I love how this old sea wolf is still killing it out there. He's as roots as it gets in ocean racing these days as far as I'm concerned. He was one of Tabarly's sailors, an era ago. An old school guy who's lived and thrived through all ocean racing evolutions, very deep respect for this man, what a sailor... the stuff of legends.

Would be incredibly fantastic if he finished on the podium around the world with his boat.

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41 minutes ago, yl75 said:

Thanks for that find. It's also in the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph.(paywalled). Surprised the Hub and the VG site has nothing.

A fishing net! Gad, what a way to get caught out.

No blame to the engineers, team planning, Alex's seamanship, etc.

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19 minutes ago, Laurent said:

I did not want to imply that the French "sailing academies" did not want Alex as part of the group. I agree that it is most likely not the case. I believe it is his choice; or his way of doing things to stay based in the UK, on his own. And I am just wondering if by doing so, he is not inherently making things harder for him.

Laurent, watch the video I posted, Will Harris talks about training with the other imocas and the importance of that for him, they seem to be an including bunch (competitive though of course). Yes, it's Alex choice, but I wouldn't judge, he has to do what he feels is best for him... would he be less unlucky if he trained more with others ? Whos to know...

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1 hour ago, ant1 said:

An interesting video (in english featuring will harris, co-pilot of sea explorer) that goes into the technical aspects of the boats and the process through which the sailors/teams develop their boats and prepare for the Vendee Globe,

Brings up the importance of training with others and comparing technical solutions

Yes was a good discussion.  (posted and discussed quite a few pages back.) see here

And interesting to see Will a few hours later with Humphreys here

 

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Somewhat interesting. The detail that "the rudder blade was broken and swinging around with a large piece of fishing gear jammed into the cracks" was published Saturday November 28 2020, 6.00pm GMT (11 hrs) ago in the Times, and signed by Matt Dickinson. The Telegraph article, is dated an hour earlier (28 November 2020 • 5:42pm) also with a byline to a Tom Cary, @tomcary_tel. The Sky Sports report is by PA (Last Updated: 28/11/20 5:00pm)

The VG report is 28 November 2020 - 17:56 (FR time, I guess), but makes no mention of the nets, and is the same as shown on the Hub.

Oh well. Their boat, their game.  Sorry that the ATR felt the need to withhold that detail from the usual channels. 

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5 minutes ago, ant1 said:

Yes, very interesting. I wonder if we'll see Will Harris in the vendee globe one day.

He, and other VG aspirants, worked the last VOR as one of their "RaceExperts"  (much like he does now.). Will like to see all of them make the VG.

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2 hours ago, Laurent said:

I did not want to imply that the French "sailing academies" did not want Alex as part of the group. I agree that it is most likely not the case. I believe it is his choice; or his way of doing things to stay based in the UK, on his own. And I am just wondering if by doing so, he is not inherently making things harder for him.

Yes, I didn't think you implied that. I just reflected on your comment and thought about the reasons.  

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1 hour ago, stief said:

Thanks for that find. It's also in the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph.(paywalled). Surprised the Hub and the VG site has nothing.

A fishing net! Gad, what a way to get caught out.

No blame to the engineers, team planning, Alex's seamanship, etc.

And this forum missed that fishy net story too, until @yl75 got up for a piss early this morning, and couldn't resist checking and posting in this thread...

Anyway, I would think Alex and his team are still somewhat to blame. They decided against fail safe kick-up rudders, or even a spare blade. Maybe they were obsessed with another foil breakage, and lost sight of the bigger picture of overall integrity.

Does anyone know how many boats have a proper kick-up rudder, and/or if any have incorporated a replaceble  rudder foil system?

 

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Short of a major rule change I think you'll see the black boat going back in the shed for a top to bottom rebuild then coming out and doing every race possible for the next 4 years and then starting with Alex at the helm again next time.

What I'll be interested to see, given no-one except maybe Alex Thomson Racing and VPLP know the true potential of the boat, is how many of the ideas find their way into the next generation of new boats.

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17 minutes ago, Fiji Bitter said:

And this forum missed that fishy net story too, until @yl75 got up for a piss early this morning, and couldn't resist checking and posting in this thread...

Anyway, I would think Alex and his team are still somewhat to blame. They decided against fail safe kick-up rudders, or even a spare blade. Maybe they were obsessed with another foil breakage, and lost sight of the bigger picture of overall integrity.

Does anyone know how many boats have a proper kick-up rudder, and/or if any have incorporated a replaceble  rudder foil system?

 

HB Rudderz do kik up, but drag ov tangled fishing geer prezyewmably persisted

https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/220602/The-new-Hugo-Boss-boat-hits-the-water

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2 hours ago, stief said:

Somewhat interesting. The detail that "the rudder blade was broken and swinging around with a large piece of fishing gear jammed into the cracks" was published Saturday November 28 2020, 6.00pm GMT (11 hrs) ago in the Times, and signed by Matt Dickinson. The Telegraph article, is dated an hour earlier (28 November 2020 • 5:42pm) also with a byline to a Tom Cary, @tomcary_tel. The Sky Sports report is by PA (Last Updated: 28/11/20 5:00pm)

The VG report is 28 November 2020 - 17:56 (FR time, I guess), but makes no mention of the nets, and is the same as shown on the Hub.

Oh well. Their boat, their game.  Sorry that the ATR felt the need to withhold that detail from the usual channels

Good morning chaps,

it is hard to survive the Sunday morning breakfast without collapsing due to the overload of speculations here about the what’s and ifs about Alex, his team, the designers and all. Sounds to me (not my mother language but anyhow) like a lot of people here have more knowledge about everything, like composites, rudders breaking, masts tumbling, electronics failing and so on. Why are you guys not out there. At least giving it a try. 

@ Stief: appreciate most of your contributions but with your last sentence, please enlighten me about what you want to imply here?

Could it not be the case that it had been lost in transition? Or what?

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5 hours ago, Laurent said:

I did not want to imply that the French "sailing academies" did not want Alex as part of the group. I agree that it is most likely not the case. I believe it is his choice; or his way of doing things to stay based in the UK, on his own. And I am just wondering if by doing so, he is not inherently making things harder for him.

Not aiming this at you specifically Laurent, but this gets dragged out against Alex all the time, the French skippers love to mention "he doesn't come and train with us, so he's a bit of an outlier" which sounds very much like they want him to come to Lorient and bring his toys with him, which they wouldn't do if they didn't respect him as a sailor and team.

People then jump on this to say Alex hasn't trained enough, which isn't necessarily the case, Alex hasn't trained in public, he has been out a lot locally, and off out into the Atlantic, theres just no media fanfare around it because he starts and finishes in Gosport.... Social media was full of shots of the boat creeping in and out of Gosport and even Plymouth during the work up for the boat, but far less footage of it sailing because nobody followed it.

Yes he could go and compare himself against the French by being part of a training group, or participate in the run up publicity stunts like the Azimut challenge, but that would either mean decamping a lot of the boat team to France (and Alex supports quite a few local nippers etc)  or having to deliver the boat across the channel and around the corner each and every time they go sailing, which is irrelevant to their goal of winning the Vendée, Alex does do the ocean masters series, the big races, this years absence from the Vendée Artique was exceptional due to the rebuild of the boat, and the time being better suited for training than racing.

Rant over, back to the race, do we think the lower group of foilers are going to catch the higher "le cam lead" group?

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9 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

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 along the way, they knew that, tried anyway and shit happens. That makes me respect them more, not less. 

Full kudos to them, I hope they work it through and come back even harder. 

If you don't want breakages, don't go ocean racing in a sail boat. 

 

I think this hits the nail on the head. I don't think anyone fully understand the loading endured by the latest foilers. I don't think they expected to. What they've really missed this year is time on the water to learn and deal with the issues. The work around was to fit them up with more load sensors. Good approach in the circumstances.

We've seen issues. I think we'll see more. Hope I'm wrong.

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3 hours ago, Fiji Bitter said:

And this forum missed that fishy net story too, until @yl75 got up for a piss early this morning, and couldn't resist checking and posting in this thread...

 

 

Indeed the case ! ;) 

(had a dinner yesterday with a bit too much drink).

And to be precise got the link in the cruiser forum thread (just happened to get there to get a feel of it)

 

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So now that we can't sense Alex or his progress in the race in his HUB no more, some numbers have been published instead (looks like or seems like the boat's selling marketing campaign is just started...)

HBBoatNumbers.thumb.jpg.0773bd6b37a3bc4b183538ae4094c68f.jpg

https://www.alexthomsonracing.com/the-hub/boat-by-numbers/

MoneyCount.gif.335f99a77dafe72f6222a966a548b1c1.gif

Time to spend some cheerfull christmas vacations with his beautiful family kitesurfing in the Cape Verde's, Kenia or Cozumel...

With the SteelBull 3K miles astern (almost out and out of reach) and Darth Vader's spaceship out... Back to this amazing (but quite deccafeinated and quite bland sugarless) padawan race...

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10 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

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 along the way, they knew that, tried anyway and shit happens. That makes me respect them more, not less. 

Full kudos to them, I hope they work it through and come back even harder. 

If you don't want breakages, don't go ocean racing in a sail boat. 

 

applause.gif.b4d5f094cc019456ff0d06707a00247d.gif

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Looking at the last update, I was wondering if JLC position could give him an advantage also this time.

PRB has gybed, LinkedOut shows a lower VMG than JLC the last 4 hours, and it seems he will need to gybe soon. Arkea, Malizia and Maitre Coq also will need to gybe at some point.

JLC appears to be in a position in which he could be able to gybe later than these others, and may be even get close to Thomas Ruyan.

Do you think this makes sense or I got it wrong?

DVV

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4 hours ago, Fiji Bitter said:

Does anyone know how many boats have a proper kick-up rudder,

Al of them have I think a proper kick up on, but if you mean fused for hitting, read Potters comments, and I can add to his reasons;

If kickup gets activated your blade will stick out from the back, ready to be hit by every wave or being under loads due to boat movements. They are not under control at that moment. Creating enormous amounts of loads on the pivoting structure.
I came to a boatyard where they experimented with this, after a few months of testing it became evident that carrying a spare rudder was lighter overall. After talking to designer (Lombard) and experienced mini sailors, we tossed the idea.
But installation of a spare rudder is a mega job.

And finding the right fuse material was a pain. And impossible to find the sweet spot on the computer or even in real life.

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14 hours ago, yl75 said:

Jus watched below movie :

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2165236/?ref_=tt_urv

 

In fact it's not too bad ! the Imoca in the movie is one of the previous HBs I think (the one with the two cockpit entries, and lines in the middle)

It was actually DCNS, built at the same time as the HB Finot, for the 2008 VG. The film company chartered it during the 2012 start and followed the fleet out of the channel to get the crowd start scenes. 

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13 minutes ago, LeoV said:

If kickup gets activated your blade will stick out from the back, ready to be hit by every wave or being under loads due to boat movements. They are not under control at that moment. Creating enormous amounts of loads on the pivoting structure.

From the onboard videos I have definitely seen some skippers leaving the windward rudder in the ‘kicked up’ position. You could understand why they don’t want to risk UFO damage for both rudders at once, plus additional drag and pilot loading / power consumption. 

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4 minutes ago, Snowden said:

From the onboard videos I have definitely seen some skippers leaving the windward rudder in the ‘kicked up’ position. You could understand why they don’t want to risk UFO damage for both rudders at once, plus additional drag and pilot loading / power consumption. 

Yes, they lift them up, that is not happening at the moment of fuse going bang. I presume they lift them up when they are in the air or under light loads.

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14 hours ago, Bebmoumoute said:

That's a hell of a marketing analysis... some videos on youtube are making 100k views (vs 20/30k for other ones)

You should know that in France, the sponsors ROI is based on one month race village (ok not this year) that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the country (most of them non sailors), the fact that the race start is on national and regional TVs, for the whole duration of the race, it is also on national TV (news, sportshows, weather forecast (!!!), etc) on a daily basis, on local and national newspapers as well, thousands of teachers follow the race with their call. We are talking millions of people following the race (and therefore the sponsors).

So the best performer on youtube... believe me nobody really cares.

This system allows the IMOCA class to thrive. It is mostly based on 2 races, the Vendée of course and the Route du Rhum. The transat Jacques Vabre is also there, but way less important. The audience you get allows smallish companies like PRB to sponsor an IMOCA skipper since 1992 (5 competitive boats built so far), and to win it twice (remind me what race have Alex and Hugo Boss actually won ?).

I have also read somewhere on this thread that Alex is the king of the class, and that without him it would struggle... Allow me to laugh !!! It is very good to see a competitve brit, but the class would be the same without him, thanks to the French offshore academies.

Finally, lots of people have said he is unlucky, but I can't help myself to see that he was the only foiler to go in the middle of the tropical storm, and he broke the structure... Maybe he should go train with the great Loick Peyron, who's motto is "Fast but not furious'.

Good background on the VG, thanks. I'm not into Marketing as you had figured out. 

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On Teachers and school classes following and even visiting boats.
How many kids to they get into contact with the sport...some fans for life. Not many teachers are using football in class on this level I think...
Sometimes in communication of the French skippers they seem to explain simple facts, then I always think; they just did a call to a school before...
(example Dalin talking about seasons).

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15 hours ago, Coconuts.is said:

He probably has not declared officially to the race direction that he has retired.  That way he can take advantages of media and rankings until he arrives in cape town.  

There might also be a money play... but not sure, how, or if any you receive for making to the longitude of cape town.  It is a fact that all skippers receive 10 thousand euros after crossing the equator.  

That bonus is not in the NOR article 16?

 

NOR article 16.png

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8 minutes ago, LeoV said:

On Teachers and school classes following and even visiting boats.
How many kids to they get into contact with the sport...some fans for life. Not many teachers are using football in class on this level I think...
Sometimes in communication of the French skippers they seem to explain simple facts, then I always think; they just did a call to a school before...
(example Dalin talking about seasons).

The Vendee Globe itself has a kids website: https://vendeeglobejunior.vendee.fr/

Some teams provide school kits to teachers (wall maps, paper boat models, etc etc):

https://www.initiatives.fr/demande-kit-pedagogique

https://www.apivia.fr/voile/projet-pedagogique/

https://www.charalsailingteam.fr/kit-pedagogique/

https://louisburton.bureau-vallee.fr/telechargez-gratuitement-votre-kit-pedagogique-je-decouvre-le-monde-des-oceans-avec-louis-burton/

Theere is also a very active FB group (5000+ members) where teachers share resources: https://www.facebook.com/groups/589307235331408//

I also think some of the skippers talk with classes on a regular basis.

 

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2 hours ago, JonRowe said:

Not aiming this at you specifically Laurent, but this gets dragged out against Alex all the time, the French skippers love to mention "he doesn't come and train with us, so he's a bit of an outlier" which sounds very much like they want him to come to Lorient and bring his toys with him, which they wouldn't do if they didn't respect him as a sailor and team.

People then jump on this to say Alex hasn't trained enough, which isn't necessarily the case, Alex hasn't trained in public, he has been out a lot locally, and off out into the Atlantic, theres just no media fanfare around it because he starts and finishes in Gosport.... Social media was full of shots of the boat creeping in and out of Gosport and even Plymouth during the work up for the boat, but far less footage of it sailing because nobody followed it.

Yes he could go and compare himself against the French by being part of a training group, or participate in the run up publicity stunts like the Azimut challenge, but that would either mean decamping a lot of the boat team to France (and Alex supports quite a few local nippers etc)  or having to deliver the boat across the channel and around the corner each and every time they go sailing, which is irrelevant to their goal of winning the Vendée, Alex does do the ocean masters series, the big races, this years absence from the Vendée Artique was exceptional due to the rebuild of the boat, and the time being better suited for training than racing.

Rant over, back to the race, do we think the lower group of foilers are going to catch the higher "le cam lead" group?

nope

Boat wasn't pushed hard enough in the training. Plus it was on land a while after the Rhum breakage. Not enough time for this Vendee. It will be fun to see the boat in Vendee 2024. AT doesn't need to train his skipper skills, he has it in spades. New cockpit, lines, electronics, wiz on the hand.. a lot to take in :lol:

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Alan Roura was on the Live FR, he had a major leak  in his keel system and oil is all over the place, he managed to repair but now has to clean everything, he looked truly exhausted, starting 16:30 :

 

 

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Weather update

So how did the LP-zone impact the race? The rankings got shuffled, DTLs declined for a lot of boats. But Dalin extended again his lead and has not dropped off the LP yet it seems. In pic 1 you can see who won, lost or was steady of the top-15 this morning when comparing the Friday 0900 schedule with that of this morning. Escoffier, Bestaven, Burton, Simon and Seguin did good business. With DTLs declining from 19% up to 25%. Herrmann, Davies, Pedote, Dutreux, Sorel and Joschke 6% up to 10% decline of DTLs. Ruyant with 1 foiler had an increasing DTL. 

Pic 2 has the weather routing details to Keguelen for the 09:00 positions. Dalin projected to extend further. Followed by Ruyant and later that day the pack Le Cam, Escoffier, Bestaven and Burton.  

The LP is rotating slowly east, most boats have dropped off, but not Dalin. Next Tuesday is interesting as this system could again cross the path of Dalin. Could force a detour a bit to the north. See pic 3.

A HP-zone is coming in after the LP-zone. Currently impacting Le Diraison. The pack behind Ruyant is OK and will stay ahead of it. But Cremer probably not. See pic 4. Same for other boats more to the west like Roura, Attanasio, Thomson.

Pics 5 and 6 with ECWMF and EUMETSAT from this morning.

Delta DTLs 291120.png

Weather routing 291129 0900.jpg

Schermafdruk 2020-11-29 12.07.33.png

Cremer 291120.png

EUMETSAT 291120 v3.jpg

ECMWF 29-11-20 compressed.jpg

Edited by Herman
Forgot 2 pics
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1 hour ago, LeoV said:

And finding the right fuse material was a pain. And impossible to find the sweet spot on the computer or even in real life.

This!  People criticizing HB's rudder fuse clearly have not worked extensively with the problem of tuning them for ocean racing yachts.  These are not Hobie 16 problems.  There is no pop-up rudder solution that will reliably deliver a well preserved blade regardless of what it hits at every speed.  There's a big difference between hitting a sunfish at 15 knots, a whale at 33 knots and a container or galvanized fishing rigging at 20 knots, and you don't necessarily want it to kick up every time you hit a patch of sargassum.  The fuse is insurance, and the policy may not always cover the accident. 

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3 hours ago, Matagi said:

Also highly recommend the video on how bad IMOCAs are aerodynamically, among other interesting bits.

https://youtu.be/lOshB0esXvg

Thanks--hadn't seen that. No idea yet how credible he is, but he sure communicates the complex issues of IMOCA aerodynamics well enough in a few minutes.

Laughed at his closer: 

19:34 I bet if you ask the people that implement them and design them and say, "Well why is that there? Why haven't you done it somewhere else?"

And when the answer is "Well, it's always been done like that," you know that it's wrong and it's just traditionalism and it needs to end."

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16 hours ago, Bebmoumoute said:

That's a hell of a marketing analysis... some videos on youtube are making 100k views (vs 20/30k for other ones)

You should know that in France, the sponsors ROI is based on one month race village (ok not this year) that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the country (most of them non sailors), the fact that the race start is on national and regional TVs, for the whole duration of the race, it is also on national TV (news, sportshows, weather forecast (!!!), etc) on a daily basis, on local and national newspapers as well, thousands of teachers follow the race with their call. We are talking millions of people following the race (and therefore the sponsors).

So the best performer on youtube... believe me nobody really cares.

This system allows the IMOCA class to thrive. It is mostly based on 2 races, the Vendée of course and the Route du Rhum. The transat Jacques Vabre is also there, but way less important. The audience you get allows smallish companies like PRB to sponsor an IMOCA skipper since 1992 (5 competitive boats built so far), and to win it twice (remind me what race have Alex and Hugo Boss actually won ?).

I have also read somewhere on this thread that Alex is the king of the class, and that without him it would struggle... Allow me to laugh !!! It is very good to see a competitve brit, but the class would be the same without him, thanks to the French offshore academies.

Finally, lots of people have said he is unlucky, but I can't help myself to see that he was the only foiler to go in the middle of the tropical storm, and he broke the structure... Maybe he should go train with the great Loick Peyron, who's motto is "Fast but not furious'.

Really funny to see the egocentric national based stinky speech (once again)... Now, that the BOSS is out the sharks appear to the smell of blood... but not when he was dominating with grace the first few weeks of the race... :)

Words from sailors or Charal's coSkipper are quite more accurate at the global scale in the EN live today... This race has been turboBoosted by him (for some years) that's obvious even w/out winning it. A race that was conceived and born outside France by a newspaper... and now you have to speek fr and also train and be educated and instructed in the wonderland patrie...(  ) Give me a break.

To mention a few examples in history of the main French international sports events, Miguel Indurain or Lance Armstrong ( ) made greater the Tour de France, Rafael Nadal or Federer idem w/ Roland Garros... and they did train 100% outside... Camembert cheese tastes really good!, yes of course, but rotten looks bad, is not interesant, and stinks as hell.

Rant Over. Retour a la course...

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The "problem" with Alex is that he is one of the few skippers with an easy accessible program and the one with the highest profile.
English content with clear messaging. A sponsor that doesn't need any explanation. Shows up in TV programs around the world. Enough stunts to keep the general public watching. Has done this before and repetition is required to get known in the wider world.

Sam. Can do English but the sponsor is obviously not interested in that. Which is a shame since it is a good cause. What Initiatives Coer does only needs minimal explanation. Has done it before and can do media. But media is FR only with a little pinch of international sailing media sprinkled in.

Boris does English. Sponsor? An advert for the Monaco yacht club. Had lots of media with Greta, first positive then flipping to negative in no time at all. The repetition is missing. Perhaps next round to get some true media traction. Needs to finish near the top and do a successful talk show tour to raise his stock for the next edition.

Sébastien has all kinds of content. Not much success slow boating at the back of the fleet and one again with more problems than required. Second round so repetition starts to kick in for him. Biggest success is finding enough money to go again this round.

Pip. English content, check. Sponsor? First search result: "Medallia is a customer experience management company" Hm... Her first round in the usual old boat but punching higher than expected. Very accessible in the way she shares her experience. Seems to be a good fit to her sponsor. So far a great example how to make it in the IMOCA adventure division. Sailing with the expectation to arrive, telling a story along the way, keeping the sponsor in the media the whole time. Would like to see her again on a faster boat.

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25 minutes ago, stief said:

Thanks--hadn't seen that. No idea yet how credible he is, but he sure communicates the complex issues of IMOCA aerodynamics well enough in a few minutes.

Laughed at his closer: 

19:34 I bet if you ask the people that implement them and design them and say, "Well why is that there? Why haven't you done it somewhere else?"

And when the answer is "Well, it's always been done like that," you know that it's wrong and it's just traditionalism and it needs to end."

I liked the Peak Torque videos, but I must say I reached for a largish handful of salt when he got keen to tell the IMOCA designers how it should be done.  I realize that designing for maximum performance requires you to think outside the box, but it seems like he got so focused on optimizing aerodynamics that he forgot the other things the boat needs to do.

For example, at one point in that vid he was arguing for a deck sweeping boom, so that deck could act to prevent vortices forming (when air moves from the high pressure to the low pressure sides of the sail under the boom).  Seems to me that this ignores that the sailplan has to also allow waves to pass underneath the sails, especially if a wave hits from the side, as in a broach.

And retractable stanchions?  Sounds like one more system to fail when the southern ocean starts beating on it.

My guess is that the boat designers and sailors would be able to tell him exactly why they haven't implemented all his ideas.

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18 minutes ago, Rafael said:

Really funny to see the egocentric national based stinky speech (once again)... Now, that the BOSS is out the sharks appear to the smell of blood... but not when he was dominating with grace the first few weeks of the race... :)

Words from sailors or Charal's coSkipper are quite more accurate at the global scale in the EN live today... This race has been turboBoosted by him (for some years) that's obvious even w/out winning it. A race that was conceived and born outside France by a newspaper... and now you have to speek fr and also train and be educated and instructed in the wonderland patrie...(  )

To mention a few examples in history of the main French international sports events, Miguel Indurain or Lance Armstrong ( ) made greater the Tour de France, Rafael Nadal or Federer idem w/ Roland Garros... and they did train 100% outside... Camembert cheese tastes really good!, yes of course, but rotten looks bad, is not interesant, and stinks as hell.

Rant Over. Retour a la course...

The race is what it is - a highly exciting marathon with incredible boats sailing from France, around the planet, and then back to France, at incredible speeds. I don’t see any discrimination against sailors or any nationality there. Sailors or all nationalities are allowed and welcome. In the last edition, Rich Wilson, an American who was more of an adventure sailor, finished the race and seemed thrilled just to be able to participate. 

The audience for this event is mostly French. The sailors are mostly French. That is because the race is from and to France, just like it always has been. 

Just remember it is AT who chooses to compete in this race. And I don’t think he is upset by any of the complaints you and others have raised above. 

If race organizers want to change the race to be more “global,” that would be fine. If they want to keep it the same, far be it for me to judge. Unlike other race series, this one has consistently been well attended by sailors who would do anything just to get to the start line.  

I am sad to see AT out, and I hope he will be back in 2024. But he is not asking for the race or format or anything else about it to be changed. Just the opposite, he seems to like it so much that he has dedicated the prime of his sailing career to this one event. 
 

now back to the race where there are plenty of exciting stories to follow. 

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22 minutes ago, Chasm said:

Boris does English. Sponsor? An advert for the Monaco yacht club. 

Boris is well integrated in the french scene since at least a decade if not longer and speaks fluently french. Actually he is sponsored by a german (maritime) logistics company, the boat name and the visible logos give a hint. The boat is owned by a german real estate entrepreneur from whom it is formally chartered by Yacht Club de Monaco.

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25 minutes ago, Chasm said:

Pip. English content, check. Sponsor? First search result: "Medallia is a customer experience management company" Hm... Her first round in the usual old boat but punching higher than expected. Very accessible in the way she shares her experience. Seems to be a good fit to her sponsor. So far a great example how to make it in the IMOCA adventure division. Sailing with the expectation to arrive, telling a story along the way, keeping the sponsor in the media the whole time. Would like to see her again on a faster boat.

She is wonderful and I enjoy following her. It is a good example of why it is like that concerning sponsorship. Her level of seamanship is far above the level of the boat. 

She is ahead of the most modern Japanese VPLP. The reality is bitter. 

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5 hours ago, Manfred said:

with your last sentence, please enlighten me about what you want to imply here?

Could it not be the case that it had been lost in transition? Or what?

Morning Manfred.

Short answer--I wish ATR had included the fishing net detail into their official team statement, because it might have reduced pages of finger-pointing posts here, or at least pointed to the state of the oceans, not the teams.  

Could it have been lost in transition? No. When yl75 posted, I trust him. I immediately checked for other reliable sources (1 Hub, 2 VG news) to try avoiding "Faux news" or sites trolling the public, like what happened last time with Alex's 'spare foil'. 

When Google showed two major EN news sites publishing the official team statement, plus the additional info about the fishing net, at about the same time as the Hub and the VG, I lost some trust in the Hub. 

My mistake. I was looking at the horse's mouth from the wrong end.

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On 11/27/2020 at 2:34 PM, European Bloke said:

Various references here to not discarding bits of cut off foil in the ocean.  While I agree with the sentiment it's not that clear cut.  Failing to cut the foil off could leave significantly more detritus in the ocean if the worst happened.

Recovering the end could be quite difficult. Can you get a line onto it without climbing out onto the foil?

Climbing onto the foil could be a significant risk to the crew. Climbing onto a broken foil could be even more dangerous.

So let's keep things in perspective, we'd rather not lose the end of the foil, but it's much better than losing the whole boat or the man.

Is it a safe assumption that the tip just sank?  it'll be monolithic in that area.

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On 11/27/2020 at 2:57 PM, Your Mom said:

Editing the video to stop just before the cut was completed makes it pretty clear to the viewer that they knew showing it splash into the water would face criticism.

Does he potentially face a penalty for that?  My first thought when the video abruptly cut away was that he didn't want to be penalized.

Also wondering...  how hard is it to cut a foil?  I figured a material strong enough to lift a boat would be almost impossible to cut, but...  he seemed to have no trouble getting through it.  That surprised me.

Tungsten carbide blades are your friend

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