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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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19 minutes ago, Bebmoumoute said:

From Pip Hare

Beautiful picture... Pip Hare and Didac Costa are in a bad spot, looks like they might have to wait for the LP to their west to catch up with them to really get going again

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Not a good marketing advertisement for the Oscar navigation system since it was set up on both Sam and Cammas boats who suffered collisions with UFOs, maybe its time to throw up way more money since it has been a long known issue in offhore racing.

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2 minutes ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

He is not as sexy as he thinks, just average for a a Finnish ogre. :P

He's clearly totally posing... lol... wonder if we'll have a complete photo set of the Finish ogre posing all around the boat

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https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/20819/sam-davies-retires-from-the-vendee-globe-but-wants-to-complete-the-route-hors-course

Sam Davies Retires From the Vendee Globe But Wants to Complete The Route 'Hors Course'

Following a violent collision last Wednesday evening, British Vendee Globe skipper Sam Davies (Initiatives-Cœur) sustained significant damage to the framework supporting the keel of her IMOCA. In consultation with her team, she made the decision to stop in Cape Town (South Africa).This morning as she arrived in Cape Town she confirmed by video at 0900hrs UTC that she is officially retiring from the race. But she says she is determined to return - after making repairs with her team and experts - to complete the race course as 'hors course', unclassified on the solo race which forbids any kind of outside assistance. 

Sam hopes to complete the round the world voyage outside of the context of the race for her own benefit and for the children concerned by the 1 click=1 heart campaign. 28 children have so far been saved since the start of the Vendée Globe.

It did not seem reasonable to continue the voyage in the Southern Ocean with a boat that could not be guaranteed to be entirely safe. By stopping for repairs and taking the boat out of the water in South Africa, the Vendée Globe rules mean that she has required assistance and has therefore retired from the race. The adventure is however not over, as it is important for Sam to complete the voyage.

‘I had gybed behind the front in 30 knots of wind. I was sailing on tricky seas at a speed between 15 and 22 knots. I hit something and it felt as if I had run aground on a rock, as I came to a sudden standstill. There were cracking noises. I went flying along with everything in the boat including my dinner. It was violent and I hurt myself. But I was lucky, as it could have been much worse, but my ribs hurt. I immediately brought down the sail to stop the boat. I hit an unidentified floating object. I immediately took a look at the keel, as I knew it wasn’t the foil but the keel that had been hit.

The bearings and forward and aft bulkheads in the keel housing are in good shape, but the longitudinal bulkheads are cracked. That is what absorbed the shock. I checked everything and contacted my team and they have been working with the designers. It happened at night, as it always does with this sort of problem. It was pitch black when I checked everything. It was the same when I lost my mast (in the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe). I did what I could in 30 knots of wind in mountainous seas. The collision shifted the keel ram protection which ensures a watertight seal between the keel housing and the ram. Consequently, I was taking water aboard, which required my immediate attention. I put the pump on to empty the water entering the keel housing. 

Davies said this morning, “It’s too dangerous to enter the Southern Ocean with all these things wrong with the boat. You really have to inspect everything. I think that is also the magic of the Vendée Globe: the race stops but I hope the adventure does not end here. I've always said my mission is to sail around the world on this boat. For me, but also for Initiatives-Cœur, to support cardiac surgery for the kids. If I can fix the boat and go, I'm motivated to do it. This is the positive side of the story, I still have a mast, I still have my keel! I have all the pieces, I have a great team. It will probably take time, it’s a big job but I’m very positive to give it a go as Isabelle Autissier did. I think hers is a really good example, to try to keep going anyway.

If the boat is repairable, I am determined to go again. It’s my philosophy and that of the team. The Vendée Globe is a huge adventure. I've always had a lot of respect for those who ended up out of the race. Isabelle Autisier, but also Enda (editor's note O'Coineen), I think he was the last person to do that, long after Nick Moloney had his accident. I have a lot of respect for that, I think it's part of the adventure. If I can be one of those adventurers, I want to be, although it’s not easy because I’m a competitor with a great boat. But I am also an adventurer, passionate about the sea and the oceans, and I want to save children with Initiatives-Cœur.

Everyone knows from the start that this kind of thing can happen. And then I have already dismasted in a Vendée Globe. However, three days ago when this happened to me, I thought I was going to die but once I got through the crisis I thought I was going to stop sailing. I thought to myself: "This is stupid, this is nonsense to stop sailing, I don't want to do that.”

“ These are the ups and downs of the race, it’s adventure. If I can manage to set off again and continue with this great project anyway. In my opinion, I'm not going to go very fast but I need to go back to rebuild myself after something like this.  I’m not the only one to arrive in Cape Town, I’m in contact with Seb Simon, I think we’ll shed some tears into our beer. I have a big thought for him giving up for the same problem. Bad luck, he had a great race. And a second thought for Isa Joschke. When I hit my UFO I was at a standstill, stationary, I had collision alarms sounding  it was Isa Joschke who was coming right at me right on me, that was a second fright, I was afraid she wouldn't see me. I had a little stressed conversation with her about avoiding me! I'm super happy for her because she's having a really good race. We were really close to each other, she did a nice comeback, I'm happy because she's normally one of my regatta colleagues. Come on Isa, I'm fully behind you! "

 

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6 minutes ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

And a second thought for Isa Joschke. When I hit my UFO I was at a standstill, stationary, I had collision alarms sounding  it was Isa Joschke who was coming right at me right on me, that was a second fright, I was afraid she wouldn't see me. I had a little stressed conversation with her about avoiding me! I'm super happy for her because she's having a really good race. We were really close to each other, she did a nice comeback, I'm happy because she's normally one of my regatta colleagues. Come on Isa, I'm fully behind you! "

 

 

So it really was close

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13 minutes ago, Virgulino Ferreira said:

 And a second thought for Isa Joschke. When I hit my UFO I was at a standstill, stationary, I had collision alarms sounding  it was Isa Joschke who was coming right at me right on me, that was a second fright, I was afraid she wouldn't see me. I had a little stressed conversation with her about avoiding me! I'm super happy for her because she's having a really good race. We were really close to each other, she did a nice comeback, I'm happy because she's normally one of my regatta colleagues. Come on Isa, I'm fully behind you! "

 

I remember seeing their tracks cross and joking about one of them yelling "starboard".  I didn't realize it was then that Sam hit the OFNI too.  Talk about piling one issue on top of another. 

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59 minutes ago, cortosam said:

Not a good marketing advertisement for the Oscar navigation system since it was set up on both Sam and Cammas boats who suffered collisions with UFOs, maybe its time to throw up way more money since it has been a long known issue in offhore racing.

OSCAR is not a navigation system, it is a detection system, and only Boris has it linked to his autopilot.

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3 minutes ago, JonRowe said:

OSCAR is not a navigation system, it is a detection system, and only Boris has it linked to his autopilot.

Whatever it is it doesn't seem to be working that great... seems to have worked for Boris once as someone pointed out above, but cortosam is right, it would be a good thing to have better forward looking imminent collision prevention systems

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Bebmoumoute

4 hours ago, stief said:

She said that according to the Bateaux interview:

Quote

Par contre, il y a trois jours quand ça m'est arrivé, j'ai pensé que j'allais mourir, mais une fois que j'ai géré la crise, j'ai pensé que j'allais arrêter la voile. Je me suis dit : « c'est débile, c'est n'importe quoi, j'arrête la voile, je ne fais plus ça ».

When the accident happenned 3 days ago, I thought I would die, but once I dealt with the crisis, I thought I would stop sailing. I thought "this is stupid, this is nonsense, I stop sailing, I won't ever do this again".

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Another important thing that Sam Davies said is this:

Je me suis fait tellement peur qu’il faut que je reparte vite sinon je vais avoir du mal à renaviguer. Si on arrive à repartir, j’aurai une trouille énorme que ça m’arrive à nouveau. À mon avis, je ne vais pas aller très vite mais j’ai besoin de repartir pour me reconstruire après un truc comme ça.

"I scare myself so much that I have to go back at it quickly; otherwise, I will have a hard time to sail again. If we are able to restart, I will be really scared that it happens to me again. Most likely, I will not go very fast, but I need to go to rebuild myself, after such an incident."

 

This, gentlemen, is what I call courage.

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3 minutes ago, ant1 said:

Whatever it is it doesn't seem to be working that great... seems to have worked for Boris once as someone pointed out above, but cortosam is right, it would be a good thing to have better forward looking imminent collision prevention systems

This is the first generation, the truth is we don't know what alarms if any it generated for those that have hit things, but I can guarantee you the data it is gathering will be used to make it better.

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9 minutes ago, JonRowe said:

This is the first generation, the truth is we don't know what alarms if any it generated for those that have hit things, but I can guarantee you the data it is gathering will be used to make it better.

Its something that will interest leisure sailors too, there could be a big market, the races are the ultimate proving grounds, high speeds, rough seas, if it can make it there...

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I know it's a detection system, Marc Guillemot on Safran in 2008 was the first to have that kind of detection system, with thermographic camera up in the mast, but sadly Safran didnt pursue the project that long after.

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2 minutes ago, ant1 said:

With all the research going into autonomous vehicules on the road, which are very forward detection dependant... a lot of carry over could be possible to forward detection for sailboats.

As long as you train the whales to obey the stop signs.

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4 minutes ago, ant1 said:

With all the research going into autonomous vehicules on the road, which are very forward detection dependant... a lot of carry over could be possible to forward detection for sailboats.

The engineer at the helm of Oscar system comes from the auto industry and saw the opportunity to adapt the technology to boats.

But still, i dont know why Safran stopped putting money on it.

http://seasailsurf.com/5666-Isabelle-Autissier-using-Safran-s-anti-UFO-system

 

 

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How long does sam have to make the repairs? What I'm thinking is how late in the season is okay to go round cape horn? I know it's partly luck of the draw, but i guess you don't want be in the south (I'm deliberately not saying southern ocean;)) in the middle of winter. 

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8 minutes ago, oioi said:

How long does sam have to make the repairs? What I'm thinking is how late in the season is okay to go round cape horn? I know it's partly luck of the draw, but i guess you don't want be in the south (I'm deliberately not saying southern ocean;)) in the middle of winter. 

Would be middle of summer there...

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19 minutes ago, oioi said:

How long does sam have to make the repairs? What I'm thinking is how late in the season is okay to go round cape horn? I know it's partly luck of the draw, but i guess you don't want be in the south (I'm deliberately not saying southern ocean;)) in the middle of winter. 

I would think rounding the Horn would be OK up to late Feb (the old editions of the race used to take a good bit longer in slower boats).  I don 't know how long the repair would take, but if there was originally some hope of repairing at anchor, I doubt it would take a huge amount of time in a yard.  Beyou got turned around in 48 hrs.

 

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Cape Town isn’t necessarily the best place to make repairs & I don’t think an imoca, an expensive capital investment that’s an asset, is really something any prudent program is going to risk for an non-event feel good therapy for the skipper. They’re gonna stabilize it, put it on top of a ship and send them home. 

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9 hours ago, ant1 said:

I believe it must be due to some very deeply rooted cultural difference.

Do you think it dates back BEFORE Moitessier  and his decision to do the long way? I think that glamorized ocean racing in the French mind to a different degree.  

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12 hours ago, Rainier said:

Love the idea of this race and have followed the last few races but I just can't understand how corporations can throw millions of dollars at what is basically a coin flip of a result every four years.

If you want to improve this race make it mandatory to install the tech to at least post mortem ID what you hit.  Doesn't have to prevent it but at least ID what all these "UFOs" are.

This race will die if it turns into Russian roulette.

Just a month after the start of the 2016-17 Vendée Globe, on December 6 in the middle of the Indian Ocean to the north of the Crozet Islands, Kito de Pavant and his Bastide Otio hit an unidentified floating object. The damage was fatal for the boat and the skipper was forced to abandon the race.

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2017/06/23/video-colliding-whale/

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24 minutes ago, Corryvreckan said:

I would think rounding the Horn would be OK up to late Feb (the old editions of the race used to take a good bit longer in slower boats).  I don 't know how long the repair would take, but if there was originally some hope of repairing at anchor, I doubt it would take a huge amount of time in a yard.  Beyou got turned around in 48 hrs.

 

 I would have thought,  lift out,  keel of,  survey (probably some NDT) assess survey and develop repair schedule,  repairs,  keel back on. Test. Go. 

I think whilst in the race you take a higher risk to stay in the race than going from the dock for a sail. So inspection and repair will be more thorough. 

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Just now, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

Mike Plant.

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1 hour ago, ant1 said:

With all the research going into autonomous vehicules on the road, which are very forward detection dependant... a lot of carry over could be possible to forward detection for sailboats.

Chalk and Cheese! Cars can see what they may be about to hit. Boats can't. Too much movement and turbulance in the top few metres of ocean to use sonar, FLIR is all but useless for objects awash, RADAR can only see so much. dealing with that air/water interface is a huge problem. 

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44 minutes ago, Miffy said:

Cape Town isn’t necessarily the best place to make repairs & I don’t think an imoca, an expensive capital investment that’s an asset, is really something any prudent program is going to risk for an non-event feel good therapy for the skipper. They’re gonna stabilize it, put it on top of a ship and send them home. 

Not what they are saying at the moment. Ther eis also the charity side (one click = 1 €), she cannot raise much money when she is not sailing, and the is very important to Sam.

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43 minutes ago, Miffy said:

Cape Town isn’t necessarily the best place to make repairs & I don’t think an imoca, an expensive capital investment that’s an asset, is really something any prudent program is going to risk for an non-event feel good therapy for the skipper. They’re gonna stabilize it, put it on top of a ship and send them home. 

I don't know. There are plenty of good carbon people there building some good boats. With plans from the engineers back in France they would not have a problem putting it all back together there .. IMO

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7 minutes ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

I think Sam mentioned Nick Moloney.  I can't remember the details of him dropping out, but I recall he was rebuilding his boom while he rounded the horn.

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16 minutes ago, minca3 said:

Just, you know, doing my casual interview while the boat is constantly shaking and behind me is total mayhem:
 

 

!!!!

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9 minutes ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

Isabelle Autissier in 1996 had to stop in CapeTown due to rudder issues. She carried on unranked, participated to the (failed) rescue operations for Gerry Roufs in atrocious conditions and finished in third position in terms of time.

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21 minutes ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

As noted downstream:   Mike Plant 1989

 

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24 minutes ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

Bernard Stamm I think

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16 minutes ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

Plenty of stories there, Autissier is the obvious influence for Sam, and the list includes Bernard Stamm who finished disqualified after accepting help to save his boat from going on the rocks.

Raphael Dinelli even STARTED the VG hors-course, "à la pirate" as he did not qualify, on the other side of the spectrum Yves Parlier dismasted, repaired his mast on his own and finished in 126 days, eating algae in the last days as he had not been resupplied.

A lot of crazy shit.

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2 minutes ago, Sebyseb said:

Plenty of stories there, Autissier is the obvious influence for Sam, and the list includes Bernard Stamm who finished disqualified after accepting help to save his boat from going on the rocks.

Raphael Dinelli even STARTED the VG hors-course, "à la pirate" as he did not qualify, on the other side of the spectrum Yves Parlier dismasted, repaired his mast on his own and finished in 126 days, eating algae in the last days as he had not been resupplied.

A lot of crazy shit.

All correct, but Parlier never retired.

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5 hours ago, nasil2nd said:

Its probably this one.

chrome_2020-12-05_15-49-52.png.973ab02fbcb292abde5e2738a270d25e.png

This is the data of that ship, from AIS

{
            "LAT": "-40.92193",
            "LON": "54.69026",
            "SPEED": "10.1",
            "COURSE": "289",
            "HEADING": "289",
            "TYPE_IMG": "3",
            "TYPE_NAME": "Tugs & Special Craft",
            "STATUS_NAME": "Underway using Engine"
        }

Not long now, if that's the one...

#.jpg

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6 minutes ago, OPAL said:

Not long now, if that's the one...

 

If it is, then it looks like they might be able to rendezvous on the southern edge of the high to the north, and the wind might not be too bad.  No idea what the sea state might be like, though.

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48 minutes ago, OPAL said:

Latest from Will.

 

28 minutes ago, Sebyseb said:

Plenty of stories there, Autissier is the obvious influence for Sam, and the list includes Bernard Stamm who finished disqualified after accepting help to save his boat from going on the rocks.

Raphael Dinelli even STARTED the VG hors-course, "à la pirate" as he did not qualify, on the other side of the spectrum Yves Parlier dismasted, repaired his mast on his own and finished in 126 days, eating algae in the last days as he had not been resupplied.

A lot of crazy shit.

Story of Parlier was crazy, he had to build an hoven to cook his mast!

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59 minutes ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

 

Enda O'Coineen, the Irish Skipper from the last edition of the Vendee.

 

https://www.imoca.org/en/news/news/enda-o-coineen-around-the-world-and-back

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51 minutes ago, Sebyseb said:

Plenty of stories there, Autissier is the obvious influence for Sam, and the list includes Bernard Stamm who finished disqualified after accepting help to save his boat from going on the rocks.

Raphael Dinelli even STARTED the VG hors-course, "à la pirate" as he did not qualify, on the other side of the spectrum Yves Parlier dismasted, repaired his mast on his own and finished in 126 days, eating algae in the last days as he had not been resupplied.

A lot of crazy shit.

Sam is talking the talk, but no-one is going to sign off on a dodged keel box repair for a trip 3/4 or the way around the world.  Especially in Dec 2020 when you can't fly your experts in for a few weeks to make the repair.  That boat is coming home on the back of a ship.  The other two are there for the race not the adventure so won't even be looking at the dodge up.  I'd expect there is some cattle trading going on right now trying to find someone who will give them a deal to build three cradles and then ship the three boats back together.

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Thank you to others for posting this first. The contrast between the boat trail and how Isabelle stays composed and calm is just mindboggling. I would be holdking something white-knuckled, calling for my mom...

Her interview deserves a translation. So here it is:

Journo: "tell us what are the conditions right now, does not look too easy for y'all..."

Isabelle: "Listen, clearly, it is not easy; wind is 25 to 30 knots, the swell is from the aft quarters. Not easy to negotiate but still, much better than a few hours ago, and the last 48 hrs were just hell. The sea state was really hard and the wind was very unstable. It could be 15 knots windspeed for 20 minutes and suddenly rise to 30 knots. Very difficult to find the right sail settings. I tried several times to change sails, and it was far from successful sometimes... So I had 48 hrs with conditions that were really not fun..."

Journo: "still, when we look at the tracker, you are in the right spot, you are in the first group, it must feel great to see your ranking."

Isabelle: "yeah, I was able to catch the right train... That was before those hellish 48 hrs, just before CoGH. Between repair sessions, I found the energy to push really hard. It was a very rewarding phase. Since then the conditions deteriorated, and I got a series of technical issues, I have torn apart one of my hydrogenerator, and a flury of other small issues. I spent a lot of time in repairs again. So there are super good phases and slow down phases. You have to be patient. To each day its burden..."

Journo: "can you explain to us how you find the energy to still fight, even when this is not going your way?"

Isabelle: "sometimes, I wonder myself. Quite frankly, it is not always easy. Sometimes, with the tireness, you dispair facing the difficulties. But at some point, it comes back. I know I then have to focus on myself, take a breather for 5 minutes, settle down, and then go back at it. Not easy to explain. Your drive is coming from deep inside. You have to let it come back."

Journo: "great, can you tell us what is coming up for the next few hours?"

Isabelle: " I am heading towards the ZEA, for another few hours, and I will need to jibe. Not only because I cannot go in that zone, but also because the wind is going to shift. Right now, I am in the back end of a LP, with cold temperatures. And there is a new LP coming from behind, so the wind is going to change, I will be in front of the system;  but the wind will stay as strong, and the temperature is going to go up. But more importantly, the sea state should improve. I will sail towards the NE for a few hours, maybe 24 hours. Then, this system will pass over me and I will be behind a LP again, and I will have hellish conditions again, like the one I had in the past 2 days... So here we go. I wonder if the Southern seas are going to be like that for 30 days or if I will get some respite..."

Journo; "Isa, we talked to Sam Davies, who told us that her thoughts were with you..."

Isabelle: "listen, I am touched. With Sam, we understand each other. It was really weird to cross each other at the beginning of the Indian Ocean. We were almost in collision course. I did not expect at all for her to have this collision. I am so very sorry for her. It is a touchy topic. Those abandons, those incidents.... On my side, as long as I do not have such an incident, I am very happy to be in the race, truly, I am so sorry for all the concurrents who had to give up. On the other hand, it does not make my race easier to know that I have not had any big incident so far..."

Journo: "Isa, thank you so much, we are very happy to see your fighting spirit..."

6:06 Isabelle: "and you see, this is the boat rounding up..."

Big silence for a few seconds...

 

Journo: "can you show us, can you..."

Silence for a few more seconds...

Isabelle: "Listen, I don't know if you can see the trail behind me, but she went sideways... OK... It's OK, She came back on track... As you can see, the conditions are rough... We can say so."

 

And a few more seconds of the boat FLYING!!

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Watching the convergence of Apicil (sans foils) and Matre Coq (with foil). Apicil was sailing faster and lower for the entire time and just at sunset they must have been within sight of each other.

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 3.31.21 PM.png

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Meanwhile Sodebo has scythed through the backmarkers and run up against the high pressure ridge in front of her. Otherwise she might have broken the outright 24 hours record of IDEC in 2016 of 894 miles, they were averaging 38 knots with regular 40+

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 3.39.09 PM.png

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Here is the translation of the Desjoyeaux interview https://www.letelegramme.fr/voile/desjoyeaux-on-ne-fait-jamais-des-bateaux-pour-qu-ils-cassent-05-12-2020-12668039.php

Quote

Are all these issues on new foilers normal ?

Some statistics : we are far away from the 2008 carnage, with simple boats and only little changes from 2004. The intensity of the race probably caused this back then. For 2020, let’s start with basic stuff, a daggerboard boat has the boards lifted when going down wind fast, so it is only 6 m wide. With some foils that cannot be retracted, some boats are 12 m wide, twice the beam.

Let’s detail and differentiate the different issues :

  • ·         Initiative Cœurs : UFO. Game over most of the time. Maybe an impact of one foil, but apprently the keel took most of the shock. Luckily, the water ingress is limited so Sam can go back to port ;
  • ·         Arkéa-Paprec : UFO on the foil. The leading edge is destroyed where the foils sits on the bottom wedge. The foil is so strong transersaly that it is almost impossible to destroy longitudinaly. The bottom wedge at the bottom of the hull is detached, impossible to repair onboard.

To avoid these sort of breakages, you can always build a stronger boat. Eric Tabarly use to say « stronger doesn’t hurt ». You could build bank safes, but they would never win any race. You never build a boat planning for it to break. When they hit something, you never know how and how much, so we take some margin hoping i twill be enouh not to lose the boat, but no doubt the damages will always be substantial. In my opinion, for these wo boats, the job was done properly (Initiative Cœur id a 2010 boat, and the Hugo Boss 2019 TJV keel damage may be the reason the boat survived the hit).

  • ·         Linked Out : We didn’t see much. Did the tip of the foil hit a whale or something else ? Once it was damaged and without too many collateral damage ; Thomas Ruyant was able to adapt by cutting the damaged part in order to preserve what could pe preserved and remain efficient ;

I realise how lucky I was to be able to complete the race twice without hitting anything.

  • ·         Hugo Boss : Big damage to the longitudinal structure in the bow. When did this happen ? One big wave jump can be enough to start damaging the structure. The earlier you see it the easiest it is to fix. What Alex did with onboard materials is impressive ;
  • ·         Bureau Vallée : Broken bulkhead. 2016 boat, won the last VG, you can’t say the boat has not been tested and validated. Maybe another wave jump ?
  • ·         L’Occitane : Broken hook. Hook badly designed or too much tension in the bottom forestay ? I would say lack of training in tough wind and waves conditions. Shitty 2020 didn’t allow as much training as normal.

Some breakages are easy to explain, some will reauire more investigation. It is of course not satisfactory, nobody wants to braek, but it is sometimes a necessary step backwards to allow future progress. If nothing happened on the Vendée, nobody would care apart from sailors. It may be a bit cynical, but the 1996 Vendée did a lot for the legend of the race with all the (sometimes dramatic) breakages.

Older daggerboard boats are going as fast a new foilers, does this mean the foilers are not sailed to 100% of their potential, that the skippers are not pushing them ?

I think the foilers are not living to their promises. As long as the sea is flat, the foiler performs extremally well between 15 and 25 knots of wind. As soon as you get waves, and sometimes disturbed seas, the foiler tends to take off and land roughly, very roughly. Slamming can get really bad if you don’t know hom to handle the boat. Newer boats are stroner than the previous generations are, but it looks like they are not strong enough to really push the boat in these conditions. This is a fine line between the boat strength and the skipper’s willingness to push. A lighter boat and a careful skipper could well get through fine, but the risk is high. For me, it is important hat the skipper is involved in the design and in the compromise strength/lightness. In offshore racing, you cannot just be a pilot that jumps in the boat when it is finished. I never could have done it, I wouldn’t have been able to really push the boat. The ocean is not a well known domain and is hard to model on a computer so when it breaks, you make the boat stronger and when it doesn’t break, you can go faster. It is not a very rational way to innovate, but nobody has actually found a better way ! Last generation foilers almost all have large foils that they cannot fully get inside the hull. The wing is always there in the water to windward. Following the decision to allow foils, the IMOCA class decided not to allow any lifting surface on the rudders, which would have been logical and allow a proper control of the trim and of the flight height. The images are looking great with the dragster behaviour of the boats, but we all see that the hull is staying in the water, acting as the third leg of the stool, and subect to huge shocks. As long as rudder lifting surfaces are not allowed, boats will have to be reinforced. In the meantime, the skippers have to take the foot of the pedal when they encounter rough see, which you tend to see in offshore racing.

Do you worry when you see an IMOCA boat break in half at the end of the surf ?

My modest experience suggests that in most mechanical failures that are not shock related, the visible breakage only happens a while after the damage started. Where did it start ? Did the hull suffer a shock that started a crack ? What it on the deck like Souffle du Nord in 2016 ? Thomas Ruyant was lucky he felt the boat break, just in time to save it. Kevin Escoffier knew the boat was light, he reinforced it. Did he add enough ? Unfortunately we will never know as she sank quickly, leaving no change for the skipper to see or understand anything. We should recognise the skipper’s trainign and the good practice in terms of safety equipment and procedures.

Jean Le Cam says foilers are nor adapted to the Vendée Globe. Is this an exaggeration ?

Jean neever exagerrates, or maybe he does it all the time ! I undertstand what he is saying. Unless proiven otherwise, the southern oceans never were the best place for the foilers to show their full potential because of the sea state. I would have liked to see Hugo Boss and Arkéa Paprec there, with their fully retractable and therefore controllable foils. We can see that Bureau Vallée, a 2016 boat is doing well with her smaller retractable foils, as he is able to regulate the action of the foils. Each edition of the race is adding knowledge. Jean was right in the first third of the race, let’s see what happens in the remaining two thirds. All that will be used for the 2024 race, this is how things always happen !

Who is responsible for all the breakages, the architects ‘who always take the blame when things break), the sructural engineers, the skippers, the IMOCA class ? A bit of everything ?

I don’t know anyone, naval architect, engineer, builder, team, skipper who never made any mistake. I don’t like to blame anyone in partcular, everyone must take hes share of responsabilities, a bit like during the current pandemic period. A boat is the result of team work. Unlike what I sometimes hear, boats are not designed to break, but this is competion, we always try to push the limits, and sometimes we go too far. Neson Mandela used to say « I never lose, I win or I learn ». I think this is very much relevant today. In offshore racing, we always learn, individually and collectively, and hopefully it will carry on that way !

Is the one design mast not strong enough for the new powerful foilers ?

Yes I think so. These masts were designed before foils were allowed. Without talking about shocks ans associated dynamic loads, the foils are increasing the righting moment, which means that not only is the mast not that less expensive than a bespoke one, but it is also not « idiot proof » (in english in the text) and unadapted to offshore solo sailing. We spend lots of money by adding sensors in the rigging, after calculations have been done and redone to ensure it stays up. It was already like that before 2016 and the foils, so you can imagine what it is like with the 2020 boats. Either we get rid of the one design mast, either we ban the foils… When you try to limit costs with technology, you can get hit by the boomerang of imagination for performance.

Kevin Escoffier talked about « inverted foils », does this mean that the foils could have been pushing towards the bottom instead of lifting the boat ?

Of course ! It is a loading case we are looking at. When the boat surfs into a wave, the boat trim with the bow under water means the deck is being pushed down. With foils, the same thing is happening at the middle of the boat. The foil, its box and the structure around it should be designed to sustain this.

If you decided to start a campaing for the 2024 race, what would your boat look like ?

It would be the best looking and the quickest ! Not the lightest, but not the heaviest either. She would have foils, and lifting surfaces on the rudders, a mast stronger than the one design one. Like the three boats we (Mer Agitée) built o far, it would have an extra watertight bulkhead around the foils and keel (not mandatory in the rule).

Would the solution be to force foils to be fully retractable ?

I don’t see why. The IMOCA rule is an open rule. In terms of safety – for me the most important objective of the rule ; before the equity – lots of progress have been made since 1989, which each edition of the race adding new rules. The rules are here to make sure that the guy who cares about his own safety and the guy that doesn’t can have a fair race. This contraints have thankfully brought better performance, so not many people complained. Jean Le Cam may well be right ; and in four years, skippers may choose to go for a Renault 4 rather than a Ferrari, as this could be more efficient than the current generation !

 

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Sam's endoscope pic of her keel. She says there is a piece missing just above the bulb, so probably not a whale hit, more likely something more discrete and hard like a submerged log.

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 4.03.35 PM.png

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1 hour ago, littlechay said:

My latest routing has nobody going south of Ker. Is.

FWIW, Zezo agrees, so it isn't just to avoid heavy seas down south.  I think it's because 3 days from now, the ice limit area in the vicinity of 90E is projected to have 50 kts sustained.  (Even in the virtual boats, winds that high aren't good...  their speed maxes out in 30 kts).

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28 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Sam's endoscope pic of her keel. She says there is a piece missing just above the bulb, so probably not a whale hit, more likely something more discrete and hard like a submerged log.

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 4.03.35 PM.png

In my opinion must have been something more massive than a log if it caused the boat from 20 kt to a deadstop

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Do you think it dates back BEFORE Moitessier  and his decision to do the long way? I think that glamorized ocean racing in the French mind to a different degree.  

I think you're right, Moitessier had that effect, but I don't think it came out of thin air, in a way he was the right spark at the right time that revived, in a contemporary form, a latent collective fascination for adventures on the high seas, a romantic fascination that may have some particularities in france for historical and cultural reasons... don't think everyone would agree... it would be a long conversation I'm not willing to have on SA :)

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50 minutes ago, TheDragon said:

Sam's endoscope pic of her keel. She says there is a piece missing just above the bulb, so probably not a whale hit, more likely something more discrete and hard like a submerged log.

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 4.03.35 PM.png

What would be the dark spot at the back (or front, but guess back) of the bulb itself ?

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What works in the race so far:

- avoiding high winds

- slowing down when things are getting a bit crazy

- having good luck avoiding objects

What does not work:

- going through the center of a depression

- trying to catch the lead when things are getting a bit crazy

- having bad luck in avoiding objects 

This coming week will be an interesting one with significant winds for the leading pack, followed by a patch of no wind south of Australia. 

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28 minutes ago, ant1 said:

What would be the dark spot at the back (or front, but guess back) of the bulb itself ?

If the dark spot on the bulb is indeed the forward part, then possibly the area on the keel might be compression failure.

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4 hours ago, WLIS Jibing said:

Is there any precedent of a VG competitor retiring due to boat damage, repairing the boat and then finishing the course, just not part of the official race?  I ask because of the discussion of AT or Sam potentially trying this. 

Not a direct answer to this because other people already have but it's a lot like Everest once you set your mind on accomplishing the feat it's hard to let go until you have done it. Sam is one of the unlucky ones however with more and more UFO's in the water nowadays the dream killers aren't going away anytime soon.! 

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7 hours ago, cortosam said:

Not a good marketing advertisement for the Oscar navigation system since it was set up on both Sam and Cammas boats who suffered collisions with UFOs, maybe its time to throw up way more money since it has been a long known issue in offhore racing.

'Not a good marketing advertisement for the Oscar navigation system since it was set up on both  Sam and Cammas boats who suffered collisions with UFOs.."

Sam's impact was just above the keel bulb.

There should be an IQ test to get access to this thread.

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36 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

'Not a good marketing advertisement for the Oscar navigation system since it was set up on both  Sam and Cammas boats who suffered collisions with UFOs.."

Sam's impact was just above the keel bulb.

There should be an IQ test to get access to this thread.

Easy Jack not everyone is as gifted as you.! You need to keep reminding yourself who you are. :D

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Damian Seguin first showed his hand as a 'smokey' last Thursday.

On 12/3/2020 at 4:11 PM, jack_sparrow said:
On 12/3/2020 at 3:53 PM, AnotherSailor said:

Burton is killing it! Ruyant is slowly falling behind.

Burton certainly is max VMG now and staying in the SW pressure as Charlie is running out of horsepower looking to gybe (which in real time he probably already has). 

Damian Seguin also staying in SW pressure and going in right direction is appearing as a smokey 

 IMG_20201203_160843.jpg

Now he has fully 'revealed' his hand and he like Louis Burton will 'PEEL' off from the 'peloton' when they see an opportunity.

As Louis said to his wife and manager (Kevin's cousin) as he was looking to find the station for the SO east bound 'train'..... "will you still love me if I dive south and screw it up" :P

Watching 'brave moves' like this are what makes this race...from the lesser ranked and less monied, more so. Add in also being a paralympic competitor....wow.

IMG_20201206_110537.jpg

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54 minutes ago, terrafirma said:

Easy Jack not everyone is as gifted as you.! You need to keep reminding yourself who you are. :D

"Reminding" true......my ex wife 'reminded' me every fucking day and today all I have is the 'settlement statement' to 'remind' me how 'costly' the truth is. 

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3 hours ago, ant1 said:

What would be the dark spot at the back (or front, but guess back) of the bulb itself ?

I think that is the back. The front is too pointed to be the leading edge of the bulb. But it could be whatever she hit just slid down the keel foil, pivoted around, and then wiped off the paint from the bulb.

To me very few things have truly neutral buoyancy. Some plastics might be the exception. Most debris floats, thus some part of it is at the surface. If it has negative buoyancy it's sinking. To just float in the water column if you're debris is unlikely. Marine life, yeah they go up and down or hover just a few meters under the surface. So nobody really hit's a "submerged container". They hit a container that is barely awash or maybe, a wave has pushed it under a little bit and it is slowly heading back to the surface because it only has a small amount of positive buoyancy.

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To my eye, it looks like a pretty big dent to the bulb itself (round indentation), though I certainly agree that it’s a bit too short and pointy to be the front of the bulb.

Saturated logs tend to have fairly neutral buoyancy. I certainly agree that there aren’t too many other objects with neutral buoyancy, as you say containers tend to be on the positive side due to the volume of air trapped within them.

Regardless, I’d be hard pressed to leave Cape Town with that level of possible damage to the keel itself.

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5 hours ago, littlechay said:

I don't know. There are plenty of good carbon people there building some good boats. With plans from the engineers back in France they would not have a problem putting it all back together there .. IMO

Perhaps - I just don’t see how it can be safely done, then launch her alone into the remaining of the race two months behind everyone else. The most dangerous position position is the slowest imoca headed to Cape Horn.