Vendee Globe 2020

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Super Anarchist
News - Sam Davies, 'It was violent' - Vendée Globe - En (vendeeglobe.org)
 

Sam Davies this morning on the audio call, “I was sailing last night I had gybed in the shift in the front, there was 30-35kts of wind for the gybe and that had gone well, and I was happy with where I was. I was sailing on starboard gybe heading east, and obviously the sea state was quite chaotic which it has been for the last two days. And obviously I know I was in these currents and I know these risks are there but I was sailing really nicely, as well as possible given the sea state. So speeds between 15 and 22kts and I was actually just making a hot meal after the gybe and the stack and everything and it was just starting to get dark. I hit something. I did not see anything. I did not know what it was. It was pretty much dark when it happened. But it was as if I had run aground on a rock at the time. The boatspeed went from 20kts to zero. The boat nosedived on the impact with the keel. I knew it was the keel. I heard a crack coming from there. I and everything else flew forwards, including my dinner which has repainted the entire inside of my boat. Everything moved. I went flying into a ring frame, luckily, because that could have been worse. It was really violent. But luckily I have just hurt some ribs. It is not serious but really painful. But I stopped the boat, dropped the main, and went to check around the keel, the bearings and the bulkhead. The bulkhead, the main bearing bulkheads (which support the keelbox)  are intact as far as I can see. The keelbearings are intact. The longitudinal structure around the keelbox is all cracked. That has taken the shock of the impact of when the boat moved, that is cracked on both sides. The keel ram, because the keel ram goes through the sidewall of the keelbox, that had all moved and there is a watertight seal on the ram and that was knocked off. There was some water coming in but I have a really good immersion pump which I got going really quickly and permanently to keep the water down. For me the most important thing is to stabilise the boat. It is still is really bad, 30kts of wind, so I have the boat on a course which will minimise all the strains and effort on the keel and the bulkheads. And then I ran a whole lot of checks with my team who mobilised really quickly, the architects and the structural engineers just to check I was not in immediate danger. We did that really and the news was reassuring, they were really confident that I am not in danger unless I sail fast, so there is no bad noise and the keel is still in its bearings and not moving at all. I cannot sail at any speed, so I am heading slowly towards Cape Town because that is the nearest shelter and we are continuing to assess the damage and what to do with my shore team who are being amazing.”

Sam Davies / Initiatives-Cœur 

 

bucc5062

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So basically every year "does not look good". Got it. Stop watching then. 

Are you suffering a bit of senility? This is a war of attrition. 50% of the fleet finishes. This isn't a bunch of 4 knot shit boxes drifting around the world creating their own ecosystem.
And here I thought it was suppose to be a sailboat race, not Death match 2020 or Mad Max: Water War Zone.  I've said before that most folks like to watch a race, not episodes of Survivor.  I can accept if something goes wrong or a skipper makes a bad decision and I even accept that this is extreme sailing, but taking boats out randomly, boats fans and sponsors want and expect to finish...maybe not so interesting.  The topic of ROI has come up from time to time in both the VOR and VG threads and while sailing super fast is cool, losing a few million because of "something" in the water that damages or destroys a fragile, high performance, not cool.

This is why you don't see F1's running the Baja and why Baja racing does not get the same level of money and interest.  It is at least a consideration that the performance and fragility has started to exceed what the ocean dishes up.

Not my call, but frustrated that three boats I followed are out.  Almost afraid to be supporting Isabelle because I LOVE what she is doing right now.

 

TPG

Super Anarchist
And here I thought it was suppose to be a sailboat race, not Death match 2020 or Mad Max: Water War Zone.  I've said before that most folks like to watch a race, not episodes of Survivor.
But that is exactly what this race has always been.

The Vendee, the BOC, the Globe Challenge, etc. It's never been just a sailboat race. It was who could go all the way around alone. Without the boat falling apart or the skipper falling apart.

 
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jonas a

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JLC is going quite fast most of the time. I suppose he is pushing a bit harder than some of the others, but did also read that there were improvements made to his boat, but don't remember exactly what.

Everything has been so much about the foils during these last years, so not even sure how to improve hulls with traditional dagger boards anymore

 
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bucc5062

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But that is exactly what this race has always been.

The Vendee, the BOC, the Globe Challenge, etc. It's never been just a sailboat race. It was who could go all the way around alone. Without the boat falling apart or the skipper falling apart.
I'll leave it with this, your words.  This is not about boats "falling apart".  It is about boats getting broken by unknown, external forces/objects.  That's different.  If a mast breaks, a keel drops off because of poor construction, a sail rips because the skipper held it on too long, shit happens.  Same with a skipper who sails into a hole or makes a bad routing call, shit happens and that is part of racing.

What I am talking about is like watching a car race, but randomly holes open in the track and swallows cars.  Yes, these skippers (may) understand and yes they (may) be willing to accept the risk, but I've followed two VGs with foiling and this time the breaks have been greater impacting top sailors and sponsors.  

So, if sponsors want to take the chance, if skippers want to take the chance...there it is, but at some point attrition and random take downs will impact the essence of this race.  At least for me.

Fair winds.

 

Snowden

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whilst I applaud F1's commitment to safety, the approach is not entirely compatible with ocean racing

Keep-the-Racetrack-Clean.jpg


 

Bristol-Cruiser

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Logs are pretty pervasive. I've hit more of them than whales. But my point is you can't just say "most probably it was a whale". It's a total guess as to what he hit. 
Logs are not rare at all and are not as skilled as whales at avoiding boats. Found out after crossing an ocean that the bow had a few more scars on it than before each time. Difference was that our boat shape and construction (Bristol 45.5) not forgetting speed, was not conducive to getting damaged. Once we hit a log and rode up on top of it and had to use a boat hook to push it away. Closest encounter was with a sperm whale and he manoeuvred to pass close astern of us in very calm conditions - we were motoring at the time.

 

troll99

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Today's official live in French:

Sebastien Simon is very down, feels like a very unfair thing happening to him. He wants to carry on.

Only way to repair is to cut the foil in bits from the top to remove. Foil is about 300 kg so cannot be handled in one piece.

Once this is done, it should be possible to repair the hole from inside and outside to stop the water ingress. Repairing from the outside requires calm water conditions, which is not the case at the moment and won't be for at least 24 hours. He has to get closer to land. One bulkhead under the cockpit is also cracked, which is likely to be a consequence of the shock as well (it wasn't cracked the day before).

In addition to all that, one of the rudder seals is torn, so he has to pump water out of there every 2 hours or so for 40 minutes. This is not a nice place to be.
Anchorage would be needed and a way to tilt the boat so you can repair the outside part.

 

troll99

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whilst I applaud F1's commitment to safety, the approach is not entirely compatible with ocean racing

We can build semi flying Imoca without keel and any shit. Sort of one hull-maran. Aka Mono-Ac75

Easier than cleaning the whole ocean  :lol:

fotolia-125046232-rootstocks-polluted-waters.jpg


 
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pilot

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Also his account of the boat breaking never had any indication that it hit something, just that it came down the wave, and instead of diving through the wave, folded right up. If it hit something, one would think he would have mentioned a bang or being tossed.
Ok, lets assume that the keel bulb dug into soft whale meat while the bow was cutting into the next wave. Can one distinguish the difference if the boat is folding at the same time? I mean the speed and pitching rotation is absorbed by folding deformations and there is no loud bang that you are expecting during a collision. Or actually you have to look it in this way that usually the damage is avoided because the bow bounces up while going into the wave. But this time the keel was holding it down and the inertia was burring the bow more into the wave. 

 

JL92S

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JLC is going quite fast most of the time. I suppose he is pushing a bit harder than some of the others, but did also read that there were improvements made to his boat, but don't remember exactly what.

Everything has been so much about the foils during these last years, so not even sure how to improve hulls with traditional dagger boards anymore
He may be pushing but the others are also throttled back due to a bad sea state. I believe his boat had a new bow back in 2014

 

eliboat

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9 hours ago, Rafael said:

There have been several attacks by estimated 4 herds (15 orcas or so) to the rudders of different sailing boats reported in the last months in Costa da Morte NW Spain and Portugal, there has also been even restricted areas for vessels less than 15.mts long by this cause. Scientists are quite confused and have no answer. Different theories are they are playing with them, hunting practice for the youngs, also maybe somekind of possible vengance and also the decreasing numbers in their food chain... One thing is quite certain, they are very very intelligent creatures... In the Gibraltar Strait, resident herds attack the giant bluefin tuna hooked by fisherman (very easy tasty meal)  :) Mr D. Attenborough and the BBC explain it much much better than me :)


Sharks and other fish will eat other hooked fish.  Not sure this is really a mark of intelligence per se, although I don’t think there is any dispute that Orcas are quite smart. 

 

Bristol-Cruiser

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View attachment 411481

Also have been thinking about the UFO/OFNI topic from a statistical point of view:

1. Let's "narrow down" the band of sea where the fleet is sailing in the SO to an imaginary section between Cape Town and the AEZ. This is ~620 nautical miles. For the sake of comparisons let's convert this to kilometers = ~1.148 kilometers. Multiply by a thousand to get the value in 1.148.000 meters.

2. A IMOCA with both foils extended is ~ at max 14 meters wide.

3. Consider a "worst case" (?) scenario when there are 100 UFOs, capable of causing significant damage to a rudder/foils evenly distributed on this line. This means that between each UFO there is a 11.48 kilometer wide gate to pass through.

5. The chance of hitting such a UFO with the above conditions  is ~ 0,12%, = 1 out of 1000 passing Imocas should hit one. (Rough rounding.)

Now we have 4 boats out of ~24 that are already are south enough with collisions+damage: Boss, LinkedOut, Arkea Paprec, and Initiatives C.

Is my "worst case" value of 100 way underestimated, and there is truly a belt of serious garbage floating around Antartica?

(Also I understand that for whales some have installed these sound pingers in the bulbs to distract them way ahead.)
I think your analysis is flawed. I suspect your estimate of 100 UFOs is much too high which would reduce the probably of 0.12% quite substantially, say to 0.0001%, but and it is a huge but, that probability exists for every meter along the course. It will be higher in some places , off the mouth of the Amazon where lots of trees are brought by the river and lower, in the Southern Ocean far away from land. I don't think it is possible to come up with any realistic estimate of the risk. The reality is that there are lots of things to hit in any circumnavigation and when you are going very fast with 'wings' extended it only gets worse. JLC may end up doing very well indeed because his probability of damage is much less and he is very skilled and perhaps lucky when needed.

 

bucc5062

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In regards to the race, Isabelle may soon pass Pedote...I'm sorry correction, she *has* passed Pedote and is still rolling along.  Those 4 in front of her may start looking backwards and it is not a far distance to look.  7 boats all within 150 nm (front to back) and two of the non-foilers.

My question to Herman would be, with boats in this reasonable proximity to each other, would the routing be roughly the same so we are looking at positions changing due to seamanship in the small things (sail shape, course, AP or hand steering) or do the polars of each boat impact the routing decisions and position.  From a different angle, when does the skipper step away from routing and sail what the got? 

Isabelle seems to be a good spot to angle down towards the ice line and stay in better breeze.

 

Bebmoumoute

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If you want to be cynical about it, the Kevin Escoffier rescue is an amazing PR event. ROI for PRB is huge, and probably even more than if he finished the race normally say in 5th place.

You coudn't have written it more perfectly:

  • Sudden rush to escape the boat
  • Le Cam rescues him after struggling, bringing back the memory from the 2008 rescue
  • We should have some great images from the French Navy pickup
  • When Le Cam hopefully finishes the race, he is in for a hell of a welcome in Les Sables, probably with the whole of the PRB company there
  • PRB will sponsor Kevin again in 2024



As others have said, if you don't want to see boats retiring and/or breaking, even the top teams, don't follow the Vendee Globe. Reminder of previous potential winners problems:

  • In 1989, the favourite with the bigger budget (Poupon - Fleury Michon) capsized near South Africa, was rescued by Peyron and gave up;
  • In 1992, Peyron's hull delaminated not long after the start;
  • In 1996, Autissier and Parlier broke rudders, Gerry Roufs died in a storm in second position;
  • In 2000, Parlier lost his mast around NZ, rebuilt a shorter one and finished the race whilst eating seaweed because he had no more food;
  • in 2004, Roland Jourdain broke the hed of the keel;
  • In 2008, Peyron lost his mast, so did Golding, both being in the lead, Yann Elies had to be rescued by the Aussies after he broke his leg, Seb Josse retired sue to muliple issues and Roland Jourdain lost his keel. Le Cam capsized before the Horn. Riou lost his mast after damages occured in the Le Cam rescue (but got redressed as 3rd);
  • In 2012, Guillemot lost his keel 50 nm after the start, Sam Davies lost her mast near Madere, Riou hit a metallic buoy near Brazil, Stamm had all sort of issues and got DSQ for outside assistance in the Aukland islands. Kito de Pavant hit a trawler near Portugal;
  • In 2016, Alex Thomson hit a UUFO (but finished), Riou had keel issue in the Atlantic, Josse broke a foil box, Meilhat broke the head of the keel and Lagraviere a rudder.

This is only for skippers that were seen as potential winners !!

I also repost the table below. I have included Alex in it as retired.

VG.png

 
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troll99

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https://www.letelegramme.fr/dossiers/le-sauvetage-de-kevin-escoffier-sur-le-vendee-globe/alain-gautier-il-fallait-agir-vite-pour-prendre-eventuellement-des-decisions-02-12-2020-12666357.php?share_auth=c8ad4f0dc66b94c09e739bddc2f66e2d&fbclid=IwAR3xcFADa3uVQfcCxXFbOY-TcEjh0fIPIPNOuk3WIresqLZZzgpsA1RaXss


Vendée Globe. Alain Gautier: "We had to act quickly to eventually take decisions"



Kevin Escoffier's 60-footer, which broke in two, put a chill on the fleet. All the skippers at sea inevitably ask themselves questions, what is more if their boat looks like “PRB” as is the case for Maxime Sorel or Isabelle Joschke. Alain Gautier, Vendée Globe 92-93 winner and team manager of the “MACSF” project, took stock with the architects to make the right decisions.




alain-gautier-et-isabelle-joschke_5422338_676x452p.jpg
 


You are team manager of Isabelle Joschke's project, which has a boat similar to that of "PRB": it must not have been easy to learn that it had broken in two?


Whether it's the same boat or another Imoca, we are always already trying to find out the facts, to collect as much information as possible. This is what we tried to do with "Corum" which dismasted. And of course, we always try to have as many elements as possible. For “PRB”, of course we approached Vincent Riou yesterday morning (Tuesday morning). He was the one who called me very early on to give me Kevin (Escoffier's) vision of the problem.



 



What then are the steps you take?


I had already made appointments with architects to estimate, understand or at least try to understand, and see what we were risking. Of course it is done quite quickly. As it turns out, we worked very closely with VPLP on our modifications, which Vincent and Kevin did not do at all. Apart from the fact that the boats have the same shape as “V & B Mayenne” - moreover we also had contact with Maxime Sorel's team - they are not built in the same way. They were not built by the same shipyards, they were not built in the same year. Concerning “PRB”, they made changes like us, adding recent foils: 2019 for us, 2018 for them. We did not operate in the same way, we had failed and ultimately, we preferred to approach VPLP. Therefore, the boats are not that close. There are similarities, of course, but Isabelle's boat was built by Safran, with fibers of a certain type and a process of a certain type.

To read  on the subject Vincent Riou: “Even in a difficult place, a boat cannot break in two! "

What were your interactions with the architects?


We went around with the architects. There are still more in-depth calculations that are going to be done. But it was necessary to act quickly to eventually make decisions. It is rather reassuring on our side. We saw each other in the morning, they worked all day and we debriefed on Tuesday evening.


Isabelle is at sea, at the beginning of the South Seas. How do we reassure her?


It's a tough job, that's for sure. From my experience, I know how we live at sea. I have known Isabelle for four years, so I explained to her what I was doing, the steps I had taken to give her summaries of all that. And then submit suggestions to him that I have estimated, after the discussions I had with the architects. Of course, I'm as pragmatic as possible and as precise as possible with her, so that she knows things, while being a bit of a psychologist. She must have all the ins and outs. She is still stressed at the entrance to these southern seas. This is something she does not know with boats that are not obvious. She is naturally stressed because she is a very good sailor, but it is obvious that it is not easy. More, she doesn't really like the cold and even though she has a heater on board, she can't use it all the time. We will have to be smart, pragmatic and careful. She has a battle plan for the Deep South, but we know it doesn't always go as planned.




 
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tallyho

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L'Occitane is slowing, only 466m in the last 24 hours! ;-) 

Interesting note, Tripon was 1,100 m approx behind La Fabrique at the equator, now only 250..  What a run!

 




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