Vendee Globe 2020


Super Anarchist
Sask Canada
Sam, too had troubles: fatigue, autopilot, and keel. Safari trans from V&V Modifié le 09/01/2021 à 13h41

Hello to all V & V readers,
I have gone through a slightly more delicate period as you can read below, but my concerns have now been resolved, it is important to me to give my news to all those who follow me and show me support that gives me strength. Here is my logbook for the past week:
I'm not a runner but I know that in a marathon, we talk about the 30th kilometer wall. Over the past two days, I think I've been in the Vendée Globe version of this famous wall.
It started with a loss of wind info that my autopilot was using, obviously while I was sleeping. It was very dark and it was blowing at 30 knots! The repair was done not without difficulty and required a lot of work to get the boat back on track, but fortunately it was done without damage. I also managed to find the defect and correct it in my electronics so everything is finally fine from this point of view!
The next adventure was to discover that my keel actuator had slipped... and that the area around it was flooded... so I had to turn the boat out of the water, pump it and close the keel cylinder.
A little grinding, gluing and laminating later, the cylinder was secured
While I was doing my routine checks, I discovered that the head of the cylinder (the part attached to the keel) was unscrewing... At sea, it is impossible to screw it back on, so the solution was to create a system to block it and prevent it from unscrewing further. A little grinding, gluing and laminating later, the cylinder was secured. By a happy coincidence, I happened to be in an area with very little wind.
The cylinder now has more play than usual which makes my keel a little "noisy". It was a little worrying, so I carried out many checks to make sure that the noise came only from the keel and was not a sign of another problem but everything is fine.
In writing this, it seems rather simple to repair these small damages, but here, alone, with the fatigue and stress accumulated while sailing to the other side of the world (and having already damaged my keel once!), this episode totally exhausted me. I felt that every time I had solved one problem, another appeared. Those I described to you were also accompanied by a whole bunch of small problems, such as a cut I made to myself in the middle of a repair (only a minor cut!).
I'm on my way home now more than ever
Thank God, I am not alone and I have the incredible support and encouragement of my shore team who worked day and night to find solutions to Heart Initiatives problems and help me remotely solve everything as best I can here.
Now that everything is safe, I am confident in the ability of my cylinder to hold until arrival, and I can rest a little to recover. Fortunately, the weather is mild with me and the conditions are good. I have a few days of respite before the next depression!
Oh - and the good news is that I was so busy that I passed one of my " milestones" without realizing it. Here I am in the West longitudes because I passed the Antimeridian or "date change line" and so I won one day!! Or I lost one... depending on how we look at it!
I am more than ever on my way home now.



Super Anarchist
Sask Canada
Good find--thanks for the timestamp too. Glad to hear Joff Brown in person (didn't know Pip had reported a "creaking" the day before). He's supposed to be on tomorrow's Live, so this is good prep for that. 

Still reading up on him and his company Boatshed Performance in Gosford

He certainly has had his reputation boosted by this incident.

[edit] added time stamp of explanation of how she got the old rudder out without swimming

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Super Anarchist
Last video from Yannic Bestaven; I find interesting that he is saying that he is really happy to have taken a spinaker with him... Saying in the video that it is the fifth time that he is using it...

Does anybody know if Charlie Dalin or Thomas Ruyant have also a spinaker???



440 nm distance melted to 230nm (between Yannick and the next one).


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Super Anarchist
I thought travel was banned between the UK and South Africa... clearly Alex and his team found a way!
Presumably 3 weeks on a yacht offshore is a suitable period of self-isolation? A rare example of the UK government thinking sensibly (maybe).



Super Anarchist
Looks like our smiley guy sorted out his sail issues and is preparing to part company. 


Edit: Dalin's 22kt 4-hour average speed and VMG is impressive. I think Armel needs to step it up a notch or two. (Clarisse too... Armel and Clarisse make a cute couple.)

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Super Anarchist
Sask Canada
Sounds like Andi put this VG article together. I kept hearing his sentence rhythms. Good summary of the drama and the details from Charlie why he is going 23kn in 15 kn of breeze

One hundred and fifty miles further astern both Didac Costa, the Spanish skipper of One Planet-One Ocean and Stéphane Le Diraison on Time For Oceans have had their toughest time of the race so far with gusts over 50kts at times, the French skipper giving a vivid description of being knocked nearly flat in a huge squally gust.

“I think I got the worst of it with winds reaching 60 knots and waves with troughs of six to eight metres. The memory of it will stay with me for life. I have this image of a squall in 60 knots of wind, breaking waves, no sail up, the boat on its side in a snowstorm with the wind howling in the rig with a total sense of powerlessness in the face of these crazy conditions. It is mad to watch the sea which is white, almost like frothing milk and spray coming from all angles. It is just quite incredible. I am happy to have experienced it, it is quite an experience on a human level to have come through this, particularly physically, because it is so cold, but also on a mental and stress level, it is extremely demanding.”

He continues. “It is so cold, you just wrap up with all you have, it is just four degrees inside the cabin and then you hear the waves breaking on deck or being knocked down by a wave and you have to get dressed in the wet clothes and go out in the middle of the night. It is then that you have to just not think about it or question yourself. That is why I like that expression you just have to disconnect your brain, to concentrate on what needs to be done. Get out of the bunk, get dressed and go through the list of things that need to be done and leave the analysis of it all for later.”

By way of sharp contrast in the South Atlantic off the coasts of Argentina, Uruguay and the south of Brazil it is hot for leader Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq IV) in more ways than one. He has seen his lead shrink from 435 nautical miles to 263 this evening. And in second place Charlie Dalin is pushing Apivia very hard in near ideal foiling conditions, flat seas and 15-17 knots of breeze, constantly making 23-25kts averages to be 50 miles ahead of third placed Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut)

Dalin told Argentina’s three times Olympic medallist Santi Lange today on the Vendée Globe Live show, “I have good conditions to go fast, I currently have 22-23 knots of boatspeed for 15 knots of wind. So I am on the right foil. The sea state is getting flatter and I can feel the distance between Yannick and me shrinking so I hope that carries on for as long as possible. It is not going to be a straight line for me onwards, but there is an opportunity here and I am on it.”

Lange, like Dalin a qualified Naval Architect, asked about the foiling ability of the new generation boats in the south and how close they have been to hopes and what they saw during training, Dalin replied:

“It is a lot related to the wind stability. If it is a very gusty day you cannot carry as much sail as if the wind was more stable. And also the sea state, the sea state was the biggest problem in the southern ocean. In the Indian and part of the Pacific we just could not push. The sea state did not permit it. But yesterday I was still under my speed polars because I was in a 2m seaway. And when I was reaching speeds of 30kts then the slamming is too much. The sea state is such a factor. Obviously you push less hard than you do in training. You cannot be trimming, on the sheets all the time, you have to be able to leave the boat to go when you are sleeping. You run a few percent below what the boat could do. Sea state and wind stability. “
[aside] Following the Race is hard ;)    Listening to the 3-way conversation in the English Live between Scottish Andi, Argentinian Santi and French Dalin, all with their special accents, sat comm timelags, and wind/IMOCA background noise, was bizarre-- yet accessible and interesting. Santi also had a good comment how amazing it is to have the conversation with Andi and Charlie, despite the locations, thanks to the tech these days. Right on!

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Super Anarchist
Okay, change in topic.  I just want to know how they go about taking a leak when all geared up (Southern Ocean style).  I *know* when I'm offshore and in my foulies it's not fun stripping down enough to take a wizz, neve mind dropping a log in the head.  It's a real Pain In The A$$ to undress just to ....
Posted a reply earlier but it got lost in the ether! 

This is where the detail in design of your foulies matters! The fly in the pants should have a double ended zip so that it can be opened from the bottom. That way you can take a pee without removing any gear. Ladies use the same technique with a SheWee or similar. On freeze dried food the need to take a dump is reduced to once every couple of days or so for most people YMMV


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