Vendee Globe 2020



Nope

Reserve Squad
and we're off.

ha'way Alex, the lasses, the boat(s)... in fact all the crazy bastards

false start!?!
 

Cow

Central Defender
Just been reading an article about the build up to the race...all the skippers faced a late covid test, if positive then they wouldn’t be able to start the race. 2-3mths in a boat, at sea, solo. Self isolating doesn’t get much more self isolating. :lol:
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Just watching recorded highlights of the start.
First update from the Vendee web site. Fabrice Amedeo is return hopefully for a quick turn around.
Alex’s tracker at 22.00 hrs had him in 6th place about 8 kilometres off the leader as they get further out in the Bay of Biscay.

Newest Duo Chase Chara, Amedeo Heads For Fast Pitstop
Into the first long night of this Vendée Globe and Jérémie Beyou (Charal) is where he wants to be, leading the charge in a still moderate S’ly breeze which is seeing the leaders making around 17-20 knots of boat speed. On the 21hrs TU ranking there is almost seven miles between Beyou and Alex Thomson on HUGO BOSS who is sixth and was slowed just as the position report was run as was Charlie Dalin on Apivia For sure the breeze has not been as settled as was initially predicted.
The two newest IMOCAs, neither of which has completed a race, are second and third, Nico Troussel moving at 20kts up to second on Corum L’Épargne at 0.7 of mile behind the leader and Armel Tripon on L’Occitaine at +2.7 miles.
Meanwhile a bitterly disappointed Fabrice Amedeo is heading back to Les Sables d’Olonne for what should be a swift pitstop to repair a headsail hook. Amedeo was making seven knots with 24 miles to sail back to Les Sables d’Olonne where he should reach in the small hours of the morning.
Maxime Sorel is going well as the best none foiler in 16th
 
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D.A

Striker
Just watching recorded highlights of the start.
First update from the Vendee web site. Fabrice Amedeo is return hopefully for a quick turn around.
Alex’s tracker at 22.00 hrs had him in 6th place about 8 kilometres off the leader as they get further out in the Bay of Biscay.

Newest Duo Chase Chara, Amedeo Heads For Fast Pitstop
Into the first long night of this Vendée Globe and Jérémie Beyou (Charal) is where he wants to be, leading the charge in a still moderate S’ly breeze which is seeing the leaders making around 17-20 knots of boat speed. On the 21hrs TU ranking there is almost seven miles between Beyou and Alex Thomson on HUGO BOSS who is sixth and was slowed just as the position report was run as was Charlie Dalin on Apivia For sure the breeze has not been as settled as was initially predicted.
The two newest IMOCAs, neither of which has completed a race, are second and third, Nico Troussel moving at 20kts up to second on Corum L’Épargne at 0.7 of mile behind the leader and Armel Tripon on L’Occitaine at +2.7 miles.
Meanwhile a bitterly disappointed Fabrice Amedeo is heading back to Les Sables d’Olonne for what should be a swift pitstop to repair a headsail hook. Amedeo was making seven knots with 24 miles to sail back to Les Sables d’Olonne where he should reach in the small hours of the morning.
Maxime Sorel is going well as the best none foiler in 16th
8km already?! Shite.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
8km already?! Shite.
😀
Day 2. The boats are well out in Biscay now and are hitting the Atlantic north of North West Spain. Alex and a group of the newer class of boats have headed out further west while the older boats are cutting closer to Spain. At 21.00 Alex was 11th about 20 miles off the lead boat.

Cape Finisterre on the north west tip of Spain looks set to lure the leaders of the Vendée Globe into a very light and unsettled wind zone. Routings tonight certainly seem to bring the top daggerboard boats inside the TSS Traffic Separation Zone zone on this notorious corner. But a lot will depend on how and when the new SW’ly breeze arrives which will allow them to tack west and start to set up for the front which will come through tomorrow night.
It is looking like an extremely complicated weather pattern not least because there are several secondary low pressure systems which need careful watching. All the way to Friday there is not just this tough front with gusts to 40 knots and five metre seas, but after the fast downwind sailing for the foilers more to the west there is then another high pressure ridge to slow them before trying to pick the right spot and timing to get over the top and the west of the next low.
In short it looks like a tiring, stressful few days which will require prudence and excellent self management as well as protecting the boat. Strategies will be much less extreme than on an autumn Transat where the reward for breaking into the Trade Winds first can be a race winner.
There is certainly a sense that skippers, especially of the newer foilers, will dial down their routing to avoid the worst of the seas as much as possible in order to live on at close to 100% to fight harder further down the course.
Indeed there are no trade winds right now, just a series of messy lows and head scratching transition zones on what has been a pretty atypical Vendée Globe opening.
 
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Nope

Reserve Squad
Fancy a sweepstake on when Alex gets some sleep - 48 hours in a not a wink so far.

Not so sure on the enclosed cockpit on Hugo Boss. I'm sure it is advantageous to racing but not great viewing so far, compared to the other boats and 2016. Makes it a bit more 'real' when you see their exposure to the elements.

HB 50nm behind the leader already!! ;) although the foilers seem to think there is a definite advantage to heading further west before turning south. Sam Davies going well, as are the other British lasses.

Great entertainment as usual.

ha'way Alex, the lasses, and the boats - and Sebastian Destremau of course.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Vendée Globe Position Report 17H00 UTC 10/11/2020
Heading west this afternoon and encountering building winds, skippers of the many of the faster foiling IMOCAs are preparing themselves for an overnight pounding, set to last five or six hours, when they punch through an active weather front which is forecast to bring them 40 knot gusts and big seas.

The reward for looking after their boats and themselves as best they can tonight will be some faster, albeit bumpy miles in a more direct, southerly direction.

While 30 year old Les Sables d'Olonne hometown favourite Benjamin Dutreux tops the afternoon classifications due to his more southerly position, some 50 miles north west of the Ria de Vigo on the Galician coast, so also Nico Troussel on the new Juan K IMOCA Corum L'Épargne has broken from the other foiler and taken this southerly option which is considered to be safer.
Dutreux on OMIA-Water Family (which was built in Cowes as BT), Troussel, Maxime Sorel (V and B - Mayenne) and Jean Le Cam have led a southerly pack inside the Cape Finisterre TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme no go area).

Troussel's option may be related to taking a more conservative safe option, sailing more miles but with the benefit of less severe winds, to safeguard his boat which is in its first race. But the 46-year old double La Solitaire du Figaro champion was renowned in the world of the Figaro for taking flyers away from the fleet and often coming out smelling of roses. Such gambles and big gains gave rise to rise to the expression 'doing a Troussel'.

Troussel was lying fourth on the afternoon standings, almost 100 miles south east of rivals Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Charlie Dalin (Apivia) and the hard driving Kevin Escoffier on the older PRB who is just seven and a half miles off Beyou's leeward quarter.
The worst of the conditions will be tonight between 0200hrs and 0300hrs for this foiling peloton with average windspeeds above 30kts and gusts over 40, but by the morning they should be able to tack into the NW'ly wind and make faster miles down the track, albeit still in bumpy seas.

Nothing comes easily on the Vendée Globe and after breaking across a ridge of high pressure the next big question for this group especially will be dealing with Theta, a tropical storm which crosses their path between Thursday and Friday (13th!). Routings today show a possible timing which would allow these quickest boats to pass the west side of it in the NW'ly wind, but this system is evolving rapidly and being caught in its path is worth avoiding.

After that the tradewinds are still not established and current timings to the equator are some three days behind the record of 9 days 7 hours set by Alex Thomson who led the 2016 race across into the south Atlantic.

"You have to be wise. This is not where the Vendée Globe is won, but this is where it can get lost," says Damien Seguin on the Vendée Live program this midday. The Paralympic champion was speaking after diving to free a fishing net which was caught on the keel of his boat. Meantime Arnaud Boissières successfully scaled the mast of his La Mie Caline to free his halyard hook and release his trapped gennaker, a welcome relief for the Les Sables d'Olonne skipper on his fourth successive Vendée Globe.

Having had a composite expert add an additional pad and repair the hairline crack at the top of his mast Fabrice Amedeo is expected to head back out to restart at the Nouch buoy this evening.
 
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Nope

Reserve Squad
Looks like Jeremie Bayou in Charal - one of the real favourites to win - is in a bit of trouble. Hit an unidentified floating object overnight and damaged the rudder. Is pretty much stationary at the minute and >100nm behind. Having to wait until the weather is conducive for repairs.

Good news for Alex but bad news for the race IMO

As for Alex, seems he managed a couple of hours sleep - lazy git.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Looks like Jeremie Bayou in Charal - one of the real favourites to win - is in a bit of trouble. Hit an unidentified floating object overnight and damaged the rudder. Is pretty much stationary at the minute and >100nm behind. Having to wait until the weather is conducive for repairs.

Good news for Alex but bad news for the race IMO

As for Alex, seems he managed a couple of hours sleep - lazy git.
Will catch up later but it could be bad news for the Charal team only 3/4 days in😐
Looks like Jeremie Bayou in Charal - one of the real favourites to win - is in a bit of trouble. Hit an unidentified floating object overnight and damaged the rudder. Is pretty much stationary at the minute and >100nm behind. Having to wait until the weather is conducive for repairs.

Good news for Alex but bad news for the race IMO

As for Alex, seems he managed a couple of hours sleep - lazy git.
Looks like Jeremie Bayou in Charal - one of the real favourites to win - is in a bit of trouble. Hit an unidentified floating object overnight and damaged the rudder. Is pretty much stationary at the minute and >100nm behind. Having to wait until the weather is conducive for repairs.

Good news for Alex but bad news for the race IMO

As for Alex, seems he managed a couple of hours sleep - lazy git.
Heading back to the start. Was doing a repair on something when he hit something and it’s not going to get sorted at sea. The start only remains open for about 10 days I think so this could be curtains
http://instagr.am/p/CHdeoPJqyNi/ At 22.00 tonight Alex had moved back to second place
 
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Nope

Reserve Squad
Will catch up later but it could be bad news for the Charal team only 3/4 days in😐


Heading back to the start. Was doing a repair on something when he hit something and it’s not going to get sorted at sea. The start only remains open for about 10 days I think so this could be curtains
http://instagr.am/p/CHdeoPJqyNi/ At 22.00 tonight Alex had moved back to second place
Agree on this. Not expected back into Les Sables d'Olonne until Saturday now which would only give 3-4 days for repairs and back out there. Watched an interview with him this morning - obviously he is gutted and gave no indication he would be heading back out. I guess they'll have to assess the damage before making a decision.

Alex now up front but the fleet still quite tightly bunched. Friday 13th looks like another tricky day trying to get west of tropical storm Theta - more big seas and 40-50kt winds expected. Sam Davies still going well in 8th as it stands.

Also looks like Sebastien Destremau is heading back towards Les Sables after an 'Avalanche of Disaters' on Merci. Can't see him making it back, repairing and heading back out before the cutoff . Shame that as I really enjoyed his 'Welcome to the office' updates in 2016.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Passing the Azores, some 100 miles to the east of São Miguel island, Britain's Alex Thomson leads the Vendée Globe fleet this afternoon on Hugo Boss. He moved south away from his closest rivals on the water early this morning, choosing a time when he thought they would be at their most tired, perhaps resting, to slide away.

Pacing himself against the newest generation of foilers like his HUGO BOSS, he is 13 miles up on Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) as the lead group slide south on the western side of a low pressure system, described today as a 'baby low' when compared with tropical low Theta which lies in wait for them from tomorrow Friday.
Five days into the race and the head of the fleet comprises a slightly unexpected mix of the latest foilers intertwined with older generation non foiling boats, such as sailed by the wily 61 year old Jean Le Cam on his fifth Vendée Globe and lying second to Thomson who is also on his fifth race.
Thomson has been no stranger to adversity over his 16 years chasing his holy grail, victory in the Vendée Globe. And so his message of solidarity today for French title favourite Jérémie Beyou, who had to U turn back to Les Sables d'Olonne with rig and rudder damage yesterday, came from the heart.
Dealing with his shattered ambitions of winning, founded on a four year plan which included building a state of the art foiler Charal, launched one year ahead of the rest of the new boats, he spoke to the French media on a recording for the Vendée Globe LIVE show. Beyou's pain was palpable today.
Beyou is expected to reach Les Sables d'Olonne on Saturday. His team will make an immediate evaluation of the repairs required and ensure they have the logistics in place.

Repairing man and machine

Sébastien Destremau has survived the stormy hours on his IMOCA MERCI, which he struggled to have ready on time for last Sunday's race start. Last night, exhausted from the first few days he fell asleep and spent several hours asleep inside the boat heading northwards. His day was then spent tinkering on the deck and climbing the mast to untangle twisted halyards. The list of minor technical issues grows as sailors check the condition of their boats. Maxime Sorel also climbed the mast to retrieve a halyard.

After jumping the start gun last Sunday by a matter of seconds, Louis Burton completed his five hours penalty last night, losing more than 70 miles in the process. In addition to that the skipper from Saint Malo has had to mop up litres of oil (coming from his keel cylinder) spilled inside his boat before grabbing the grinder to repair a small crack on his bulkhead.

All of the skippers have been making sure they are rested as tomorrow morning they will have to tackle the big tropical depression Theta which blocks their way.
Alex has got the lead and is rushing to the trade winds to get him to the equator


After sailing through a steady 50 knots of wind and gusting 60 knots near the eye of Storm Theta, Alex tacked this afternoon and is now heading in a south westerly direction. Still leading the fleet, Alex should see the conditions start to ease through the night and eventually settling into some good downwind conditions which will take HUGO BOSS fast south and into the trade winds. It’s been a punishing start for all the skippers who will all welcome a trade wind passage to the equator.
 
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Nope

Reserve Squad
Great that Sebastian is still in the race.

Calculated risk I guess from Alex with being one of the more easterly boats round Theta. Could pick up 50+ nm when it spits him out into the trade winds, but with the risk of high winds and difficult seas beforehand.

Only right to mention Jean le Cam as well. I know it's only 5 days in but to be <10nm off the lead with an old non-foiling boat is some going considering the conditions. Wily old sea dog that he is.

The lasses still going well. Sam still in 8th and Pip and Miranda comfortable in the 2nd group of the fleet. Been enjoying Pip's video updates on VendeeGlobe TV Seems to enjoy the adventure rather being cought up in 'the race' a la Alex - which is understandable from his perspective of course.

Jeremie Beyou should be back in Les Sables tomorrow. I hope, the damage can be repaired to get him back out before the cutoff point. Obviously, winning the race is very unlikely but breaking some speed/distance records is still on, and it woud be interesting to see what Charal can do.

so yeah, ha'way Alex, the lasses, the boats and the rest of the crazy bastards
 

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