Vendee Globe 2020



Nope

Reserve Squad
Well, a week in now and it's certainly been interesting and in no way plain sailing (pun intended) for all the skippers. Tricky conditions with the initial front and Theta have ensured that all the skippers have had to demonstrate not only their undoubted skills but also shown how physically and mentally tough this race is, even so early in.

Highlights for me – of course it's good to see Alex and the boat going well and that his risks, esp regarding Theta, have paid off and given him a reasonable lead heading into what should be relatively 'easy' sailing for at least a few days. Also been enjoying the videos from Pip Hare and Boris Herrman. The real star of the first week has been Jean Le Cam though. To be where he is after 7 days in an old non-foiling boat shows some fantastic sailing and planning. Likely that the foilers will take advantage of the weather over the next few days and show how quick they really are.


Lowlights – Jeremie Beyou having to bring Charal back into port for repairs. Obviously while it is disappointing for Jeremie it's a shame for us following the race as well. I think minus any major mishaps (which are of course possible) Alex will win by some distance and we'll be denied the gripping race like we had in 2016 between Alex and Armel Le Cleach. Of course as always there are races within the race but still...
The Charal team are making an announcement tomorrow as to whether the boat can be repaired and back out before the Wednesday deadline. Fingers crossed that he makes it back out and shows us what the boat can do. Other lowlights are minimal updates from Sebastian Destremau, and that I didn't stick in at French at school – even Sam Davies gives most of her updates in French!!

So, as usual ha'way Alex, the lasses, the boats, and the rest of the fleet (on the waves or in the port)
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Well, a week in now and it's certainly been interesting and in no way plain sailing (pun intended) for all the skippers. Tricky conditions with the initial front and Theta have ensured that all the skippers have had to demonstrate not only their undoubted skills but also shown how physically and mentally tough this race is, even so early in.

Highlights for me – of course it's good to see Alex and the boat going well and that his risks, esp regarding Theta, have paid off and given him a reasonable lead heading into what should be relatively 'easy' sailing for at least a few days. Also been enjoying the videos from Pip Hare and Boris Herrman. The real star of the first week has been Jean Le Cam though. To be where he is after 7 days in an old non-foiling boat shows some fantastic sailing and planning. Likely that the foilers will take advantage of the weather over the next few days and show how quick they really are.


Lowlights – Jeremie Beyou having to bring Charal back into port for repairs. Obviously while it is disappointing for Jeremie it's a shame for us following the race as well. I think minus any major mishaps (which are of course possible) Alex will win by some distance and we'll be denied the gripping race like we had in 2016 between Alex and Armel Le Cleach. Of course as always there are races within the race but still...
The Charal team are making an announcement tomorrow as to whether the boat can be repaired and back out before the Wednesday deadline. Fingers crossed that he makes it back out and shows us what the boat can do. Other lowlights are minimal updates from Sebastian Destremau, and that I didn't stick in at French at school – even Sam Davies gives most of her updates in French!!

So, as usual ha'way Alex, the lasses, the boats, and the rest of the fleet (on the waves or in the port)
Excellent report on the first week Nope.
 

Nope

Reserve Squad
Good and bad news for the fleet heading into the 2nd week. In general the easing conditions have allowed them to settle into a less frantic routine, grab some well needed rest, and do some maintenance on the boats. It's even shorts and t-shirt weather as they head south – lucky them!

Good news also for Jeremie and the team with the announcement that Charal will be heading back out from Les Sables tomorrow afternoon. He should have much better weather than the fleet had last week so should make up some ground (sea?)

It's not all good news however. Nico Troussel, who was in 7th, is out of the race after CORUM L'Epargne dismasted north west of the Cape Verde Islands. Fortunately, he is fine but the boat is now heading to the islands under engine power. Problems also for Kojiro Shiraishi when the main sail on Global One ripped clean through – looks like he will be continuing though. Maxime Sorel also had worries after V and B Mayenne hit a UFO earlier this morning but there seems to be little damage and he is back on course.

As of this afternoon Alex is 92nm ahead of Jean le Cam, although not the fastest boat at the minute with Thomas Ruyant in Linked Out flying along having covered over 500 miles in the last 24 hours.

Alex day 8
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Tracking map - Vendée Globe - En
Tracking map at 21.00 hours tonight
Alex heads for the Equator

While Nicholas Troussel is motoring slowly into a lumpy sea, his Vendée Globe abandoned after his mast was broken early yesterday morning, this afternoon in bright sunshine and light winds off Les Sables d'Olonne Jérémie Beyou was resuscitating his own race, restarting some 2,700 nautical miles behind leader Alex Thomson who was negotiating the first hours of his Doldrums passage on HUGO BOSS.

Promised a smooth passage through the 300-350 miles wide Inter Tropical Convergence Zone by the weather gurus, Thomson should be first across the Equator in the middle of Wednesday morning. On current routing models he is likely to be around one day slower than the record he set at 9 days 7 hours when he led the 2016-17 race into the Southern Hemisphere.
The Doldrums look like they might offer Thomson and the lead group a free pass. The skipper from Gosport and his nearest rival Ruyant have seen their speeds ease to 14-15kts but the zone between the NE'ly and SE'ly trade winds is quite narrow.
"It's not just a transition between two winds, it's also a transition between two seas," said Sébastien Josse and Christian Dumard, the weather consultants for the Vendée Globe. "The seas will not be as smooth as you may think. Speeds will be more erratic and courses more varied. To get out of here you have to cross directly at right angles and... stay calm. Each metre gained south is one metre gained towards the exit of the tunnel" continues Sébastien Josse.

From Madeira to the Doldrums, the 2020 Vendée Globe wagon train spans some 1,600 miles (2,900 km) of ocean. Now, finally, almost the entire fleet is in the trade winds and making decent progress. But to the west of the Canaries in a localised 'doldrums' of persistently light winds five competitors are continuing to have their patience tested.
Alex Thomson has successfully crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere, as he maintains his lead in the Vendée Globe.

The HUGO BOSS skipper crossed the equator at 13:19 UTC today (Wednesday 18th November) after 9 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes at sea.

One of the favourites going into the race, which takes place just every four years, Thomson finds himself ahead of his nearest rival by some 70 miles.

Despite a gruelling start to the race – which saw the solo sailors navigate changing weather systems and a tropical storm – the Brit has passed through the Doldrums and has reported no major issues onboard the HUGO BOSS yacht, which was designed and built with the aim of winning the race:

“I definitely expected the start of the race to be tough but it’s not normal for it to be that intense, that’s for sure” he said today onboard HUGO BOSS. “Normally you wouldn’t have to negotiate all of these changing weather systems and then a tropical storm; that’s never really happened before. So yes, it’s been tough with very little sleep.

“But I like to start the race hard. For me, the start of the race is to the southern ocean and then, if you can survive the southern ocean and you get round Cape Horn, at that point you can head home on a boat which has already done a lot of miles and which you know is in good shape. So that’s what we’re looking to do”.

The solo, non-stop, unassisted round-the-world yacht race has only ever been won by a French skipper since its inception. Thomson, however, finished the last two editions of the race – in 2012 and 2016 – in third and second place respectively, and has spent the past four years preparing to go one better in 2020:

“I’m always desperately worried to lose out in the Doldrums” he continued. “So I’m very pleased to have made it in and out quickly. Now, I find myself in the lead which is exactly where I like to be. If you’re following, then you can get left behind and before you know it, everything can be over. I go out there to try and win the race. That’s what I’m here to do. And to be in this position at the equator, with the boat in good shape, gives me a lot of confidence in her performance but also in my own capabilities and decision making”.

33 skippers began the 24,000 nautical mile race on Sunday November 8th from Les Sables d’Olonne in France. Many of the fleet, after just 10 days at sea, have already experienced technical failures or have fallen victim to the perilous conditions of the course, forcing some to turn back to the starting line or to abandon their race altogether.

Thomson hopes to complete the race in around 70 days, this time at the very front of the pack.
 
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Nope

Reserve Squad
Missed the start of this, even with 4 years notice.
:lol:

You haven't missed much man ;). Been a cracking start to the race – recap of week one here

Looks like we have some cracking races within the race developing. Up front Alex is still heading the way but now only 18nm ahead (it was down to 7nm this morning) with Thomas Ruyant in LinkedOut and Charlie Dalin in APIVIA really flying along in the last 24 hrs - pulled back 50nm+ on Hugo Boss.
A second group of 8 boats, including Sam Davies and Boris Herrmann, while being 200nm behind Alex et al, are all within 170nm of each other. Jean le Cam still going well between the two groups about 50nm ahead of the latter.
Looking back down the fleet there are three other groups of tightly packed boats, with a few singles in between, so could really get three or four interesting races here...

… but then there is the Southern Ocean I guess
 

D.A

Striker
TEAM STATEMENT

At approximately 19:00 UTC on Saturday 21st November, Alex notified the team on shore of a possible structural issue onboard the HUGO BOSS boat.

At the time, Alex was located approximately 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro in the South Atlantic ocean, and was 13 days into the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race.

Alex and the team, together with our appointed naval architects and structural engineers, are now working together to assess the extent of the structural issue and to determine a repair programme and timeline.

Alex is safe and well onboard, and in regular dialogue with the team. The Vendée Globe race organisation has been notified and is being kept well informed.

We kindly ask that members of the public refrain from attempting to contact the team at this time. A further update will be released on Sunday 22nd November.



Drama 😳
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
TEAM STATEMENT

At approximately 19:00 UTC on Saturday 21st November, Alex notified the team on shore of a possible structural issue onboard the HUGO BOSS boat.

At the time, Alex was located approximately 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro in the South Atlantic ocean, and was 13 days into the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race.

Alex and the team, together with our appointed naval architects and structural engineers, are now working together to assess the extent of the structural issue and to determine a repair programme and timeline.

Alex is safe and well onboard, and in regular dialogue with the team. The Vendée Globe race organisation has been notified and is being kept well informed.

We kindly ask that members of the public refrain from attempting to contact the team at this time. A further update will be released on Sunday 22nd November.



Drama 😳
Here we go again 🙄
 

Nope

Reserve Squad
The tracker shows Alex heading south-west towards Brasil from 9am this morning - in light winds and calm seas as well - doesn't bode well.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
TEAM UPDATE: Ross Daniel, Technical Director at Alex Thomson Racing: “Yesterday evening (Saturday 21st November), while Alex was carrying out a routine inspection onboard HUGO BOSS, he spotted what he believed to be some structural damage in the bow area of the boat. He immediately notified myself and the team on shore, and we provided clear instructions to allow him to carry out a full inspection of the damage. “That inspection has revealed some structural damage to a longitudinal beam at the front of the boat. The damage appears to be isolated to that area alone. It is yet unclear what caused this damage. There have been no incidents of concern onboard the boat during the race so far. “Together with our structural engineers and naval architects, we worked through the night to put together a full repair plan for Alex. During this time, Alex took some rest onboard in order to prepare to begin that repair work this morning. “Alex has now put the boat into a safe position to manage the sea state in order to reduce movement onboard while he carries out the repair. He has all the necessary materials onboard, a detailed plan to follow, and a team of world class engineers advising him. We are therefore confident in his ability to complete the repair. “Our objective is to carry out the necessary repair swiftly and effectively, in order to minimize the miles lost and resume racing again. “A further update will follow from the team in due course”.
 

DearRatBoy

Subs Bench
Alex Thomson shares an update following the news announced yesterday by his team, that he had discovered structural damage on the HUGO BOSS yacht, 13 days into the Vendée Globe.

“It was a bit of a shock at first but obviously it could have been a lot worse. It’s repairable and we’re not yet in the southern ocean.

“I called my technical team and they got the right group of people together – the designers, the engineers, the team. While they were digesting the information, that was my time to sleep. Knowing it was going to be a big job to get it all done, I got myself about six hours sleep so that I’d be ready.

“Then we started running through the repair plan so that I could fully understand it and ask the right questions. The first part of that was to stabilise the hull so that involved some cutting, gluing and bolting. That’s done now and it’s been laminated. The next part is to get the rest of the repair prepped. I need to get all the materials together and do as much of the cutting now while it’s still light. Then the rest of it doesn’t matter because it’s in the bow and it’s dark in there anyway. It’s really humid up in there. But we carry quite a lot of materials – under-water resin, glues that can deal with humid conditions – so the materials can deal with it quite well. I imagine a lot of teams don’t carry as much as we do.

“I’m in a rhythm now so I’ll keep going for as long as I can. It’s quite an intricate job so I can’t rush it and I need to make sure it’s right.

“I’m disappointed obviously but this is the Vendée Globe. This is what it entails. You’ve got to be able to deal with this stuff. This is why we carry these materials and tools, and why we’re generally very good at being able to deal with these things. Normally I feel angry and sad and emotional but I don’t this time. I just need to get on with it. I’m sure at some point the emotions may go the other way but, for now, there is only one thing to do and that is to get the job done as best as I possibly can. I will do whatever it takes to stay in the race”.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Alex Thomson shares an update following the news announced yesterday by his team, that he had discovered structural damage on the HUGO BOSS yacht, 13 days into the Vendée Globe.

“It was a bit of a shock at first but obviously it could have been a lot worse. It’s repairable and we’re not yet in the southern ocean.

“I called my technical team and they got the right group of people together – the designers, the engineers, the team. While they were digesting the information, that was my time to sleep. Knowing it was going to be a big job to get it all done, I got myself about six hours sleep so that I’d be ready.

“Then we started running through the repair plan so that I could fully understand it and ask the right questions. The first part of that was to stabilise the hull so that involved some cutting, gluing and bolting. That’s done now and it’s been laminated. The next part is to get the rest of the repair prepped. I need to get all the materials together and do as much of the cutting now while it’s still light. Then the rest of it doesn’t matter because it’s in the bow and it’s dark in there anyway. It’s really humid up in there. But we carry quite a lot of materials – under-water resin, glues that can deal with humid conditions – so the materials can deal with it quite well. I imagine a lot of teams don’t carry as much as we do.

“I’m in a rhythm now so I’ll keep going for as long as I can. It’s quite an intricate job so I can’t rush it and I need to make sure it’s right.

“I’m disappointed obviously but this is the Vendée Globe. This is what it entails. You’ve got to be able to deal with this stuff. This is why we carry these materials and tools, and why we’re generally very good at being able to deal with these things. Normally I feel angry and sad and emotional but I don’t this time. I just need to get on with it. I’m sure at some point the emotions may go the other way but, for now, there is only one thing to do and that is to get the job done as best as I possibly can. I will do whatever it takes to stay in the race”.
Excellent update DearRatBoy. Let's hope he can do an effective repair and get back up to speed. There is still a hell of a long way to go. Come on Alex son.
 

Nope

Reserve Squad
Couple of videos from Alex re: the repairs. Seems they are well underway and he sounds pretty positive on getting back in the race. The conditions aren't that good for Charlie and Thomas upfront so it will be interesting to see how much mileage Alex has to make up when he gets under full sail again - presently 380nm from APIVIA in 1st. Was mentioned the other day that in 2016 Alex was >800nm behind Armel rounding the Cape Horn and pulled nearly all of that back by the time they reached the equater - this is not over by a long shot.

repair vid 1

repair vid 2
Couple of videos from Alex re: the repairs. Seems they are well underway and he sounds pretty positive on getting back in the race. The conditions aren't that good for Charlie and Thomas upfront so it will be interesting to see how much mileage Alex has to make up when he gets under full sail again - presently 380nm from APIVIA in 1st. Was mentioned the other day that in 2016 Alex was >800nm behind Armel rounding the Cape Horn and pulled nearly all of that back by the time they reached the equater - this is not over by a long shot.

repair vid 1

repair vid 2
and now back sailing although not all repairs complete yet.
 
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DearRatBoy

Subs Bench
Couple of videos from Alex re: the repairs. Seems they are well underway and he sounds pretty positive on getting back in the race. The conditions aren't that good for Charlie and Thomas upfront so it will be interesting to see how much mileage Alex has to make up when he gets under full sail again - presently 380nm from APIVIA in 1st. Was mentioned the other day that in 2016 Alex was >800nm behind Armel rounding the Cape Horn and pulled nearly all of that back by the time they reached the equater - this is not over by a long shot.

repair vid 1

repair vid 2


and now back sailing although not all repairs complete yet.
"I don't know what I'm doing" love it.
 

Blanco y Tinto

Midfield
Excellent news that Alex is back underway. It does of course beg some questions as to how the hull was found to be structurally problematic just 13 days into the race. The whole boat has been built and designed with the sole aim of winning this race. It was rebuilt virtually from scratch when the keel was nearly ripped off after hitting a submerged object. How was this missed. Must also put some pressure on Alex knowing that in a few days time he will be in the Southern Ocean with the immense seas that occur down there.
 

DearRatBoy

Subs Bench
He said something didn't feel right so he had a look around, looks like one of the beams has cracked right through possibly from going through that storm?
 

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