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Vendee Globe & Americas Cup Sailboat Racing.

Vendee Globe - The race is on as you can see from the eight leading boats. 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are really close!
Charlie's lead has dropped from several hundreds of miles to less than 150 nm.

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Vendee Globe - Alex reaches Cape Town and is now officially retired from the race. Sebastien's race is over but he plans to try again in 2024. Sam sailing in to Cape Town to assess damage to her boat.

Obviously it's sad that Alex has been forced out of the race but good that he has reached land. We obviously don't know how long repairs will take but the voyage home is likely to be while the race is on. I don't know if the boat track will appear on the site but I'd be interested to watch it and any updates.

Likewise a shame for Sebastien and potentially Sam to retire from the race. Whatever happens we can follow them home and follow their race in 2024.

Sam and Sebastien are 175 nm and 245 nm from Capetown.
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Articles with source links:

Alex Thomson Has Arrived in Cape Town and Officialised His Abandon​

Alex Thomson arrived in Cape Town, South Africa this morning and officially notified Race Direction of his abandon from the Vendee Globe. He took nearly one week for him to sail HUGO BOSS the 1800 miles to the South African haven. Thomson suffered irrepairable rudder damage which left him with no alternative but to retire.
On his arrival at the dock Thomson said: “I’m certainly relieved to be back on dry land but I have very mixed emotions today. I’m still coming to terms with what’s happened, and I’m obviously utterly devastated that this is how the race has ended for us. But, as I’ve said before, it’s in our toughest moments that we find our greatest strength. Now we have to pick ourselves up and move forwards, and I’ve no doubt that we can do that together as a team”.
“Over the past week or so we’ve been reminded of just how difficult this race is. I’ve said it time and time again but there really is no sporting challenge in the world as tough as the Vendée Globe. I have such admiration for any skipper who takes on this race. My thoughts go out to those who, like us, have had their races cut short. And I wish the remaining skippers a safe passage and a good race. I’ll be watching closely.
“My arrival here in Cape Town marks our retirement from the race. To everyone who has sent messages – a huge thank you. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received. It means so much to us, it really does.
“Right now, I’m looking forward to a shower, some sleep and getting home to my wife and my beautiful children”.

News - Alex Thomson Has Arrived in Cape Town and Officialised His Abandon - Vendée Globe - En

Sébastien Simon. His Vendée Globe is over but he wants to be back in four years.​

The team at ARKEA PAPREC and French skipper Sébastien Simon have confirmed he has abandoned his Vendée Globe. Last Wednesday morning at 0820hrs UTC his IMOCA hit a floating object and badly damaged his starboard foil and its housing. The boat has had a steady ingress of water which Simon has largely dealt with. But with repairs seeming to be extremely complicated and probably requiring the foil to be cut into pieces, Simon and his team made the tough decision that he will give up.
Simon is on his way to Cape Town. He should reach the South African bay overnight from Saturday to Sunday.


He said this morning
“It became time for me to make the decision. Together with the team, we thought a lot about possible repairs. But to consider them, I had to sacrifice my foil, cut it. It’s a massive 300 kilogram piece. Then it would have been necessary to repair the hull from the outside and on the deck to seal the foil well. For that, I had no choice but to divert to Cape Town. These repairs were going to be very complicated. Probably, four to five days of work without counting the repair to the bulkhead and there was a secondary water leak from the rudder system. The weather for my arrival in Cape Town was very unfavorable, I wouldn't have been able to tackle the repairs for two or three days after my arrival. And more than anything there was no guarantee that the repairs would hold for the rest of the race. I can not continue. I never thought I would be stopping here. I was 4th in the Vendée Globe. I thought I would succeed on this Vendée! I gave everything I had. I put a lot of passion and energy into it, I wanted to get to the finish. The adventure ends here. I am sorry for everyone. All of my partners supported me until the end. All this gives me only one desire: to leav here but to be back again four years. It was a great experience, a unique opportunity. Thank you very much to all for allowing me to carry out this beautiful project with this beautiful boat. "

News - Sébastien Simon. His Vendée Globe is over but he wants to be back in four years. - Vendée Globe - En
 
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Vendee Globe - Miranda Merron keel problems

Well done to Miranda for effecting hydraulic repairs to the keel mechanism and the hydrogenerator. So far they seem to be holding up, although she could do with more spares for the hydrogenerator.

Some news from Miranda Merron (Campagne de France).
« It could have been a peaceful day yesterday, probably the last day of easy sailing in the endless, very present South Atlantic High. However, it's rare that a day goes by without some issue or other. On my inspection of the boat, I discovered to my horror that the hydraulic oil reservoir for the canting keel had emptied itself into the engine compartment. Hydraulics is not one of my specialities, slightly behind the black art of electricity and electronics, though I did have a lesson from the team at Hydroem before the start of the race. Luckily the oil was mostly contained in one area of the engine compartment, so I siphoned it into a bottle, then called Halvard for advice (he must have been delighted!) and set about finding the leak. For someone who knows what they are doing, this would have been child's play, but a little more complicated for me. Anyway, it turned out to be a broken seal on one of the keel ram hoses which was obviously not very accessible. I replaced the seal, and then put the oil back in the reservoir, and so far so good. That kept me occupied for quite a few hours and I have had some valuable practical experience, and I know a lot more than I did 24 hours ago!
While I was playing with hydraulic oil, there was a loud bang from the back of the boat. It turned out to be the dyneema fuse on the hydrogenerator, designed to break if it hits something. It took a while to find the identical dyneema to replace it as I don't seem to have that small size in my spares. There was a piece being used to tie in the pouches just inside the companionway, so I stole that to make a new fuse. My new fuse is holding for now...
It's daybreak and we (the boat and I) are still under the old front which we have been sailing in for the past 36 hours. At times it gets rather light, but the wind should start building later.
I wonder what surprise are in store for today! »
Miranda Merron - Campagne de France

News - Miranda Merron 'Keel Problems' - Vendée Globe - En
 
@Electromagnetic @bobthebuilder

Excellent posts and updates chaps, I've been extremely busy with family stuff, nice stuff but essential. I do drop by on my mobile a few times a day to get updates and last night I did manage to catch up on Sea Wolves so that was great but I come on here and here it all is in one place with a lot more analysis to boot. Bob your racing expertise is proving invaluable and interesting btw.

Reading some of the YT comments people seem to think it's only man made stuff floating around and damaging small boats, and I do agree there is waaay to much of that but there is also natural debris to consider as well especially tree's, If Lake Ontario is anything to go by with the amount of tree trunks floating on shore after a storm there must be trees in the multi thousands floating around the ocean.

Just read your last.

Dyneema Fuse, I read that and thought whaaaat, is this some kind of new electrical fuse?
Errr no numpty, it's a breakaway dyneema cord designed to break and take the stress off the main part. :roll:
 
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@Electromagnetic @bobthebuilder

Excellent posts and updates chaps, I've been extremely busy with family stuff, nice stuff but essential. I do drop by on my mobile a few times a day to get updates and last night I did manage to catch up on Sea Wolves so that was great but I come on here and here it all is in one place with a lot more analysis to boot. Bob your racing expertise is proving invaluable and interesting btw.

Reading some of the YT comments people seem to think it's only man made stuff floating around and damaging small boats, and I do agree there is waaay to much of that but there is also natural debris to consider as well especially tree's, If Lake Ontario is anything to go by with the amount of tree trunks floating on shore after a storm there must be trees in the multi thousands floating around the ocean.

Just read your last.

Dyneema Fuse, I read that and thought whaaaat, is this some kind of new electrical fuse?
Errr no numpty, it's a breakaway dyneema cord designed to break and take the stress off the main part. :roll:
Good to know that it's useful. Normally I prefer not to post a whole article but this thread is an exception for the reason you mention; to get a reasonable sense of what is happening while browsing from a mobile phone and for those who might struggle to browse all the resources. Some apps and maps are a sod to try to use from a mobile phone. Anyway, they said "share" so I did ;-p
 
Vendee Globe - Fleet positions

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Top eight. Jean Le Cam currently fastest.
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Sir Robin Knox Johnston's Vendee thread:
Knox-Johnston's Vendée View

The BIG South​

Pip Hare describes the phenomenon of isolation in the Southern ocean:
News - The BIG South - Vendée Globe - En

Sam comes to terms with her emotions after the accident:

Sam Davies, 'the tears came'​

News - Sam Davies, 'the tears came' - Vendée Globe - En

Sébastien Destremeau recreates the mast walk to fix his windex​

News - Sébastien Destremeau recreates the mast walk to fix his windex - Vendée Globe - En
 
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Vendee Globe - Jean Le Cam and Kevin Escoffier

Translations from Jean's Twitter posts:

We answer your questions (1/3) When is Kevin going to land as soon as possible! A hypothesis is in progress with the Nivôse - frigate of the French Navy charged. A semi-rigid would come and collect Kévin if and only if the conditions on the water allow it.

2/3 And the provisioning of food for Jean (in addition, Kévin admitted to being very greedy) He has not yet attacked the sweetbreads ... Phew, otherwise beware of anger! During the transshipment of Kévin, rations will be given in compensation to Jean

3/3 And the resumption of the competition in all this The jury will deliberate after Kévin has left the board to calculate the number of hours that Jean has "lost" ... For the moment not enough to destabilize Jean, #YesWeCam is in 6th position in the Vendée Globe

Emmanuel Guiavarc'h tells the story of Jean le Cam's Vendée Globe in drawings

Debut in the Vendée Globe 2016​

Shortly before the last edition of the Vendée Globe , Manu approached the race management to offer coverage of the event in the form of cartoons. The offer is declined, but Manu's work is noticed by Jean Le Cam: " In order to animate his crowdfunding operation, he asks me to use some drawings."

Article in French. Use a translator plug-in.
Emmanuel Guiavarc'h raconte en dessins le Vendée Globe de Jean le Cam

Here are some which Jean posted on twitter:

How is Jean to send Kevin home?
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While Jean is busy sailing, Kevin is busy playing:
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In reality Kevin is also now the video camera operator.
 
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Vendee Globe - Update from Alex Thomson. Also latest Sea Wolves episode.

I previously posted the official statement about Alex arriving at Cape Town. Here is a video from Alex and photo of Hugo Boss, with Table Mountain in the background. Boat damage to be reviewed over next few days with the team, then Alex will fly back to UK. The plan is to return to Cape Town in the New year and sail back.


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Sebastien is now officially retired from the race. He and Sam should arrive in Cape Town on Saturday.

VG official news article is a bit of a merge of previous stories plus a little additional commentary. A useful summary to same reading the other articles perhaps.
News - The Cape of Sorrows - Vendée Globe - En

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Interesting analysis by Florian who speculates on the possibility of Louis Burton to take the lead in the next 36 hours.
 
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Vendee Globe

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Rather windy on the approach to Cape Town this morning as Sam Davies arrives in Initiatives-Coeur. Her race now depends on careful inspection of damage to the boat and feasibility of making good repairs.

Sebastien Simon is less than 50 nm from Cape Town. Because he is officially retired from he race, no speed is being shown on the official Vendee Globe tracker. However, the ARKEA PAPREC team site has the figures. Conditions are a bit rough with 3m waves and 26 kts wind. Boat speed is 7.6 kts

Team statement: Sébastien Simon abandonne le Vendée Globe | Team Arkéa Paprec

Many sail close to the exclusion zone in order to optimise wind.
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Top ten:
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Vendee Globe - Sam Davies retires

Not unexpected alas, as regards this race but an interesting proposition to return to the course, outside of the Vendee Globe competition, after repairs. Sam says the race is over but the adventure continues with a new challenge. She will provide updates.

Interesting to read about a near miss with Isabelle Joshke a few days ago. That explains what I saw and wondered about, as it had looked like maybe Isabelle was going to her assistance. The article below contains a translated transcript of the video:

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! "
translated


Sam DAVIES
INITIATIVES-COEUR


Source: News - Sam Davies Retires From the Vendee Globe But Wants to Complete The Route 'Hors Course' - Vendée Globe - En

This leaves two Brits in the competition; Pip Hare and Miranda Merron.

The next rankings update will be at 14:00, so I'll check that rather than include the 11:00 rankings.
 
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Vendee Globe - Pip in calm winds

As Florian forecast yesterday, some sailors were going to run out of wind today. Pip's yacht, Medallia, is almost parked in the middle of that windless zone at less than walking pace. That's a nuisance and will create some distance between her and the group she was previously at the back of.

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Jeremie Beyou has done a fantastic job to almost catch up with the trailing group.
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Looking at the leading ten:
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Charlie Dalin and APIVIA are 760 nm from the Kerguelen Islands. Jean and Kevin are 1,130 nm from the Kerguelin Islands. I don't know how far away the French Navy ship is but they had better hurry! The boat is being attacked by flying fish! From Jean's Twitter post:

"Flying fish alert! Our skipper was attacked These little fish are damn fierce Otherwise Hubert is still spinning at a good pace due East in 6th position of the @VendeeGlobe"


28 runners and 5 retirees
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I was watching those clips a few minutes ago, sad to see Sam out but kudos to her for wanting to continue for the experience. Good luck to all the racers but especially Pip and Miranda.
 
I was watching those clips a few minutes ago, sad to see Sam out but kudos to her for wanting to continue for the experience. Good luck to all the racers but especially Pip and Miranda.
What about the flying fish that attacked Jean. It made a bit of a mess on his face. He said: "They try to bite. It's a reflex action they have." (In French)
 
What about the flying fish that attacked Jean. It made a bit of a mess on his face. He said: "They try to bite. It's a reflex action they have." (In French)
Mrs R has raced the Atlantic. Tall Ships race, so not as exciting as this. Flying fish are a flipping nightmare. She was covered in bruises from the things. Not something you can disregard.
 
Vendee Globe - Another retirement?

from the 17:00 position update. Why is Fabrice Amedeo heading for Tristan de Cunha? Wind seems okay.
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It looks to me like he is heading to the main island. His speed is okay though... Motor perhaps? I wonder what has failed? ETA plot from Marine Traffic - latest plot was 35 mins ago.
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ETA his last Tweet was two hours ago:
"It is a special feeling to leave this region. It will have played with my nerves but it constituted a kind of protective cocoon against the onslaught to come from the Deep South. I both loved and hated her."
That suggests to me that he has been anticipating the next stage. Second thoughts, doubts or sudden damage?

ETA - ??? Auto pilot? Stopped to look for a sign post? A psychological boost from being close to civilisation before the many lonely thousands of miles?
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Vendee Globe - Another retirement?

from the 17:00 position update. Why is Fabrice Amedeo heading for Tristan de Cunha? Wind seems okay.

It looks to me like he is heading to the main island. His speed is okay though... Motor perhaps? I wonder what has failed? ETA plot from Marine Traffic - latest plot was 35 mins ago.

ETA his last Tweet was two hours ago:
"It is a special feeling to leave this region. It will have played with my nerves but it constituted a kind of protective cocoon against the onslaught to come from the Deep South. I both loved and hated her."
That suggests to me that he has been anticipating the next stage. Second thoughts, doubts or sudden damage?

ETA - ??? Auto pilot? Stopped to look for a sign post?
I was reading something during the night about Fabrice, I think it was about damage to his boat but I cannot remember where I saw it or if it even pertained to this Vendee Globe. It may have been on Reddit but the memory has escaped my brain.

Nice footage from the French Navy and seeing a confident Alex pulling out the Union Jack.

I shouldn't have laughed at the flying fish incident but I did.

Florian is doing a great job on his Vidblog, he seems to be enjoying it.
 
I was reading something during the night about Fabrice, I think it was about damage to his boat but I cannot remember where I saw it or if it even pertained to this Vendee Globe. It may have been on Reddit but the memory has escaped my brain.

Nice footage from the French Navy and seeing a confident Alex pulling out the Union Jack.

I shouldn't have laughed at the flying fish incident but I did.

Florian is doing a great job on his Vidblog, he seems to be enjoying it.
It is intriguing. I hope he is getting plenty of vitamin C and hydration. It could be a psychological anchor so to speak, diverting to a few miles from civilisation, watch for lights and other activity before heading East. Or maybe time to reflect. There is no doubt this race requires a massive commitment and can take it's toll mentally as well as physically. ETA, moving away from the island now. His race apparently continuing. Maybe.

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Yes, Jean seemed to laugh about the fish it in his Tweet.

Talking of Florian, I was waiting to post a few bits here before watching his latest episode.


OSCAR – Oscar Collision Avoidance
 
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It is intriguing. I hope he is getting plenty of vitamin C and hydration. It could be a psychological anchor so to speak, diverting to a few miles from civilisation, watch for lights and other activity before heading East. Or maybe time to reflect. There is no doubt this race requires a massive commitment and can take it's toll mentally as well as physically.

Yes, Jean seemed to laugh about the fish it in his Tweet.

Talking of Florian, I was waiting to post a few bits here before watching his latest episode.

Yep, watching that after the footy and probably after a walk along the lake my wife is insisting on taking.

It could be a psychological anchor so to speak, diverting to a few miles from civilisation, watch for lights and other activity before heading East.

I could imagine that happening for a small boost of morale.
 
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