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Vendee Globe Finish.

Vendee Globe - Compression at the front, Three boats pass Cape Horn, Le Cam climbs mast.
Jules Verne trophy - Progress update

The windless "wall" stretching from East to west in front of the route North is causing ongoing compression. With that said, some in the group chasing the leaders are getting very good speeds.

ETA - just heard from Vendee Live that Jean Le cam had to do a mast climb this morning, so I looked at his Twitter account. Here is a translation which explains why he slowed down. He had to drop the main sail after releasing it as it was torn. "Sunday ascent for Jean ds le mast, softening wind from SW in order to release the anchor and lower the sail sail J2, torn. Jean is 9th this morning but the gap on the 1st is narrowing. 2 seats lost, a reduced gap of 150 mi."

Here he is atop the mast:


In the Vendee Live we also learned that Isabelle Joschke is coming out of the worst of the low pressure, which must be a blessed relief for her. She still has a significant way to go, nursing the boat all the way. Interestingly Christian Dumard says Brazil or Cape Town but probably Brazil, though she has to sail downwind because of the keel.
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It's looking a bit rough around Cape Horn. Arnaud Boissieres and Alan Roura have passed the Cape and Jermie Beyou should pass it this evening/tonight. Pip Hare should pass Cape Horn in the early hours of the morning, UTC. (ETA - Jermie has passed Cape Horn now) You can see how relieved and delighted Arnaud and Alan were in Vendee Flash, below. Florian also includes a video message from Pip Hare.
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I wonder if the following three have their main sails down, given the strong winds behind them.
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Not much has changed at the back of the fleet.

Here are the rankings. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in the spreadsheet data, they have them going back to 8th November 2020. You can download them here: Ranking - Vendée Globe - En

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Vendee Live - "Today, we welcome Conrad Colman, New-Zealander skipper who took part in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe and Christian Dumard, weather consultant"


Vendee Flash:

ETA Sea Wolves - A short episode today, just over 14 minutes:
Sea Wolves - Vendee Globe 2020 report - Yannick loses 200 NM lead! Pip at Cape Horn - Gitana ahead!

Jules Verne Trophy - Gitana 17
Some advantage over the record has been lost due to winds and differences in routing but G17 still leads. 27.5 kts average speed in 24 hours is still impressive, especially where the winds are not particularly strong.
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Vendee Globe - Pip approaching Cape Horn (She should pass the cape by 0200 UTC)

In Vendee Live Andi said Pip would likely pass Cape Horn tonight. What time zone was he thinking of? Not FR or UTC I don't think. By my reckoning Pip is around 36 miles East of the Cape, so she should pass it within the next three hours, which meets her expectations of this evening in that time zone.

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It is currently 8 pm in her Time Zone (UTC -5 Hrs). Fortunately it doesn't get fully dark at this time of year so hopefully, if weather permits, she should be able to get a decent view of the Cape. It looks like she is making her first encounter the closest of the whole race. As she is behind the other three and the more Southerly course doesn't give her boat that much advantage, she may as well make the most of the moment. Of course when Pip turns the corner in to the Atlantic, her time zone will change to UTC -4 Hrs.

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Pip has been getting coverage in the Telegraph and BBC Look East.
https://twitter.com/VendeeGlobeENG
https://twitter.com/pipoceanracing
 
Vendee Globe - Pip Hare countdown to Cape Horn

Screen grab from MarineTraffic: Global Ship Tracking Intelligence | AIS Marine Traffic at 01:26 UTC
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At 01:36 it looks like Pip has got her photos and video and is routing for the Atlantic Ocean. I had thought she would pass the cape by 02:00 UTC. It's hard to tell until we get a fix beyond the cape. Winds are much lighter than she has experienced in the Pacific to this point. Next official VG position update is 0400 UTC.
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Finally at 03:11 we have a new position fix which suggests that Pip has passed Cape Horn.
Well done Pip. :thumright:
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Vendee Globe - Dalin takes lead. Compression! Pip Hare passes Cape Horn but not without issues.

Due to the wall of high pressure, the first eight boats behind Charlie Dalin are "compressed" to within 130 nautical miles. Maxime Sorel is just leaving a high pressure zone and may catch up to some extent with that group.

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Armel Tripon, Clarisse Cremer and Romaine Attanasio are making progress. Romaine is in some rough conditions. These are the stormy seas that Isabelle Joschke eventually managed to escape. It looks like she is making for the light winds which are rotating anti clockwise. A longer but comparatively gentler route to Brasil perhaps.
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What a difference a day makes! Of the four who passed Cape Horn in the past day, Pip is fastest. They had the advantage to the Cape but this is now Medallia weather. Pip is so lucky she replaced her port rudder in time to get clear of the long high pressure zone that is holding back the three boats behind her. It hasn't all been good though. More problems! There is a leak. They think a seal may have popped out during the rudder swap, so Pip has been pumping and bailing while trying to figure out exactly where the leak is. While she was down there, the auto pilot in compass mode was unable to deal with a squall and crash gybed the boat for the first time! More from Pip about this in her VG article below and in the Vendee Live (which I have yet to watch).

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The +9Hr wind projection offers hope though. I wonder if Didac Costa's non-foiler is going to have the advantage as they pass the cape?
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This side of the Nemo point, Manuel Cousin, Miranda Merron and Clement Giraud need to try their best to stay in the low pressure as it moves Eastwards. Falling back will mean more delays.
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On the other side of Nemo Point, Sam Davies unofficially leads. The transparent plot isn't easy to sea in that swirl of strong winds as she enters daylight but the straight lines representing foils help. This is where I have to look at the VG tracker for her speed of 13.1 kts.

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Now on to the official Vendee Globe site.
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Link to full article: News - Dalin Leads Rio Restart, Hare At The Horn Last Night - Vendée Globe - En It's worth a read but basically Bestaven is bitterly disappointed, Dalin is happy, as are Burton, Hermann and hare. Can Pip beat Ellen MacArthur's time?

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Read this!
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Link to source: News - Pip Hare at the Horn, 'Finally It Is Done' - Vendée Globe - En

Incredible! Now for Vendee Live - "Today, we welcome Mike Golding, 4 participations in the Vendée Globe and a 3rd place in 2004-2005."



Rankings:
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ETA Vendee Flash:
 
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Vendee Globe - Bestaven slow, Hermann slow, Destremau going backwards

Yannick Bestaven must be beside himself with the slow pace. Boris Hermann is also slow. Maybe the wind overlay is inaccurate or maybe there are other issues.
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Zooming out a bit, we can see Isabelle Joschke dodging the more intense areas as she is guided by the race directors and meteorologist to Brazil.
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Arnaud Boissieres, Jeremie Beyou and Alan Roura are so close that we have to zoom in quite a lot. Pip is making good speed behind them as she passes the Falkland islands.
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Here are the next four lined up for Cape Horn. Kojiro Shiraishi will be glad to get out of that. The winds should have calmed down by the time Manuel Cousin reaches that area.
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Miranda Merron and Clement Giraud face yet another high pressure system. Alexia barrier is only doing 9.4 kts in winds over 30 kts. She is heading North to avoid the worst of it, as is Sam Davies.

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Where is Sebastien Destremau? His VMG has been 2.7 kts over 24 hours and negative for the past 4 hours!
I admire his tenacity and determination but surely it's time to call it a day and sail to safety?
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Rankings:
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From the VG morning summary:
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News - Crazy - Vendée Globe - En

From Miranda Merron this morning:
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Source: News - Miranda Merron....shifty, unsettled conditions on Campagne de France - Vendée Globe - En

Now time to catch up with today's Vendee Live:

ETA - I have checked Sebastien's web page for any updates. There is a video from yesterday but in French.
His previous entry was about the crack he found at the bowsprit which limits the sails he can use and will slow him down in some conditions. First a video from YouTube showing the damage, then his blog entry realting to the damage, ie the architect said it's okay, it's not structural and just restricts what sails he can use.


In the comments below the video are pleas from fans to abandon the race and head for safety. Some offer encouragement to continue but the attrition to the boat so far so far does not make for a sound proposition.

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HARD BLOW FOR MERCI

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The latest entry I found was a video in French, not yet on Youtube so I couldn't translate it as I don't know enough French. The description:

LIVE FROM THE SHIP: THE VIDEO SESSION
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En direct du bord : la vacation vidéo - Merci avec Sébastien Destremau

I wonder if the bowsprit has fallen off?
 
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Jules Verne Trophy

If you look at the area graph under graphics, you can see the relative progress of G17 compared to the current record holder. In his Sea Wolves blog, Florian advised that it is the Atlantic route where gains must be made.
The lead is just under 100 nm now
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From today's news update:

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I wonder if by "lively exchanges" she means heated arguments?
Link to full article and photos: A Cape Verdean sunrise
 
Vendee Globe - Stephan Le Deraison passes Cape Horn

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Nothing new from Pip. She has so much to do already such as fabricating a more permanent solution for the temporary boot around the rudder, to stop the leak. She is however gaining on the three boats ahead of her which is impressive under the circumstances.

Update from jean Le Cam:

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Has he repaired the sail though?

D + 65 from @VendeeGlobe sea cruise conditions Jean starts the regatta with his comrades East position to turn the turn signal to the right in 8th position, 121nm from the Leader"

Robin Knox-Johnson's thoughts on Vendee Globe and Jules Verne. Scroll down for earlier entries or search for words. Latest News — Robin Knox-Johnston

A closer look at Sebastien Destremau's situation. The nearest land is Auckland Island around 60 nm WSW but it is uninhabited. The nearest inhabited port is on Stuart Island, off of New Zealand's South Island, at just under 300 nm or he can try the mainland, Invercargill perhaps? The country was essentially isolating itself.
As he has been in quarantine for months he should be okay to go on land if the race organisers have a word with the authorities. He may need to be issued a mask and sanitiser if their regulations require it.

As I understand it the main structural problem is the bowsprit. We don't know if it is still attached or if it has disintegrated. If it is still attached he may be able to arrange emergency repairs, to sail home but not to compete. The main mechanical problem was the rudder linkage and steering. After a few failed attempts the current setup was working as rough and ready work around but not something anyone would want to set off with. This should all be replaced properly with appropriate materials and with appropriate equipment in a repair facility. It's very impressive that Sebastien managed to rebuild pumps but he is lacking spares. Then there are the pilots and sensors.

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ETA Vendee Live:


ETA Pip is taking a more Easterly line up the Atlantic. She did say she couldn't push Medallia as hard as she wanted to until she can effect a more robust solution to keeping water out at the back. This will entail leaning to one side to reduce water pressure on the affected area.

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Hmm, not sure how I feel about this left turn...
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Need to check again after 9 pm.

Ahh! Could this be a manoeuvre to get a longer period of lean in which to do the repair work?
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Meanwhile, Sebastien Destemau is pointing towards New Zealand, apparently proceeding very slowly. Looking at the tight squiggle, I wonder if steering linkage broke again.

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ETA - Nope. Much later he is still there pointing East. Is he adrift? There's a storm coming and the only shelter nearby is Auckland Island and he's currently going nowhere. Projection on right for Thursday midday.
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No updates on his website for Wednesday but look at the tracker on that site...

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Merci avec Sébastien Destremau

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Vendee Globe - Winds return to lead group, Bestaven falls back to 5th, Destremau continues

Lots happening this morning. At last we can fit the fleet overview in to one screen capture.
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The "wall" of high pressure blocking the lead group and which led to compression, has moved. The positions are decompressing as the leaders are faster. Bestaven was East of the new winds so fell back to 5th. Tripon and Cremer are stuck in a windless high pressure zone South of the top ten. Although their speeds at the time the plots were taken are over 8kts, their VMG is less.

Pip Hare's speed is okay. The group of three that rounded the cape in front of her are still quite close together, although Jeremie Beyou is starting to move away from them. She didn't lose as much time in that Falklands manoeuvre as might have been expected. My guess was that she went West far enough to get a long run, where she could depend on the wind and the pilot to induce lean to starboard, while she went about more permanent waterproofing of the port rudder area in the hull! Hopefully we will hear more about this from Pip today. (ETA Pip was penalised for losing her liferaft and a rudder seal so was ordered to take time out of the race for 150 minutes)

Manuel Cousin is well South of Cape Horn which he should pass on Friday morning. Miranda Merron and Clement Giraud seem to have more dependable winds today. Alexia Barrier is doing less than 10 kts in winds over 30 kts. Somehow I suspect it was worse than that. Ari Huusela who had been well North of that system is moving down towards her and the theoretical route. Sam Davies was also similarly far North and tacked to return towards the route.

Sebastien Destremau is back on course with normal speeds. Why was the boat moving strangely and stopped for so long? Had the bowsprit broken away? Yet the odd course suggested steering issues. A look at Vendee Globe Twitter feed this morning gives a dramatic hint. The bowsprit has indeed gone.

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While many would have given up at this stage, indeed much, much sooner, it seems this is just another challenge that Sebastien accepts. The land in the background may be the volcanic Auckland Island. The mischievous grin invites us to appreciate the view of the island, while wondering when we will notice what is missing...

Now lets look at the official news feed.

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Source: News - Update on Isabelle Joschke - Vendée Globe - En

Yannick Bestaven is not happy in 5th place, although his original strategy was to be in the top 5.
News - Not So Blessed....Bestaven - Vendée Globe - En

Rankings:
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Vendee Live:
 
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Vendee Globe - Hermann 5th, Bestaven 6th, Pip finishes repair but is penalised 150 minutes
Jules Verne Trophy - Gitane 17 almost stopped in the doldrums and behind the record


Pip's penalty is for losing her liferaft (!) and for the lost rudder seal. The good news is that she completed the repair work, which you can watch in Vendee Flash (Link below). Sea Wolves includes longer video footage from Pip in which she tells us that the temporary repair failed and let in 100 litres of water! Fingers crossed it's all good now.

We have a video (in French) from Sebastien Destremau who says he has resumed his race. Google translation is a bit rough but Sebastien tells of a survial situation that occurred on the island, which inspired Jules Verne. He hasn't elaborated on his own situation but it's clear that he simply won't give up. While the boat still floats he will do everything he can to sail back to France.

“An enthusiastic office today… First of all because we resumed our journey but above all an incredible chance to raze the island of Auckland […] and on this island, something happened 'unbelievable : " Where is says raze I think he mean to set eyes on the island, to gaze at it.


Florian (Seawolves) says he will be taking a closer look at Sebasien tomorrow (Friday)

Rankings:
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Jules Verne - Gitane 17 - hits the Doldrums

Unfortunately that wall of high pressure and light wind is forecast to stay put for over 48 hours. This could end their chances of beating the record, unless they can find a way through and soon.
The doldrums on today’s menu
Braking on the approach to the equator

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After a day off, Sea Wolves is back, with a slightly longer episode. He includes longer video footage from Pip that VG left out.
Sea Wolves - Vendee Globe Report 2020 - Louis Burton finds his speed! Pip repairs leak! Jules Verne!

 
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Vendee Globe - Boris Hermann in 3rd, less than 40 nm behind Dalin
Jules Verne Trophy - Gitana 17 has wind again and is now just 33.3 nm behind


Boris Hermann is gaining on the leader having taken third place overnight. News - Herrmann Up To Third And Growing Threat To Leader Dalin - Vendée Globe - En

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Armel Tripon and Clarisse Cremer look for wind. Despite her keel problem and having retired from the race, Isabelle Joshke is just behind 13th placed Romaine Attanasio.
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Pip Hare has maintained a straight course, parallel to the theoretical route. Her speed has not been great in the past 4 hours. I wonder how the repair is holding up or if there is some other issue? Kojiro Sharishi takes in the scenery as he passes the Falkland Islands. Manuel Cousin passed the Cape but has no wind.
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Mirranda Merron and Clement Giraud will be next to pass Cape Horn, perhaps on Sunday night or Monday if conditions allow. Alexia Barrier has a better speed today. Sam Davies will be first to reach Nemo Point, another milestone for her.
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Sebastien Destremau is being hard to predict again. Is he heading far North for wind or his he sailing to New Zealand?
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From the Merci website:
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Rankings:
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Vendee Live has a German theme today. Boris Hermann is the first German to enter the Vendee Globe. "Today we welcome Harm Mueller, TP52 world champion, Holly Cova, team manager Malizia, Will Harris and Susann Beucke." (Saturday's episode will focus on sustainable energy on the boats).



Jules Verne trophy
After some time in the Doldrums, though thankfully much less than I was expecting, G17 has recovered some of the lost distance against the clock.

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Link to full article: Within the hellish doldrums

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I managed to catch up on the vids yesterday including an exuberant Alex Thomson who I have say is an excellent Ambassador for Sail Racing in it's entirety. Not only did he mention the Vendee and how incredibly close the race is he also talked about the Jules Verne and the Americas Cup.
 

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