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Vendee Globe Finish.

Watched this morning via the AC site. Good start for Brittania and Sir Ben. Odd name: American Magic; doesn’t trip off the tongue like the old one word names or have the ring of Stars and Stripes. Spotted that they are sponsored by Airbus; how did they swing that?
Airbus - Proving $$$$ is money no matter where it comes from. :)
Florian was saying the other day that Le Cam needs to get within 100nm or better still 85nm of the leader for the 16hr time relief to make a difference.
Lets have a look at what lies ahead. First the 15:00 wind projection then 24 hours later. The first hurdle is a slow down at the Equator. Will winds fall below that of foil take off speeds? If so drag becomes an issue. It's a bit soon to make assumptions about the next high pressure band sweeping down from Spain and Portugal to the Bahamas and Central America but it looks persistent over coming days.

A more modern foiler such as Boris Herman's may have the edge on low foiling speeds and get through without issue, if conditions permit. Some like Thomas may struggle in those calmer conditions. I'm expecting some compression again in the first band but whoever breaks through first may build a big lead until the next band ahead. Sprinters vs cross country runners?

ETA I just read that yachts are in high demand at Dunedin. An alternative to repair might be selling the IMOCA? Just a thought, while demand is outstripping supply.
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Watched this morning via the AC site. Good start for Brittania and Sir Ben. Odd name: American Magic; doesn’t trip off the tongue like the old one word names or have the ring of Stars and Stripes. Spotted that they are sponsored by Airbus; how did they swing that?
The team is called American Magic; the boat is called "Patriot". According to various pilots I've met, a common problem with Airbus aircraft is their ability to shut down prior to take-off - apparently if you turn the computer off and on again, it sorts itself out. Maybe someone should tell Dean Barker.
The team is called American Magic; the boat is called "Patriot". According to various pilots I've met, a common problem with Airbus aircraft is their ability to shut down prior to take-off - apparently if you turn the computer off and on again, it sorts itself out. Maybe someone should tell Dean Barker.
Thanks, Patriot is definitely in line with traditional names
Vendee Globe - Louis Burton takes the lead
Jules Verne Trophy - Gitana 17 leads by 242.7 nm

Jean Le Cam is still fastest of the non foilers in this group and has been gaining on Benjamin Dutreux. Giancarlo Pedote has slowed down dramatically. Notice the light winds behind them. This will slow Maxim Sorel somewhat.

Armel Tripon's foiler now shows Clarrise Cramer a clean pair of heels, as there is just enough wind for him to foil with. Romain Attanasio looks for wind while Isabelle Joschke points towards Brazil.

Zooming out and with Pip highlighted. The group ahead of her, asides from Arnaud Boissieres, have been substantially slowed down for now. Pip herself has been forced to tack by the look of it. The forecast changed a bit. Is she now going to pass to the East rather than the West of the stormy system that is building?


+18 Hrs


Rankings - note that Sebastien Destremau is listed as position 26 but in due course will be listed as retired.

ETA Vendee Flash:

Jules Verne Trophy

Although this is surely a sad time for the team who have lost their founder, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, they remain resolute and focussed on their objective.


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Jules Verne Trophy - Gitana ahead by 314.8 nautical miles

This is the sort of lead they need as a minimum to deal with changes in conditions. The weather overlay is from 12:00 UTC. The projections below are relative to that.


HH +12

HH +24


Link to full article giving an account of the first week:
From Brest to Rio de Janeiro

Drone Video from 12th January:

More pictures and videoes can be found here: Gitana : écurie de course au large fondée par le Baron Benjamin de Rothschild or via YouTube
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Vendee Globe - Last competitor passes point Nemo, two more pass Cape Horn. Hare Keel problem.

With just under 25% of the competitors retired, the remaining fleet of 25 IMOCA yachts stretches from Just North of the Equator in the Atlantic, to Point Nemo in the Southern Pacific. Sam Davies and Alexia Barrier have passed Point Nemo aka the Nemo Point and Ari Huusela is just passing it now. Miranda Merron and Clement Giraud have passed Cape Horn.

Fleet overview:

Manuel Cousin is sailing close to the Falkland Islands. I think he really wanted to see them, as he did Cape Horn. He also has a good reason. Wind.

Yesterday, Pip Hare was keen to stay West of a nasty developing system. The worst of it has passed. However today we learned from Vendee Live that there is a problem with her canting keel system. Unlike the other boats which use hydraulics, Pip's boat uses a system of ropes and pulleys. Her previous repair to this system was to replace a motor. This time it appears that a rope has broken. Very inconvenient in normal times but look at those winds. Stephane Le Diraison, Didac Costa and Kojiro Shiraishi are catching up, to the West of her.

Ahead of Pip, Jermie Beyou, Arnaud Boissieres and Alan Roura stayed East of the storm.

At the top of this capture are Le Cam and the main group of nine. Below that are Maxim Sorel, Armel Tripon, Clarisse Cremer, Romaine Attanasio and Isabelle Joshke. Armel and Clarisse are getting very good speeds. Clarisse is doing particularly well with her non foiler as they gain on Maxim. Isabelle's boat is highlighted and this also highlights her route. Here we can see that she has crossed over her original route down the Atlantic.
A true circumnavigation by boat across the Equator, the widest diameter of the Earth, is not practical hence the distended routing of the Vendee Globe. However meeting up with her original Southward journey must count for something, with less than 5000 nm to go. It's still a fantastic achievement. If she was still in the race she would be in 14th place, despite the compromised keel that has forced her out of the competition.

Now the top ten. As expected, compression occurred due to the blue band of low wind, allowing Jean Le Cam to reduce his distance from the leader considerably. The three boats ahead are faster for now but up ahead the top five are slower. Thomas Ruyent has a potential morale boost from overtaking Boris Hermann.


Now the checks from the VG site.


Vendee Live - "Today, we welcome Pete Goss, MBE. 5th of the 1996-1997 Vendée Globe"
Pete says that Pip is his and his wife's favourite in the race, with her enthusiasm and the way she communicates. Pip was due to be a guest via satellite but is busy dealing with that broken rope in the keel system. Instead Andi invited Sam Davies. Andi mentioned Miranda being understated and quietly getting on with her race. Sam was able to give some insights in to how calm and logical Miranda is, having sailed with her many times. Sam has found the restart harder than the race psychologically and was quite lonely after leaving Cape Town. She is preserving the boat for the Atlantic where she intends "lighting the afterburners" to see what the foils can do. Some good dits and comments from Pete Goss. Sam sailed in one of his boats.

Link to news articles: News - Vendée Globe - En
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Vendee Globe - Pip in storm, Prada Cup - American Magic survives capsize, Jules Verne Trophy - GT17 >300nm ahead

Prada Cup



Vendee Globe
Dalin leads again but looking at his low VMG not for long. Burton is faster. Has Dalin found a calm spot? In any case his foils will slow him down below lift speed. Boris Hermann is slow too. Yannick Bestaven may catch up with him. The top seven are within 104 nm, which gives some idea of the compression caused by the high pressure ridge. Jean Le Cam is now less than 210 nm behind Dalin and faster than Burton. He has no foils to slow the boat down.

Weather should be improving for Pip Hare over the coming hours, as the system moves away. STOP PRESS: Here is an update she posted this evening. Hardly any sleep. She passed through the eye of the storm last night having seen 50 kts going in to it. Sea state is awful she says and she can't capitalise on the winds to go North. She has broken a reaching pole in half. Her priority is safety in "boat breaking conditions". This is the storm she had planned to avoid until the keel rope broke, which which she has since repaired.

Manuel Cousin is almost at a standstill. It's not for lack of wind. Perhaps he is missing land, nature watching or has issues. On the other hand it could be a smart move to wait for more straightforward conditions in his favour and just enjoy the coastline in the meantime.



Sea Wolves - Vendee Globe 2020 report - American Magic sinks?! Jean Le Cam's BIG moment!? JV update!
We seem to be on the same wavelength as Florian re Jean Le Cam, just going by the title but we have learned from him. Last I heard American magic had been stabilised so his title was a bit premature. Official release at top of page refers. Florian has some earlier video from Pip Hare video plus update on Seawolves Volvo 65 experience for April aboard the Childhood vessel.

Vendee Flash

Sebastien Destremau has been making progress towards Christchurch. His AIS went out of range.

However, this may be him. AIS via satellite.


Jules Verne Trophy - Gitana 332 nm ahead

Here is an informative article which discusses various aspects involved in choosing what route to take given winds, currents etc.

From the Jules Verne Trophy to K2, the art of routing at the summit
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Full Link



Auckland, New Zealand - After racing into a squall, crashing, capsizing, incurring significant damage and coming close to sinking, American Magic’s AC75 racing yacht, PATRIOT, made it back to shore at 10:45 PM NZDT after a herculean effort to save the boat.

“First and foremost, we are incredibly grateful and thankful that everybody is safe,” said Terry Hutchinson, Skipper and Executive Director of American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the America’s Cup. “The team did an incredible job getting PATRIOT back to the dock.”

The arrival of the American AC75 back to the team base in Wynyard Quarter was due not only to the perseverance of the team, which never gave up the fight over many hours, but that of the greater Auckland and America’s Cup communities. The three other Cup teams, the AC36 event management team, and multiple branches of Auckland’s rescue services came to the aid of American Magic in a moment of urgent need.

“The response from the local community here was incredible, and you can't give enough thanks to the police, fire and local authorities for their quick response,” said Hutchinson shortly after stepping ashore, in darkness, alongside his exhausted but relieved teammates.

“The response from the other teams was amazing, too. It was certainly heartwarming to see all the support, and obviously we needed it because this was a crisis situation. Huge thanks to Emirates Team New Zealand, to INEOS Team UK, and to Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for coming out and helping us.”

On the final leg of a race she was leading, a significant puff of wind sent the American AC75 hurtling into the air, followed by a hard re-entry into the water. The shock of the landing tore a hole into the port side of the yacht, which was not immediately apparent to the sailors onboard. PATRIOT capsized sideways into the water, port side down, which temporarily hid the extent of the damage.
After following well-practiced capsize procedures, and determining that all were safe, American Magic righted the yacht to discover that she was sitting low in the water. It was apparent that this was a much different scenario than the team’s previous AC75 capsize, which occurred with the team’s now-retired first AC75, DEFIANT.
Vendee Globe - 9pm update - Pip pointing North as worst of storm passes. Sebastien arriving at Christchurch.

It looks more compressed and chaotic at the front of the race. Although many spot speeds look okay the foilers mostly have unimpressive VMGs. Non foilers seem to be doing better, particularly Jean Le Cam, who is well within 200 nm of the leader now.


Isabelle Joschke is looking okay and still pointing towards Brazil. Thank goodness she was so far to the North.
Pip Hare has been through the tumbler in 50 kts and roller coaster seas. In this capture below, you can see the storm that battered Medallia. Look how tight the convergence of those winds are. It looks it has passed as she said it would so she is now pointing in a more Northerly direction. Note the strong winds on her port side.

The problem is that that perpendicular line of wind ahead of her is being focused like a laser beam (metaphorically of course) and presents a persistent obstacle. She won't want to pass through that again. Sailing up to the coast we can see that even the lighter areas present conflict where they meet and the potential for gybing unintentionally. Her autopilot is essentially magnetic and cant cope with that so a lot of attention will be required.

Here is Merci arriving at Christchurch. Well done Sebastien!
Jules Verne Trophy - Gitana 17 is nearly 500 nm ahead as it heads South Eastwards. There is a windless pool of high pressure which they will want to stay west of. If I recall correctly the Forbidden Zone or Ice Line does not apply to this challenge.

Next weeks Prada Cup schedules TBC. American Magic team to hold press conference.


As the article below says, the mild conditions they passed through are not usually associated with high speeds. They say they knew G17 was theoretically capable of high speeds in such conditions but that it is good to now have proof of that.

News article:

Link to full article: Acceleration at 30° south
Interesting quotes from the article.

Franck Cammas: “We’re at 30° south and we’re going to have to further increase our longitude, but we’re gradually approaching the start of our circumnavigation of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean. Last night, I pulled out the fleece I’d taken off to the south of the Canaries, which is the first indication of a change of atmosphere. The temperatures have dropped quickly, because offshore of Rio yesterday we were still very hot on deck. The wind will swing round to offer us more downwind conditions within the next ten hours or so!”

After covering more than 5,500 miles over the ground since leaving Ushant, making an average speed of 28 knots, the crew led by Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier is about to reach one of the first objectives it had set itself. Indeed, coordinating their connection with a train of austral low-pressure systems is a crucial point for this start to the record and a very tricky section for tackling the Indian Ocean with a competitive time. The six sailors have managed to absolutely nail the timing of this first major appointment.

You have to feel a bit about Team America capsizing after it looked like a sure win over Italy and finally get points on the board.

Apparently they have time to repair the boat over the next few days and continue racing.
Vendee Globe - Top nine emerging from Doldrums. Dalin leads.

According to VG news, Burton was first to break out of the Doldrums. However, Charlie Dalin leads and the gap between him and Jean Le Cam has extended, for now.


The blue band of windless high pressure ahead of them is forecast to be persistent for at least 36 hours. The wind overlay doesn't go beyond that. we would need to use a different source.

Pip Hare's Medallia, is highlighted below. Her VMG is the best of the mid group beneath Armel Tripon and Clarisse Cremer. She needs to keep moving North as the area she is in will calm.

Clement Giraud is very slow after turning to face the Atlantic in to the centre of a windless area, which Miranda Merron has managed to get out of. Nice to see Alexia Barrier going a bit faster.



Vendee Live - "Today, we welcome Nick Bubb, ocean racer turned expedition leader and conservationist and Simon Fisher, Navigator, 11th Hour Racing Team"
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Looks like that huge blue band of weather will slow the leaders down a bit, lots of boats bobbing around at 5-4kts for a while.

Edit: Deliberate Error Test well spotted by @Electromagnetic fixed :)
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Prada Cup - American Magic to miss out on round robins. All efforts to get it ready for semi finals.

American Magic to miss rest of Prada Cup round robins after capsize chaos​


American Magic will miss next week’s Prada Cup round robin action so they can focus on fixing their boat in time for the America's Cup challenger event’s semi-finals.

American Magic to miss rest of Prada Cup round robins after capsize chaos

Analysis: Peter Lester breaks down moment and aftermath of American Magic's capsize​

11:22PM • SOURCE: 1 NEWS

The extent of damage to American Magic's AC75 may be more than meets the eye despite the giant hole visible after yesterday's dramatic capsize.

Analysis: Peter Lester breaks down moment and aftermath of American Magic's capsize

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