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Vendee. PRADA & Jules Verne Racing

QRK2

LE
Thanks, that's a little worrying, given that he's competed in these races before you'd think this type of issue would be taken into consideration during the design phase?

These things are 'right on the edge' of design, at least he's still a) alive and b) racing. Note that Troussel is already out with equipment failure.
 
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bentobox

Old-Salt
We don't know. Computer models can be very good but in reality unexpected forces can act on materials that were chosen for strength in a specific direction. In this case it looks like a member chosen for vertical strength was subjected to sideways forces. As @Spank-it says vibrations can be a problem. There are ways to address this.

This experience will feedback to future designs. What we have learned is that these cutting edge designs incorporate aerodynamics to reduce wind drag when the hull is essentially flying above the water. With each push through performance boundaries, new issues are discovered which have to be resolved. That is true for both aircraft and sea craft.
Fair points, Thanks. Certainly the technology is cutting edge, I can't imagine foiling yachts would have been considered for the rigors of this type of racing a few years ago.
 
Fair points, Thanks. Certainly the technology is cutting edge, I can't imagine foiling yachts would have been considered for the rigors of this type of racing a few years ago.
The 2016 Hugo Boss was also a foiler, rounding *Cape Horn the starboard foil snapped (irreparable), Alex continued the race and finished 2nd.

*It may have been in the Indian Ocean.
 

Sea Wolves - Vendee Globe 2020 report - The fleet runs into light winds! Is south course faster?!


A few notes for those who can't watch the video.

Forecast model suggests Alex and group in that area may be in a favourable position if St Helena system consolidates, giving them a longer route but faster speeds, while the two leaders are stuck with light winds, a shorter but slower route. Florian reckons it's possible the two groups may arrive at the Cape around the same time. As he says it's an interesting situation.

One boat had a hydraulic failure last night affecting his keel ram. I think that was Sabastien Destremau.

Tomorrow Will from Sea Explorer team will be a guest on the show and will talk about technology.

English version of official Vendee Globe live update. Includes satellite video interview with Pip Hare and video update from race leader Thomas Ruyant. You can skip the two minute countdown to the start if you want.

 
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A looks at some other competitors. Three Brits, one of whom resides in France. Some great insights.

Samantha Davies profile from Feb 2020. Sam is based in France and has an engineering degree.


Pip Hare profile Oct 2019. She says her boat is slower but built like a tank and comparatively simple.


Miranda Merron.
 
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Charlie Dalin leads in APIVIA. It looks like he's the only one who managed to stay with the narrow island of useful but now mainly oppositional winds. A bit faster but more work. It's almost certain that he is going to persevere through the flatter area ahead to find the currently light winds blowing East which will eventually get him on to the expressway heading east to the Cape.

The official race site reports damage to LinkedOut port foil. Thomas Ruyant says that foil will be redundant for the rest of the race. He is awaiting advice from the designers as to whether he should cut the foil off. The hull appears to be unaffected. News - Damage to the port foil of Thomas Ruyant’s LinkedOut! - Vendée Globe - En LinkedOut may now be at a disadvantage to older, more robust boats. As we have seen, these cutting edge designs are highly optimised for performance. You don't race with a Clydesdale horse. You don't plough a field with a racing horse. The sea isn't Kempton Park but when the going is good...

Sam Davies has nudged in to 9th place just a few nm ahead of Louis Burton. Speeds amongst the pack behind have also increased as winds behind them improve.

Alex Thomson is avoiding putting pressure on the boat while busy in the hull doing more reinforcement work.
Short video below.

Pip Hare has dropped to 23rd and Miranda Merron is in 26th place.

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At 16:30 UTC Three boats were faster than most others.
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At 18:00 Alex's max speed had reached 21.8kts! Although not a guarantee of ongoing speed, it strongly suggests that repair, strengthening and tidy up work has been completed.
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Now it gets really exciting! Look at the latest wind patterns (these are from 17:00).
Patience may be about to pay off. Will the longer, faster route beat the shorter slower route South?
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I haven't watched it yet but here is the latest Sea Wolves episode. It's an hour long.

Sea Wolves - Vendee Globe 2020 - Imoca Tech Talk with Will Harris - Sea Explorer YC de Monaco.​

 
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Alex has completed repairs in the nick of time for the increasing winds and is thrilled to be back at speeds of around 20 kts. Short video below. The "max in last hour" graphic shows this dramatic improvement. Official stats will be interesting on Thursday. It is cooler now.


Although the 9 pm position shows him behind Samantha Davies and Louis Burton, he is faster. All three appear further from the leaders as obviously they are heading away from them for now. The wind overlay is a useful guide but is already out of date.

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Alex has completed repairs in the nick of time for the increasing winds and is thrilled to be back at speeds of around 20 kts. Short video below. The "max in last hour" graphic shows this dramatic improvement. Official stats will be interesting on Thursday. It is cooler now.


Although the 9 pm position shows him behind Samantha Davies and Louis Burton, he is faster. All three appear further from the leaders as obviously they are heading away from them for now. The wind overlay is a useful guide but is already out of date.

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Looking at that weather map and the feed on the Vendée phone app, I’d say Alex has, to use an F1 term, “track position”.

He’s on the right side of that low and is going to get 24 hours of weather advantage; strong breeze behind him. He’ll be up on his foils and his VMG is going to be epic.

The leaders will bob around on the other side of the low, in less pressure and in southerly pressure. Their boat speed will be much lower and they have to tack across the southerly flow; their VMG will be dire.

I’d go as far as to say that I think that Louis Berton and Samantha Davies are currently leading the race with Alex in third on a much faster boat. If he can push of course.
 
Looking at that weather map and the feed on the Vendée phone app, I’d say Alex has, to use an F1 term, “track position”.

He’s on the right side of that low and is going to get 24 hours of weather advantage; strong breeze behind him. He’ll be up on his foils and his VMG is going to be epic.

The leaders will bob around on the other side of the low, in less pressure and in southerly pressure. Their boat speed will be much lower and they have to tack across the southerly flow; their VMG will be dire.

I’d go as far as to say that I think that Louis Berton and Samantha Davies are currently leading the race with Alex in third on a much faster boat. If he can push of course.
Exactly so. All being well I expect him to undertake them on the inside as the system moves slowly East and South. At least that seems what it is doing. Counter intuitively, from a stats perspective, an increase in distance from the leader will occur, before the distance is reduced. Those three boats may therefore appear to fall behind in the leader table but this is of no concern as this looks to be a nice slingshot to the Cape.
 
Exactly so. All being well I expect him to undertake them on the inside as the system moves slowly East and South. At least that seems what it is doing. Counter intuitively, from a stats perspective, an increase in distance from the leader will occur, before the distance is reduced. Those three boats may therefore appear to fall behind in the leader table but this is of no concern as this looks to be a nice slingshot to the Cape.
TBH I think the speed and distance stats on the app & website are pretty meaningless. The speed reading take no account of where the boat is pointed while the distance is simply the distance between the boats.

Even if you could see VMG, it’s use is limited as there are no marks on the course. The secret to this race is to find the most wind going in the right direction and then sail fast on it. The boats on the western side of the low are going to get south far quicker and will get more wind when they get south.

All to play for.
 
Positions as at 09:00 - Developments! APIVIA and LinkedOut really slow now but Charlie Dalin doesn't have so far to get to the green area and on to what I've been calling the expressway, where winds are much better.
It almost looks as if that green area is moving up to meet him, which would then give him a substantial advantage but the blue area could be increasing. I didn't use a scale overlay yesterday, so hard to tell.
Almost drifting along at two or three knots is painfully slow.

Although his speed was down at 9 am, as of 11 am Alex's max speed was 12 kts in the past hour. That's encouraging, as I thought he might have taken too tight an inside track, in to the calms. As others have said these wind models are not all that accurate and are just a guide.

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It's still early days for the Cape but here is a look at how far South they are having to go compared to the route.
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Positions as at 09:00 - Developments! APIVIA and LinkedOut really slow now but Charlie Dalin doesn't have so far to get to the green area and on to what I've been calling the expressway, where winds are much better.
It almost looks as if that green area is moving up to meet him, which would then give him a substantial advantage but the blue area could be increasing. I didn't use a scale overlay yesterday, so hard to tell.
Almost drifting along at two or three knots is painfully slow.

Although his speed was down at 9 am, as of 11 am Alex's max speed was 12 kts in the past hour. That's encouraging, as I thought he might have taken too tight an inside track, in to the calms. As others have said these wind models are not all that accurate and are just a guide.

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It's still early days for the Cape but here is a look at how far South they are having to go compared to the route.
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However you look at it, Dalin is bogged in the centre of the low. Sam Davies and Burton seem to be heading west for more breeze. Alex seems to be sailing a more conservative course.

Without seeing their target speeds and VMG its guesswork
 
However you look at it, Dalin is bogged in the centre of the low. Sam Davies and Burton seem to be heading west for more breeze. Alex seems to be sailing a more conservative course.

Without seeing their target speeds and VMG its guesswork
Of course its guess work. At least we have some clues though. That's part of the fascination or at least it is for me. Happy to stop the speculation. The links are all there so people know where to go.
 
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Of course its guess work. At least we have some clues though. That's part of the fascination or at least it is for me. Happy to stop the speculation. The links are all there so people know where to go.
The speculation is the fascinating part for me. We have access to the same data as the skippers and their routers. OK so the app gives us an overview, but we could get the same data set if we really want it.

Do you go west and pick up the stronger flows? Or compromise on pressure by staying west but sailing a shorter course. If you’re on the wrong side of the system, what do you do? The key piece of the puzzle we don’t have is the yacht polars; if our horizon is displacement cruiser racers, we have no concept of the VMG angles of a foiler.

Keep the speculation going. I’m going West, Davies style. But I’ve no idea what Boss’ polar looks like. He might have got it very right. Or he might be being cautious because the boat is actually fucked.
 
This mornings 2 minute HB update has Alex stating every thing is good to go but it will be 24hrs before he will reach good winds again to take advantage of the higher racing speeds.

Reports are coming in that Linked Out may have a broken Port side foil.
 
Alex's max speed in the past hour was 12.8 kts. To be clear, I don't assume that to be an ongoing over the surface speed, which it obviously isn't, but as an indication of the improved conditions. What we do have access to is grid overlays. I hadn't tried those to date, so here goes.

Here are 09:00 vs 14:00 snapshots with wind speed and hair line position grid overlays. The lines may be tricky to see but I thought it might be interesting and possibly make it a little easier to get a better feel for movement of both competitors and winds.

The white shaded area at the bottom of the first two snapshots is the ice line, exclusion area. Competitors must stay out of that area for their own safety, as there is the risk of drifting ice which isn't always visible on the surface.

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Lets try that again but zooming in closer
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