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Displaying items by tag: Transat Jacques Vabre

Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, skippers of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre set off their emergency beacon this afternoon at 13.25UT. The Spanish Coastguard was informed and sent a rescue helicopter to their location 82 nautical miles from the Spanish coast. Both Alex and Guillermo were rescued from the location by helicopter and are on their way back to land. See rescue video here.

As reported earlier this week, HUGO BOSS incurred some structural damage earlier this week forcing Alex and Guillermo to stop racing. The Skippers had made a repair and were on route to A Coruna where the technical team were waiting to meet them. After sailing for a period of 36 hours in high seas and strong winds, the structure of the boat deteriorated further and the boat started to take on water and sink. The technical team are in A Coruna, Spain awaiting further information from the coast guard.

In October Thomson and the brand new Hugo Boss made a pit stop in Cork Harbour because of  'small issues with the keel ram' but there is no information if this issue is in any way connected with today's evacuation.

Managing Director Stewart Hosford expresses ‘Our first concern is with Alex and Guillermo and when they are safely on the ground we will address the situation with our IMOCA 60 and begin the salvage process. We are grateful for the swift response from the rescue services in this situation.’

Published in Offshore

With one Transat Jacques Vabre yacht safe in Cork harbour, the fleet continue to make progress across the Atlantic but Team Concise now in Crosshaven is far from the only safety incident for the French race. Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain whose Ultime multi Prince de Bretagne capsized just after 1900hrs UTC Monday night, 140 miles NW of La Coruna resisted the option of activating their distress beacon and seeking outside assistance for as long as possible. But with 30kts winds this afternoon and four metres waves and the prospect of 40kts tomorrow Wednesday they triggered their beacon this afternoon around 1520hrs UTC. They consulted with their partners and shore team, keeping up to date with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction, and in the end the skippers safety is the main priority. CROSS Gris Nez and MRCC Madrid successfully coordinated their evacuation and by 1700hrs UTC the pair were in a helicopter.

While a high pressure ridge threatens to slow the Ultime's positive progress south, the good news for the highly competitive IMOCA class is that the leaders have reached the awaited windshift which has allowed them to point their bows south west, out of the worst of a low pressure and at least in the direction of the finish line some 4800 miles away in Itajaí. But for the Class 40s and some of the later IMOCAs a new low pressure is the next big threat. 35 of the entry of 42 boats are still heading for Itajai

* Safran retires:

After a good start to the Transat Jacques Vabre, Morgan Lagraviere and Nicolas Lunven were forced to turn back home last night. The cause was a crack in the hull at the starboard foil that generated a leak. It is impossible to continue the race in this condition. Contacted this morning, the Safran duo are headed for Brest where they are expected as night falls.

"The foil area is damaged on the starboard side," Lagraviere said. "The damage has spread around the area and water is seeping into the boat. We quickly tacked to get the damaged section of the hull out of the water. At the time of the incident, the conditions were intense but not extreme. There were 25-knots of wind and 3-4 metres of swell. The sea was not particularly rough and we didn't hear a particular sound."

Top three in class at 27/10/15 - 18h30

1. Le Conservateur, Yannick Bestaven / Pierre Brasseur
2. V and B, Maxime Sorel / Sam Manuard
3. Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite, Nicolas Troussel / Corentin Horeau

1. Ciela Village, Thierry Bouchard / Oliver Krauss
2. Arkema, Lalou Roucayrol / Cesar Dohy
3. FenetreA Prysmian, Erwan le Roux / Giancarlo Pedote

1. Queguiner - Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies / Charlie Dalin
2. Le souffle du Nord, Thomas Ruyant / Adrien Hardy
3. PRB, Vincent Riou / Sebastien Col

1. Sodebo, Thomas Coville / Jean-Luc Nelias
2. Macif, Francois Gabart / Pascal Bidegorry
3. Actual, Yves le Blevec / Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant

Published in Offshore

Safely berthed in Cork Harbour tonight, offshore sailors Jack Bouttell and Gildas Mahé who have been forced to retire from Transat Jacques Vabre are looking forward to a Guinness at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Repairs will begin on the Team Concise boat in the morning in order to return to England. In the meantime, Bouttell and Mahé plan to make the most of local hospitality.

Former Figaro campaigners David and Neil Kenefick are looking after the duo.

'Both Gildas and I were pretty dark last night, frustrated and disappointed. It didn’t feel great, but our main objective became to get to Cork safely.'

At 1630 this afternoon Team Concise co-skippers Jack Bouttell, an Alumni of the Artemis Offshore Academy, and Gildas Mahé announced their retirement from the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre after sustaining structural damage to their Class 40 ‘Team Concise’ in bad weather.

“We were sailing in 20 knots of winds with 30 knot gusts and the sea state was building,” Bouttell reported. “We were reaching at boat speeds of around 18 to 19 knots. We peeled to a smaller jib trying to slow down and be conservative; other boats were flying past us. We were expecting heavy conditions for up to four days, so wanted to save the boat as much as we could.”

Mahé continued: “We heard a loud crack and went to investigate. We found quite serious structural damage to the boat, so set to work making as many repairs as we could to make the boat as safe as possible.”

The damage was reported to Race Management in the early hours, and the duo then made the difficult decision to divert to Crosshaven, Ireland and assess the situation. The decision was made by the skippers to retire.

“All of the team are obviously disappointed for the guys,” said Team Concise director, Ned Collier Wakefield. “They had been sailing a great race leading the fleet out west and had shown their own and the boat’s potential.”

Both experienced short-handed sailors, Bouttell and Mahé had high hopes for the Transat Jacques Vabre. Their abandonment of the race comes as a devastating blow for the skippers, Team Concise and their sponsors, with Bouttell hoping the experience would take him closer to his Vendée Globe dream.

“It is so disappointing,” Bouttell explained. “We were in a good position over the first 24 hours and enjoying the race. We have been working towards the Transat Jacques Vabres for seven months. All that work is now down the drain.

Both Gildas and I were pretty dark last night, frustrated and disappointed. It didn’t feel great, but our main objective became to get to Cork safely."

Published in Offshore
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The first 24 hours of the 12th edition of the offshore Transat Jacques Vabre race, the two handed race from Le Havre in France to Itajaí, Brazil have been fast in a building breeze and at least some of the fleet is heading to Cork Harbour and, most likely, Royal Cork Yacht Club for safety.

But the Bay of Biscay and an Atlantic low pressure system will hit most of the fleet this evening and tomorrow bringing building seas and big winds with gusts over 40kts. There is no big surprise in store. The ominous system has been lurking west of Ireland for some time, but is only moving slowly SE before it fills and loses some of its intensity later on Tuesday. But the duos in all four classes have been preparing as best they can for the tough conditions, drysuits and boots are on now and may be for 48 hours or more.

Jackson Bouttell (GBR/AUS) and Gildas Mahé (FRA) on the Ker designed Concise 8 informed their Team Concise directors that they have sustained damage and are heading for Cork 120 miles to their NE.

The two co-skippers are in regular contact with Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction and are not injured in any way and expect to reach the Irish haven by mid morning Tuesday. A full assessment of the extent of the damage will be made on arrival. They anticipate missing the worst of the imminent strong winds. Further details will be released Tuesday morning. 

A number of retirements and damage reports. Fortunately no injuries reported:

* Maitre CoQ Retire

Following the damage that happened at around 2300hrs yesterday evening to a mainstay attachment, Jeremie Beyou and Philippe Legros, who were in 4th place, were forced to make their way to Roscoff, which they reached this morning at 0830hrs. The shore team and suppliers analysed the situation and attempted to replace the faulty part.

In spite of their hard work, late today they were unable to guarantee that the replacement part would be solid enough to allow the two sailors to head back out to sea without any worries. The situation was in fact all the more tense with the weather that has been forecast for the coming hours, as Maître CoQ would have likely faced some strong winds (30 - 40 knots) with a wave height of 6-7 metres

* Damage on Safran, heading to Brest

At 2020 hrs CET this evening, Morgan Lagravière, skipper of the IMOCA 60 Safran, contacted the Transat Jacques Vabre Race Directors to inform them there had been some damage aboard.

The crew (Morgan Lagravière and Nicolas Lunven) has taken the decision to head for Brest. Both skippers are fine and the conditions should allow them to reach the Breton port.

* Edmond de Rothschild Abandon in the IMOCA class

Leaders of the more westerly group of the IMOCA fleet of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Sebastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier have confirmed they have abandoned the race. They are the second of the 20 IMOCA 60s which started Sunday from Le Havre to retire. The pair made the difficult choice which was dictated by good seamanship and their aim to bring the newest Gitana back to port safely.

Sebastien Josse explained the reasons:

"Since the afternoon we had a series of incidents aboard Edmond de Rothschild. Taken individually these problems are quite minor and if we had better weather we could probably put them right. But all added up to one another and given the weather conditions we see these incidents as potentially endangering us and the boat. The weather files show more than 40kts of wind at times and seven metre seas. Charles and I consider it would not be responsible to carry on in these conditions. The boat was only launched two and a half months ago, and despite all the work which was done by the Gitana team to optimises and be ready is so short a time, these are problems associated with a recently launched boat. The decision to abandon was a very hard one but we do not want to jeopardise more than a year of hard work. The boat was designed for the Vendee Globe and that remains the major objective of the team. It is hard to retire but we must not lose sight of that as the goal."

* Prince de Bretagne Capsize, Skippers safe

The Ultime trimaran of Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain has capsized while they were 140 miles off La Coruna. The two co-skippers are safe and have taken shelter inside the trimaran. They have not requested assistance and their technical team is making every effort to organise help to rescue them and their vessel. At the time of the incident the boat was upwind in 20 to 25kts of SSW'ly wind.

Published in Offshore

#jacquesvabre – British co-skippers Ned Collier Wakefield and Sam Goodchild are safely in Muros, NW Spain with their Class 40, Concise 8 this morning, having confirmed their abandonment from the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre double-handed race from Le Havre to Itajaí, Brazil. Their boat suffered damage to the blade of its port rudder last night and was followed by damage to other essential fittings.

The incident happened yesterday evening at between 2100hrs and 2200hrs UTC while racing in 25-26kts of NE'ly winds and rough seas when they were approximately 45 miles NW of Cape Finisterre.

Further information will be distributed in the early afternoon.

Solidaires en Peloton the French Class 40 co-skippered by Victorien Erussard and Thibaut Vauchel-Camus will make a technical stop, expected to be in Cascais.

Update on Arkema-Region Aquitaine after capsize Sunday evening:
A tug has left Lisbon last night at 2200hrs UTC and will arrive on zone tomorrow morning.

See latest postions for the fleets:

Published in Offshore
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#TJV – Ahead of the Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV) in November, Oman Air-Musandam skippers Sidney Gavignet (FRA) and Damian Foxall (IRL) are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations to become the first MOD70 champions of the event.

Throughout the month of September, having qualified for the TJV by competing in the Rolex Fastnet Race in August, they have been putting their skills and temperaments to the test with a series of weather workshops, offshore challenges against MOD70 rivals and some heavy-duty training camps at the offshore training centre at Port La Foret in France.

They have been observed for compatible strengths and weaknesses and as a result, decided on a three-hour on three-hour off watch system that they believe will work well for them as they find a balance between pushing the boat hard and safe sailing.

"The most important thing about competing in a one-design boat is not only boat speed but avoiding mistakes in terms of breaking things or making bad manoeuvres and working out the best way to go," said Gavignet, who estimates the 5,450nms course from Le Havre to Itajaii in Brazil will take around 14 days.

"It is important that we understand the key moments of the race and when to push and when to ease up. We also need to understand energy management because bad decisions are mainly caused by fatigue so we have always to be aware of that.

"We have done a weather course with Jean-Yves Bernot – we did the same course before the Route des Princes which was very useful and makes us aware of the different scenarios so that we are prepared for them."

This is not the first time Gavignet and Foxall have competed together in a two handed transatlantic race (in 2008, they raced the Transat AG2R together, finishing in fifth place), but during the 2013 Route des Princes campaign in the summer and in subsequent training, they have identified a shared characteristic that they realise will require conscious moderating.

"In terms of skills, we have similar profiles but we both push the boat hard so we have to take it easy, keep a clear mind and slow down. Think more and act less. It is both a strength and a weakness," Gavignet said.

For Foxall, Ireland's most successful offshore sailor with two Volvo Ocean Race wins under his belt as well as his Barcelona World Race victory in 2007-08, the TJV is unfinished business after he was airlifted off Orma 60 trimaran Foncia when he and co-skipper Armel Le Cleach capsized.

That was eight years ago and although he is confident he and Gavignet can fend off challenges from the other two MOD70s Virbac-Paprec 70 and Edmond de Rothschild, he is under no illusion how difficult it will be.

"Of all the sailing I have done, this is without doubt the most demanding," he said.

"If you have too much sail area up on a multihull, it can be terminal and there are only two people to deal with it. Having said that, the boats require to be pushed and you push it much closer to 100% than you would if you were single-handed.

"It is very important at all times to be in control and always have one, if not two ways of depowering the boat.

"We'll push the boat hard but stay within the limits. Having too much sail area is not necessarily the fastest way to go forward."

Between now and the start of the TJV on Sunday 3 November, Gavignet and Foxall will continue their training sessions at Port la Foret with more test sailing before leaving for Le Havre around the 22 October.

Campaigning Oman Air-Musandam in the 2013 Route des Princes, Gavignet and Foxall were lucky to be part of a crew of six including Omani sailors Fahad Al Hasni and Ahmed Al Hasni but for the Transat Jacques Vabre, while Fahad will be supporting the crew with preparations and training sessions and observing to further his ability, he won't be racing this time.

"While I have learnt a lot already and am training as much as possible, it will take a few more years of experience for me to be ready for a two-handed race like this," said Fahad who will be on site in Le Havre for the start to support Sidney and Damian. "The MOD70 is a challenging boat and while I have learnt a huge amount sailing it crewed, and one day hope to race this event, for now I am supporting my team mates with their preparations."

The TJV starts from Le Havre on 3 November but to ensure all classes arrive in Brazil at around the same time, the MOD70s will start with the rest of the fleet but race just 40 miles in a prologue to decide the starting sequence when they start again on 8 November.

Coming up:

Training session in Port la Foret 23-26 September

Published in Offshore
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