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Displaying items by tag: Vendee Globe

On a sequence of gybes stepping downwind underneath the Saint Helena high-pressure system in the South Atlantic, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) became the new leader of the Vendée Globe yesterday. He outmanoeuvred his close rival Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and went on to build a 20 mile lead as they slalom towards an area of lighter and variable winds which bar the breakaway duo’s passage to the roaring forties which are still some 600 nautical miles to their south.

Charlie Dalin topped the standings on one position report earlier in the race, but he is one of ten different leaders since the solo non-stop race round the world started on Sunday 8th November. As the duo lead at the latitude of Itajai, Brazil they have more than 250 miles in hand over third placed Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam), although the wily, persistent veteran Le Cam is more than holding his own.

Dalin and Ruyant, who both originate from the north, from the Channel coast of France, may yet see two areas of high pressure join together to make the course south extremely tricky. As the top group try to find the best routing through a complex weather pattern, at 16-18kts boatspeed this afternoon, British skipper Alex Thomson remains purposely slowed in light winds, more than 350 miles north west of the leaders. He is 48 hours into dealing with a complicated series of repairs to the main central longitudinal support beam towards the bow of his HUGO BOSS.

The British racer sent a detailed video of the damage today, emphasising, “The problem is fairly significant. The central longitudinal is broken in several places. The good news is we carry so many materials to fix this kind of thing, c plates, solid panels, and even girders, we have plenty of materials to fix it and the other bit of good news is that I am not in the Southern Ocean. I am in the middle of the Saint Helena High and so have good conditions to be able to do the job and the other good news is I feel super positive and happy to crack on to get this job done and get back in the race as soon as possible. So I don’t feel sad. It could take another day or so to do the repair and the engineers and designers are absolutely confident the boat will be as strong if not stronger than before.”

From his position 120 miles off the African coast, Jérémie Beyou offered his British counterpart his support today. The French sailor should have been Thomson’s main rival on this race but while Thomson repairs, Beyou is chasing the fleet still 600 miles behind back marker Kojiro Shiraishi and 3000 miles behind Dalin. Their Vendée Globes are now massively different to what they hoped for.

Damage to his Charal means Beyou had to return to Les Sables d’Olonne and restart nine days after the original departure. So just as Thomson acknowledged yesterday repairing can be part and parcel of the Vendée Globe, so Beyou’s race to catch up has become a different Vendée Globe too, one of self discovery and a test of motivation.

“In terms of morale I have ups and downs” said Beyou this morning, “ Right now, I'm sad for Alex, because it's a pain in the ass for him, it's a pain to see him slow down. He's got a big repair to do, it's really not cool. I've been thinking about him all day. I support him, I hope he will fix it and get back in the fight soon. But when I see that I am 3000 miles behind the lead, that I am in the North Atlantic while they are at the bottom of the South Atlantic, it is not easy to live with. I take advantage of the fact that the boat is going well, and I'm making progress hour by hour.”

Thomson’s German friend and rival Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco) was the next in line to benefit from the HUGO BOSS sailor’s problem and moved up to fifth this afternoon. Britain’s Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur) is in tenth and pressing hard to stay with the newer, theoretically faster ARKEA PAPREC of Sébastien Simon. At the back of the second group of six boats, Davies might take an option to dive south early and potentially sail more miles but avoid the messy roadblock of light winds which are forecast to develop.

Her British compatriot Pip Hare, who is on her first Vendée Globe, brought Medallia across the Equator into the South Atlantic this afternoon after a challenging Doldrums passage. She is in 20th place in the 31 boat fleet, 11 miles up on Catalan rival Didac Costa – a former rival from Mini 650 days. The duo will be profiting from each other’s competitiveness, not least as the full time fireman from Barcelona had very sporadic contact with other skippers on his 2016-17 race because he had to restart four days late due to a ballast tank leak which flooded his alternator.

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Vendee Globe leader Thomas Ruyant (LInkedOut) had a busy night. Since the start, two weeks ago, he was lacking a halyard which has been jammed at the top of the mast. So the skipper climbed the 28-metre rig so he can change downwind sails.

Ruyant, who is managed by Ireland's Marcus Hutchinson, had been waiting for several days for the right moment to carry out these important repairs before he descends into the southern latitudes.

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British Vendée Globe skipper Alex Thomson has today been forced to slow his HUGO BOSS to a crawl as he attempts to make a technical repair to a longitudinal beam near the bow of his IMOCA.

As Afloat reported earlier, Thomson alerted his team to the problem around 1900 UTC Saturday evening after a routine inspection raised immediate concerns as he raced south-eastwards towards the Southern Ocean part of the leading trio of boats racing south-eastwards some 850 nautical miles east of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

With the imminent requirement to plunge south for more than one month in the inhospitable waters between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, the 46-year-old British skipper will want to have complete faith in the repairs and in his IMOCA. But a statement issued by his Alex Thomson Racing Team this morning confirms he has the materials and the methods to effect the necessary repairs and aims to be back on course as quickly as possible.

Alex Thomson on Hugo BossAlex Thomson on Hugo Boss

“Alex has now put the boat into a safe position to manage the sea state in order to reduce movement onboard while he carries out the repair. He has all the necessary materials onboard, a detailed plan to follow, and a team of world-class engineers advising him. We are therefore confident in his ability to complete the repair. Our objective is to carry out the necessary repair swiftly and effectively, in order to minimise the miles lost and resume racing again.” Said Alex Thomson’s Racing’s Technical Director Ross Daniel.

Having been in second place in the 33 boat fleet during Saturday, averaging 16kts at times and some 25 nautical miles behind leader Thomas Ruyant, Thomson’s pause had already cost him 150 miles on Ruyant and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) who passed into second 23 miles to windward of the British skipper around midnight last night.

“Supposing it takes Alex 24 hours to effect a repair and get going again he would rejoin the chasing group with Arkéa Paprec, Initiatives Cœur and PRB, he would lose quite a bit as that would put him 1000 miles behind at Cape of Good Hope. But I have been looking at the history of the race as well and remember that last time on the last race he rounded Cape Horn 800 miles behind Armel Le Cléac’h and so I would not call this ‘game over’". Suggested Yoann Richomme, winner of the last Route du Rhum in Class40 and double winner of La Solitaire du Figaro when he was today’s guest on the Vendée Globe LIVE English programme.

Talking about the latest generation of fast foilers Richomme, renowned as a meticulous technician, explained, “These new boats are really tough to sail, they are really hard to engineer and are slamming into the waves with a lot of power, which is most likely happened to Alex. What is hard is that we know that they took their feet off the gas a little in the south on the last race to preserve the boats last time, and I think they will be doing that again. From the scenario we are seeing they need to preserve the boats. When these boats start taking off, they were slamming the hulls a little bit further back but now these boats are fully foiling, flying a lot of the time, it is now the bows which are hitting the waves in front, from 2-3m high at times and the impact on the bows is huge and we know a lot of the boats in France had reinforcements in the bow. We saw CORUM L’Epargne in September have a two-week repair in their bow. They are discovering new problems and we are hoping they have covered off most of them.”

At two weeks since the race started off Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday 8th November there are many repairs, small and not so small, critical and almost incidental, that skipper need to make. Contemplating the descent into the Southern Ocean race leader Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) had to climb the 28m mast of his IMOCA after his spare halyard broke. The two leading IMOCAs, LinkedOut and Apivia are side by side 10 miles apart setting out on a gybing match up as they drop south-eastwards towards an area of unstable air, described by Dalin as ‘mousehole’ through which they must pass to get to the Southern Ocean and a fast ride east towards the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope.

Now the Vendée Globe fleet stretches for more than 3000 miles, Jérémie Beyou in 32nd, has lengthened his stride in the south of the Canaries. Listening to the skippers on the daily calls or reading the messages sent from on board, whatever the age of the boat or its position on the Atlantic chessboard, every day brings its share of problems. Yesterday it was a weather vane for ninth-placed Sébastien Simon, today a composite repair on a part of the foil well for Armel Tripon on L’Occitane and that week-long repair to the mainsail of the Japanese Kojiro Shiraishi. Big or small the problems prevail through the fleet.

Armel Tripon, the skipper of L’Occitane en Provence, reflects, “The boats want to go fast, the chase their predicted speeds and they are built for that and the teams and the architects are pushing all the time to go fast. Now it's up to each of us to sail with our soul and our own peace of mind ".

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One time leader of the Vendee Globe British Skipper Alex Thomson who lost the lead in the race on day 13 yesterday has now notified race officials and his team of 'a possible structural issue' on board. 

Thomson, the race favourite, is located approximately 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro in the South Atlantic ocean and was 13 days into the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race.

Thomson is currently only making six knots. His four-hour average is the same so it appears he is doing something to try and assess or make a repair over the last four hours.

Interestingly, new race leader Linked Out is also way down on speed also and has averaged 10 knots for the last four hours, whereas next best Apiva is doing an average of 15 knots when all seem to be in a similar strength wind.

A statement has been released by Thomson's team: 

At approximately 19:00 UTC on Saturday 21st November, British Skipper Alex Thomson notified his team onshore of a possible structural issue onboard the HUGO BOSS boat.

At the time, Thomson was located approximately 800 miles east of Rio de Janeiro in the South Atlantic ocean, and was 13 days into the Vendée Globe round-the-world yacht race.

Thomson and his team, together with their appointed naval architects and structural engineers, are now working together to assess the extent of the structural issue and to determine a repair programme and timeline.

Thomson is safe and well onboard, and in regular dialogue with the team. The Vendée Globe race organisation has been notified and is being kept well informed.

We kindly ask that members of the public refrain from attempting to contact the team at this time. A further update will be released on Sunday 22nd November.

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Day 12 - Racing at the latitude of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil this morning, British skipper Alex Thomson, leader of the Vendée Globe, today emphasized that he feels under no pressure from his nearest two French rivals Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) who have both cut miles from his lead since their exit from the Doldrums three days ago.

The top trio are each trying to plot their best route down the South Atlantic to catch a fast-moving low-pressure system and the strong, favourable winds which would catapult them eastwards into the Southern Ocean. While the weather situation for them is very enticing right now, offering a fast slide down the face of a cold front, at the bottom of the ride there is a potentially lethal transition zone which might evolve into a period of very light winds.

Should today’s weather modelling work out as predicted, according to the Vendée Globe’s weather expert Christian Dumard, the three leaders would gain such an advantage that they might be as much as two days ahead of fourth place and the chasing group by the time they pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope.

Asked on this afternoon’s LIVE race show Thomson said, “I am trying to find my way to the Southern Ocean, I am not really being affected by what they are doing. I am clear what we have to do over the next couple of days, I am positioned well so I don’t feel too much pressure. I don’t feel under pressure.”

He responded to suppositions that life in the tropics, living and working inside his boat all the time as opposed to on deck, might be hotter and more tiring, “In terms of the heat I would say it is cooler in here than it is outside. Much the same as the others I am probably drinking four litres of electrolyte a day. It was a struggle to stay hydrated but over the last day or so it is becoming better. I am trying to sleep as much as possible, I am still in debt for sure, so wherever I feel the urge, whenever I can I get my head down and get to sleep. Eating is a constant process for me. I am constantly going to the cupboard and grabbing a snack or a meal.”

Asked about the small miles Thomson has lost in recent days, the naval architect from VPLP who co-designed HUGO BOSS with significant input from Alex Thomson Racing’s own design team, Quentin Lucet suggested, “I think Alex has been sleeping a bit more recently and just not feel the need to push too hard for the moment. Maybe he is more in a controlling aspect on his followers. And maybe in terms of design there might be some slight performance differences due to the real wind they have just now. For now we have no alarm saying Alex has any issues. Probably he just does not see a real need to be accelerating just now.”

Double Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux on the French show confirmed that he is a big fan of Thomson’s option to the west, 115 miles closer to the Brazilian shore than Ruyant.

“For sure the changes near the lead are due to a combination of the packages the various leaders have. Foils, sails and hull shape. Also there is a difference to what we see here on land as per the forecasts and what the sailor might actually get on the ocean. I think the further West you go the better the angle you will have to then come back and catch up. And so for me the two behind Alex really need to put their foot down to try and catch him now because the passage towards the Cape of Good Hope is going to give Alex quite a lead. If you look at the projected routing it is now that they need to make the most ground up because after the lead will extend a lot.”

Indeed as the angles have opened to broader reaching ones HUGO BOSS has been quicker than Apivia and LinkedOut; Thomson averaging more than 23 kts. Once again there are some anomalies on the official rankings because the positions are taken from a moving, rather than fixed waypoint. The late afternoon rankings maybe show Ruyant as leader but Thomson continues to be about 40 miles further south.
The breakaway trio are now more than 160 miles clear of fourth placed Jean Le Cam, who has the fast moving Saint Malo skipper Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée approaching in his wake. Burton is racing the IMOCA 60 which holds the current 74 days 3 hours solo round the world record and moved up to fifth today holding definite designs on fourth.

The Vendee Globe comeback kids

Also coming back fast after their own particular technical problems since the start are Sébastien Simon on ARKÉA-Paprec who, in tenth, is chasing Briton Sam Davies hard at 27 miles behind. The 2018 La Solitaire champion, one of four skippers in the race who live in Les Sables d’Olonne, has been consistently fast over the last couple of days since he had to climb the mast of his Juan K design.

Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi is back in the race with an operational mainsail on DMH MORI. Four days of repairs to a tear at the top of his sail and batten repairs are completed, even if the Asian skipper must sail with one reef from now on. He was sailing directly west this afternoon away from the Cape Verde islands which might have provided additional refuge had he needed it.

Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest Amedeo) has nearly completed his comeback after a three-day pitstop back in Les Sables d’Olonne to repair a hairline crack at the top if his mast.

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French veteran Jean Le Cam continues to light up the leading pack of the Vendée Globe who are slogging south-westward, beam reaching into choppy, slamming seas. Alex Thomson continues to lead the 32 boat fleet by about 10 miles at some 110 miles northeast of Recife, Brazil.

But for all that the 61-year-old Le Cam, who is on his fifth Vendée Globe race, played with Vendée Globe LIVE! viewers’ minds today - altering his virtual backdrop to place himself in an empty café bar - the undeniable reality is Le Cam is still showing a posse of younger, fast foiling IMOCA boats and their much younger skippers, the way down the South Atlantic.

Just 10 hours and 13 minutes behind Alex Thomson’s HUGO BOSS, Le Cam crossed the Equator fourth early this morning on the evergreen 2007 Farr design which, as Foncia, won the 2008 Vendée Globe in the hands of Michel Desjoyeaux. He returned Yes We Cam! one more into the Southern Hemisphere only one hour and 54 minutes behind Charlie Dalin on the new Verdier designed Apivia.

Le Cam’s time for the passage from Les Sables d’Olonne this time is 10 days 10 hours 12 minutes, five minutes faster this time than he was on the same boat at the exactly the same point in 2016 when he lay eighth. Clearly, he only improves with age!

After surgery gave the boat more volume in the bow Le Cam triumphed in the 2015 Barcelona World Race round the world race on this same boat – sailing with Bernard Stamm, in so doing won the IMOCA Ocean Masters world title. Along with Spain’s Didac Costa, he is one of only two sailors in this fleet to be looking to complete his third round the world race in the space of five years.

“I was a bit fed up of my bean bag and my environment so I went to the bistro to go and get a coffee.” Laughed Le Cam as he ‘placed’ himself in his café. Asked about his position in the race he chuckled, “As to the foiling boats getting a chance to stretch their lead: I have always said since before the start that I am in the Renault 4 category, not in the Ferrari one, but I realise that the little R4 is very well tuned!” joked Le Cam today, “The good news is that I had a great night’s sleep. I have not had a good night of sleep like last night’s since the start.”

Leader Thomson saw his cushion shrink on the rankings today to less than ten miles, some of that due to the way the theoretical route is calculated on the official charting. His margin enlarged again this afternoon after the moving waypoint to which the leaders are racing, was recalibrated slightly west.

“Every one of these new boats has a slightly different sail and rig set up, different foil packages, different hull shapes and so each will have its strengths and weaknesses and we are all just learning about these boats in different conditions as are the skippers themselves. I don’t think Alex has any problems on board right now, some boats will be quicker in some conditions some boats in others. Right now it is about staying close. You will see the Figaro one design sailors like Charlie Dalin are keen to stay with the pack and play the long game, whereas maybe Alex and Thomas (Ruyant) are prepared to do their own thing sometimes. This is much more about risk management right now.” Commented second placed Thomas Ruyan’s LinkedOut programme manager Marcus Hutchinson on today’s Vendée Globe LIVE! show today.

Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) crossed the Equator in seventh place at 0650hrs this morning, 2hrs and 54 mins behind Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) and 37 minutes before Britain’s Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur). As was expected the battle from fifth placed Kevin Escoffier (PRB) to ninth placed Yannick Bestaven (Maitre CôQ) among the boats which formed the vanguard of the 2016-17 race is very engaging, just five hours exactly between Escoffier and Bestaven in terms of time across the Equator.

Otherwise the fleet are all making decent progress, tradewinds sailing, even Kojiro Shiraishi on DMG MORI, has been doing reasonable speeds under headsails as he tries to repair the battens for his mainsail. Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest – Art et Fenêtres) has 120 miles to catch backmarker Clément Giraud and Jérémie Beyou has passed Cape Finisterre this afternoon and was making 19kts on Charal.

And Nico Troussel, who lost the mast of CORUM L’Épargne on Monday morning, finally reached a mooring in Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands this morning.

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Thomas Ruyant's Advens Cybersecurity-sponsored IMOCA 60 LinkedOut is steadily whittling away at Alex Thomson's lead with Hugo Boss in the Vendee Globe 2020 as the front runners cross the Equator through Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, LinkedIn became the first boat to break the 500-miles-in-24-hours barrier, logging 508.2 miles as she streaked southward past the Cape Verde Islands, thereby putting Jean le Cam in the veteran Yes We Cam astern, while keeping Charlie Dalin in near-sister-ship Apivia firmly in Ruyant's wake.

While the gap to leader Alex Thomson in Hug Boss had at one stage opened to 130 miles and more, by Wednesday evening, with LinkedOut on the Equator, it had been pruned back to 70 miles, with LinkedOut on a VMG of 19.2 knots while Hugo Boss – seeking a better angle with a more westerly course – had a VMG back at 12.4 knots.

LinkedOut shore manager Marcus Hutchinson of Kinsale reports some problems with the J2 halyard system which may require Ruyant going aloft when he finds a calm spot in the doldrums, "but for now, there's no sign of Doldrums or calms spots, and it's all systems go".

The tie-in between Advens Cybersecurity and alternative contact and hire network LinkedOut came at a late stage of the Vendee Globe countdown, so it is only this week that LinkedOut began processing the cohort of offers and job-seekers which has resulted from this spate of publicity. Despite France being in the throes of high COVID-19 incidence and extreme lockdown, 70 fresh offers are in the pipeline, 11 interviews have been held, and four positions have already been filled.

Tracker chart here

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While Nicholas Troussel is motoring slowly into a lumpy sea, his Vendée Globe abandoned after his mast was broken early yesterday morning, this afternoon in bright sunshine and light winds off Les Sables d’Olonne Jérémie Beyou was resuscitating his own race, restarting some 2,700 nautical miles behind leader Alex Thomson who was negotiating the first hours of his Doldrums passage on HUGO BOSS.

Promised a smooth passage through the 300-350 miles wide Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone by the weather gurus, Thomson should be first across the Equator in the middle of Wednesday morning. On current routing models, he is likely to be around one day slower than the record he set at 9 days 7 hours when he led the 2016-17 race into the Southern Hemisphere.

There is a certain symmetry compared to the 2016-17 race. Four years ago Thomson led Armel Le Cléac’h by a little more than 50 miles. He is in front again this time but it is the hard driving Thomas Ruyant who has cut the British skipper’s margin by 40 miles to around 88 miles. Coincidentally at this same time four years ago it was Tanguy De Lamotte whose hopes for his Vendée Globe were dashed by the race’s first broken mast.

Beyou was full of hope and positivity when he set off on a balmy, almost Mediterranean afternoon in Les Sables d’Olonne, sent on his way by hundreds of well wishers. But he admitted that re-calibrating his mindset which for four years been hard wired towards winning the Vendée Globe would be in itself the biggest challenge, “It’s not going to be easy because I’m leaving so much later. But now I just have to go. No more thinking. I just can't wait to get back to sea. Having managed to mobilize myself is in itself a first win. After that I hope there will be more things to keep me going as I progress. But I don't really know what these things will be. I don't know how to put it in words. I'm going to explore myself a bit. I'm completely away from all my reference points here. For four years I have been just in the condition, in the state of mind to give 100 per cent all the time to preparation, to give everything on the race course. Now we are in a different game the goal posts have moved I have to forget everything and then find a new way of doing things. I’m definitely no longer in my comfort zone here.”

He seems assured of a fast passage south on the first days of his pursuit of the 31 boat fleet, his nearest ‘target’ being Fabrice Amedeo at 1000 miles range. At Cape Finisterre he should be able to hook into a low pressure system which will catapult him south to benefit from favourable winds on the east side of the Azores high pressure system.

Meanwhile Troussel who this morning had some 180 miles still to motor to Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands, voiced his misery. On a video call this morning, his eyes hollow, his face drawn, he confirmed that he was below decks asleep when his mast crashed down in the gusty tradewinds,”It was just before sunrise and I was asleep and went up on deck and saw the damage. My priority then was to get the mast off and away from the boat because the sea was quite choppy. Then you realise that it is all over.”

The Doldrums look like they might offer Thomson and the lead group a free pass. The skipper from Gosport and his nearest rival Ruyant have seen their speeds ease to 14-15kts but the zone between the NE’ly and SE’ly trade winds is quite narrow.

"It's not just a transition between two winds, it's also a transition between two seas," said Sébastien Josse and Christian Dumard, the weather consultants for the Vendée Globe. "The seas will not be as smooth as you may think. Speeds will be more erratic and courses more varied. To get out of here you have to cross directly at right angles and... stay calm. Each metre gained south is one metre gained towards the exit of the tunnel” continues Sébastien Josse.

From Madeira to the Doldrums, the 2020 Vendée Globe wagon train spans some 1,600 miles (2,900 km) of ocean. Now, finally, almost the entire fleet is in the trade winds and making decent progress. But to the west of the Canaries in a localised ‘doldrums’ of persistently light winds five competitors are continuing to have their patience tested.

"I’m starting to get the first hint of the Doldrums as we approach them. We’re almost there and already a few squalls can be seen on the satellite images. I am looking at them regularly to try to find a narrow passage through. They don’t look too active, but you never know what you’re going to get. There is always a surprise each time.

I’m starting to get really hot. These aren’t the conditions I enjoy most. Inside the boat, it quickly becomes a furnace with the generator charging up. But we have a good angle to sail quickly, so it’s perfect for sailing now. I have 18/20kts and am at 110/120 degrees from the wind. Conditions are pleasant, even if at times it is a bit wild, as we accelerate away quickly. The Doldrums are 300/350 miles wide. So we can hope to get out of there tomorrow evening, if everything falls into place, but it could take much longer. It’s complicated getting accurate forecasts.” - Thomas Ruyant, second, LinkedOut

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Jérémie Beyou, the 44-year-old French Vendee Globe skipper who had to sail 600 miles back to Les Sables d’Olonne after damage to his Charal on the second evening of the solo non-stop around-the-world race, has confirmed that he will re-start the race on Tuesday afternoon despite the leaders being around 2,500 nautical miles south, approaching the Doldrums tomorrow.

Beyou, who was the outstanding favourite to win the race, hit a floating object on the third evening of the race. The impact damaged one of Charal's rudders, its mounting and control mechanisms, he broke a backstay and there was sundry composite damage to the deck of his IMOCA.

A round the clock team effort by up to 20 people who have been working flat out ever since the bitterly disappointed Beyou docked his boat back in Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday afternoon, has returned the boat to 100% of its full potential, according the solo racer who finished third on the last Vendée Globe. Speaking during an online press conference from his apartment in Les Sables d’Olonne, he said: “It’s strange to be replying to your questions away from my boat, Charal. But I’ll soon be back there, as thanks to the work carried out after the past few days, we now know the boat will be ready tomorrow morning and ready to take off on the tide in the afternoon. Excellent news. I would like to thank the whole team, as they have given it their all since I arrived back here in Port Olona. The Vendée Globe is a team effort and if everyone pulls together, we can work miracles. The main problem, the one that made me turn back, was the issue with the rudder. Technically, however the most problematic to repair was the traveller, but actually, it was the rudder mounting and the control arm which had broken, and it is a structural part of the boat. We had to survey the damage first to see where the water had leaked in to and up to where we needed to repair this on both sides. We had to work with a whole series of experts to figure this out and all within the time constraints. We also had some wind vane issues, mainsail damage from the series of gybes when the rudder hit something. I really have to thank the whole team.”

Beyou has been locked down in isolation with his partner since arriving back. He purposely detached himself from all race updates and social media.

“It was very hard for me to not be there (during the repairs) but also I had to take my head out of the race and I did not look at the rankings. I shut out and did not look at any social media, all this whilst I was trying to stay close to my team and support them remotely. Since the start, we have been working as a very close-knit team. On the first night they sent me a message to say that they did not think they would manage to fix it within the time limit, but deep down I knew they would. So it was probably a good thing that I was not with them so I could get time to recover and really figure out the whole meaning behind the project. How everyone feels about it, the public, the Charal employees, the press, friends…I just did not answer any messages, but I knew that I had to go back to the race. I did hear about Nico’s dismasting...I know I said I cut myself out of the race coms, but I did hear that and I am so so sorry for him and his whole team. I know how much energy it takes to do a Vendée Globe and what is needed to get a project off the ground and going."

"There were 10 to 15 people who put all their combined efforts together to get the job done. The architects from VPLP, Gurit composites, Manu Le Borgne, and behind them you have the logistics team, the team who did the hardware components, the splicing and ropeworks guys, the team at North Sails ready to do repairs to the mainsail, the Pixel electricians. The list is endless. When I got to the pontoon the other day and saw what a team of experts was there waiting, I said to myself, my goodness! You also feel you need to be there and to be on site and respect all the work that has been done, that is being done and you just have to go. I have often said that the Vendée Globe is a race that is carried out by a team, and here you go, that is demonstrated by these people. Miracles can happen when you really try.”

Speaking about leader Alex Thomson he said, “I am happy for Alex being in the lead, I know he has a really good boat, and I am happy for him. He did a great move a few days ago. All I know is that Jean was in the lead for a bit and now that Alex is leading the charge. I did just try to disconnect a bit. After all that we will see what happens back on the sea. I really prefer to have no expectations, I don't want to set any goals. I don't know what we will discover. So we will see.”

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French skipper Nicolas Troussel, who was lying in seventh place in the Vendée Globe, has dismasted on CORUM L’Épargne this morning. He was racing south in brisk NE’ly trade wind conditions some 260 nautical miles NW of the Cape Verde islands.

Troussel, 46, was not injured and is in the process of securing the boat before further assessing the situation.

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World Sailing Information

World Sailing is the world governing body for the sport of sailing, officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Founded in 1907, World Sailing's vision is for a world in which millions more people fall in love with sailing; inspired by the unique relationship between sport, technology and the forces of nature; we all work to protect the waters of the world.

World Sailing is made up of 144 Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world and 117 World Sailing Class Associations.

Featured Sailing School

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Featured Clubs

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Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

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Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

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Featured Associations

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ICRA
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Featured Events 2021

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Featured Sailmakers

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Featured Chandleries

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Featured Marinas

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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