Please select your home edition
Edition
C-Tech 2020 Battens 728x90 TOP

Vendée Globe Day 19: The not too distant Roar of the Forties

by Vendée Globe 26 Nov 2020 09:30 PST 26 November 2020

At the same time as Alex Thomson euphorically announced this morning that 'the BOSS is Back' after the British skipper completed four days and nights of structural repairs to the inside of the bow of HUGO BOSS, his French rival, second placed Thomas Ruyant and his team are deciding what to do about the damaged port foil on his LinkedOut. Despite their respective challenges to win the Vendée Globe being compromised for the moment, both skippers remain highly motivated.

The danger in leaving the damaged foil as it is, is that it may break off and cause collateral damage to the hull of his IMOCA or indeed the outrigger support rods. Laurent Bourguès, technical director of Ruyant's TR Racing has assembled a Task Force group comprising the designers, engineers and builders who collaborated in the production of LinkedOut's V2 second generation foil. So designer Guillaume Verdier is working with Antoine Koch the foil specialist, François Pernelle, who is head of the TR Racing design office, and marine design engineer Hervé Penfornis. This brains trust are in charge of the next steps for skipper Thomas Ruyant who is 120 miles behind the leader and still in the throes of escaping from the light winds of the South Atlantic high.

"First we need to evaluate accurately the structure of the damaged foil," explains Laurent Bourguès. "Guillaume Verdier performs all the calculations to assess the level of stress safe for a foil of which the shaft structure is compromised. And therefore, in the next few hours we need to work out the acceptable level of risk to hold to a foil which is now unusable. Thomas has withdrawn it as much as it comes in but at certain angles of heel, reaching on starboard tack, part of the foil is dragging in the water and so is subject to considerable stress, especially at high speed. In the event of it breaking we then worry about collateral damage at the level of the outrigger tie rod. If this risk seems too great to us, Thomas will have to cut the foil. He has all the tools to do so. It is up to us, to recommend where to cut it either in its widest part, flush with the hull, or nearer the tip. We are talking with other teams who have suffered this kind of damage so we can give Thomas all the answers very quickly."

His team say Ruyant is fully prepared to get on with his race with just a single foil. They said today 'His determination to do very well is entirely intact. He knows that statistically, his starboard foil is more important than the port side. Even without a foil, his LinkedOut is very powerful, with its ballasts system in particular capable of providing all the power needed on starboard tack to perform despite the loss of the foil. He will re-learn the boat again, play with the cant of the keel and his sail combinations in order to stay in the heart of the Vendée Globe action."

Thomson is back in the thick of the action after taking four days repairing. He is in eighth place this afternoon and in the middle of a well-established pack of boats, circling the west side of the high pressure system and fighting to pull back miles on Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC) to his east, and Sam Davies and Louis Burton who are quicker than him in the west where there is more breeze. Briton Davies and Saint Malo based Burton - whose father is Welsh - are nicely positioned now to catch the fast-moving eastbound weather systems first.

Almost all of the lead group seem set to finally be liberated from the clutches of the South Atlantic high pressure and the light winds which have plagued progress since Monday. In a few hours times they should finally be clear and into 25-30kts downwind conditions.

"In six hours time, the sailors will see a complete change in conditions racing on the front of a low from around noon tomorrow," explains Christian Dumard, weather forecaster for the Vendée Globe. "There will be big miles to be made provided you stay in the front to be pushed at high speed all the way to the Kerguelens."

Sébastien Simon said "You have to stay focused so as not to miss out otherwise you will miss the train. It will be a very important moment." Now with more than 120 miles in hand over compromised Ruyant, Charlie Dalin on APIVIA will be the very first to sail down to the latitude of the Roaring 40s. He will cross 40 degrees South tonight.

Stephane Le Diraison, skipper of Time for Oceans has been pressing hard over the past four days in unstable south-easterly trade winds and his reward is 160 miles gained back on La Fabrique of the Swiss skipper Alan Roura. Both are racing 2007 Finot-Conq designs retro fitted with foils. Le Diraison's boat started life as HUGO BOSS and has yet to finish a Vendée Globe in three successive starts as HUGO BOSS, Energa and last time with Le Diraison as Compagnie du Lit, Boulogne-Billancourt. Roura's boat was second in the 2008-9 race as BritAir and but was first to abandon in 2016 in the hands of Bertrand de Broc.

Le Diraison, who had to retire into Australia after his mast broke on the last edition of the race, was in great form today, smiling "I'm happy to see that I managed to pick up a bit on those in front of me and I have recovered about 100 miles on the lead group. Yes it is a good bit of a charge on for me. This motivates me, I absolutely want to stay in the same weather system as those in front, so we must not give up now..I need to seize all the chances that come my way."

Despite making important repairs to her pushpit, Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) has also managed to stay on track with an average of over 16 knots over the past 4 hours. Finally, there are only two IMOCAs left in the northern hemisphere: 2020 sisterships DMG Mori Global One and Charal which is entering the Doldrums.

Sébastien Simon, ARKEA PAPREC:

"I haven't slept much, what with this unstable and erratic wind. I felt it was important to sail at speed. And I had in fact slept well before the night so that I could spend it trying to go fast. I hope the conditions will stabilise so that I can get some rest. The fact that I only have the compass mode to adjust my autopilot doesn't give me much time to rest. I have to look at my sails all the time to see if they're at the right angle because when I'm sailing downwind, the (spare, low) wind vane doesn't give me any information. I'm blind here, and never felt it more strongly than when I made a full 360 degrees last night. I'm not very comfortable in these light airs, I'd prefer to "sail" the boat and go faster, it's more exciting! Today is looking like it will be even more complicated, as it should get even lighter. I'll have to deal with the high-pressure system...But as soon as I'm to the south of it, I'll reach the southern depression and be able to pick up the pace. The depression will no doubt take us pretty far, perhaps even as far as the Kerguelen Islands. I'll have to stay alert so as not to miss it, which is really important because if I do, I'll be hit by a high-pressure system which will really slow me down. I'm a little frustrated: I've been pretty conservative in my strategy: Sam (Davies) and Louis (Burton) have gone ahead. The group to the West will pass in front of me, but I hope to be in front in the East group. And I hope to stay in this group. It offers quite a few challenges, and they're making good speed. I will have to keep moving the boat ahead as I have already been doing: it is a boat that can go very fast.

"The south? I've looked at the conditions, it doesn't look like there's much going on to begin with. We'll see what happens when the front of the depression catches up with us, it will probably be stronger then. I've never sailed in these conditions. Once I'm well within them though, it will be pretty speedy all the way to the Kerguelen Islands. I'll have to stay with this depression for as long as possible... and no doubt be very tired as a result. I took the opportunity to check the boat, and everything seems to be fine. I don't have much hope for my wind indicators however: I think it's over for them... I could go back up the mast... but what for? I don't know, the risk is too great, for no real gains. I am annoyed by the damage, which puts me at a disadvantage, but the rest of the boat is fine. I was able to reach the St. Helena high without the windex so I know that I can go fast despite not having it... There will be of course be some difficult moments, but I'll deal with them. Everyone has their own problems: this windvane is mine. I'm starting strong on this 19th day at sea, I haven't really seen the time go by. I miss my loved ones a lot, but there are always things to do which keep me busy. On board, I make sure I take time for myself, to read a book, watch a film, sleep. I make the most of it, as I'll have less opportunities to do so in the next few days!"

Rankings at 17H00 UTC:

PosSail NoSkipper / Boat NameDTF (nm)DTL (nm)
1 FRA 79Charlie Dalin / APIVIA18812.10
2 FRA 59Thomas Ruyant / LinkedOut18951.2139
3 FRA 01Jean Le Cam / Yes we Cam !19183.1370.9
4 MON 10Boris Herrmann / Seaexplorer ‑ Yacht Club De Monaco19345.1532.9
5 FRA 17Yannick Bestaven / Maître Coq IV19349536.9
6 FRA 85Kevin Escoffier / PRB19349.5537.3
7 FRA 4Sébastien Simon / ARKEA PAPREC19414.2602.1
8 GBR 99Alex Thomson / HUGO BOSS19486.1674
9 FRA 18Louis Burton / Bureau Vallée 219493.8681.7
10 FRA 109Samantha Davies / Initiatives ‑ Coeur19509.4697.3
11 FRA 1000Damien Seguin / Groupe APICIL19557.6745.5
12 ITA 34Giancarlo Pedote / Prysmian Group19560.9748.7
13 FRA 09Benjamin Dutreux / OMIA ‑ Water Family19565.3753.1
14 FRA 53Maxime Sorel / V And B Mayenne19606.8794.7
15 FRA 27Isabelle Joschke / MACSF19609.1796.9
16 FRA 49Romain Attanasio / Pure ‑ Best Western Hotels and Resorts19721.9909.8
17 FRA 30Clarisse Cremer / Banque Populaire X19748.7936.6
18 SUI 7Alan Roura / La Fabrique19820.61008.4
19 FRA 92Stéphane Le Diraison / Time For Oceans19920.91108.7
20 FRA 14Arnaud Boissieres / La Mie Câline ‑ Artisans Artipôle20499.81687.7
21 FRA 71Manuel Cousin / Groupe Sétin205411728.9
22 ESP 33Didac Costa / One Planet One Ocean20552.91740.8
23 GBR 777Pip Hare / Medallia20571.81759.7
24 FRA 02Armel Tripon / L'Occitane en Provence206481835.9
25 FRA 56Fabrice Amedeo / Newrest ‑ Art et Fenetres21052.42240.3
26 FRA 72Alexia Barrier / TSE ‑ 4myplanet21073.52261.4
27 FRA 50Miranda Merron / Campagne de France21081.62269.5
28 FRA 83Clément Giraud / Compagnie du lit ‑ Jiliti21117.12305
29 FIN 222Ari Huusela / Stark21186.32374.2
30 FRA 69Sébastien Destremau / Merci21215.82403.7
31 JPN 11Kojiro Shiraishi / DMG MORI Global One21387.42575.2
32 FRA 8Jérémie Beyou / Charal21767.62955.4
RET FRA 6Nicolas Troussel / CORUM L'Épargne  

Find out more...

Related Articles

Vendée Globe Day 75 morning update
Can a corner be cut? For the leaders who are 1000 or so miles SSW of the Azores this morning this stretch of the Atlantic is not as cooperative as it was forecast to be. Posted today at 8:13 am
Vendée Globe Day 74: Seven days to destiny
Louis Burton could benefit from his position further west but has been slowed for two rankings The race at the front of the Vendée Globe is electrifying. None of the eight previous editions has ever witnessed a race finish as open and intense. Posted on 20 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 74 morning update
Charlie Dalin 'I need to be in good shape for this last bit' The leader is not overly worried. He expects to reconnect with Louis Burton - who is to leeward and working NW - as they reach the south of the Azores. But the final stage seems more complex in a SW'ly wind which needs to be utilised at the best angles. Posted on 20 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 73: Happy, Super Happy
Charlie Dalin leads and Louis Burton carries on to the North West The Vendée Globe remains wide open. A leading group of nine skippers form the vanguard with a slight advantage for two skippers, Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton. Posted on 19 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 73 morning update
Fast and low or high and slower? After more than 25,000 miles of racing this Vendée Globe hangs in the balance. Who will win? At the head of the fleet now Charlie Dalin has been in first place 178 times since November 8th when the race started, Louis Burton has been in first twice Posted on 19 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 72: Climbing to a final battle
Fast Burton and consistent Dalin's northwards duel in the trades, Herrmann's hard 24hrs With less than two weeks - perhaps even just ten days - until the finish of what is set to be the closest ever edition of the Vendée Globe it is still impossible to predict which three skippers will finish on the podium. Posted on 18 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 72 morning update
Burton on the button, first out Doldrums It seems to be Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée who has finally escaped from the Doldrums first. He has been making a consistent 17kts early this morning in the 16-18kts NE'ly trade winds which seem to be well established. Posted on 18 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 71: Dalin leads Atlantic climb
Apivia skirts round the worst of a dynamic cloud system The Doldrums did not give up the Vendée Globe leaders as easily as was initially predicted but first placed Charlie Dalin (Apivia) appears to have skirted round the worst of a dynamic cloud system and emerged this afternoon with his margin intact. Posted on 17 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 71 morning update
Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée 2 first back into the northern hemisphere Louis Burton, the 35 year old Saint Malo skipper of Bureau Vallée 2 was the first Vendée Globe skipper to break back into the northern hemisphere last night, crossing the Equator at 1911hrs UTC last night. Posted on 17 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 70: Burton to lead at Equator?
Dalin v Burton Side by Side Into Doldrums 'Considering the speed that phenomena evolve in the Doldrums a little luck is always needed' - Vendée Globe meteo adviser Christian Dumard annexes his prediction for the Vendée leaders' passage of the ICTZ with a warning. Posted on 16 Jan
Highfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTERVaikobi 2020 - FOOTER 2North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer