Vendee Globe Race and It's Going to Be a WILD One

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guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 10, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Nineteen of the 20 skippers entered for the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe solo race around the world took the start line of the 24,048 miles, three months circumnavigation race at 1302hrs local time off Les Sables d’Olonne, France today.

The Vendee single handed, nonstop race has begun. This is an epic event and one I consider the most challenging endeavor in the world today. Rocket fast high tech boats, pushed to the limit and sometimes beyond, into some of the nastiest and almost unbelievable conditions you could ever imagine. Three months of driving to the max, solo, living on the edge so to speak. Keeping the boat together and intact is the key and with the number of boats and talent there will be some epic adventures.

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/



Prod

Trad climber
Nov 10, 2012 - 07:34pm PT
Ever read this book Guido?

http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Voyage-Crowhurst-Nicholas-Tomalin/dp/0070650845

Pretty good.

Prod.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Yes and it is.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 10, 2012 - 08:24pm PT
Vendee time....yahoooooo...the screaming meanies start up again. Just watching sometimes makes me seasick. How they keep those boats together is beyond me.


Susan
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Nov 10, 2012 - 08:34pm PT
The Vendee is the real thing. It makes solo winter climbing in the Himalaya look lightweight.

Anybody looking for a good backgrounder should check out "Godforsaken Sea" by Derek Lundy. (http://www.amazon.com/Godforsaken-Sea-Through-Worlds-Dangerous/dp/0385720009/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352608232&sr=8-2&keywords=vendee+globe);

Every time I think of the Vendee, I remember this old saying...

"Beyond 40 degrees south, there is no law. Beyond 50 degrees south, there is no god."
The Alpine

climber
Nov 10, 2012 - 09:01pm PT


SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 10, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
No^^^^^^!!!!! What a way to sail an Open 60....Sick Sick


Susan
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 10, 2012 - 10:49pm PT
How does one go three months with no sleep?
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Nov 11, 2012 - 04:08am PT
They actually work with physiologists to determine their long term sleep patterns. They have great autopilots, and except for sail changes they don't spend a hell of a lot of time on deck.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2012 - 09:29am PT
And now there are 19 boats as Marc Guillemot on Safran retired when his keel fell off. Ouch! Better now than later. Question is did he hit something or was it a structural failure?

Hugo Boss at start
Hugo Boss at start
Credit: guido
Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss          Sealaunay photo
Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss Sealaunay photo
Credit: guido
Hugo Boss smokin it!                Sealaunay photo
Hugo Boss smokin it! Sealaunay photo
Credit: guido
Working the bow on an ocean going rocket ship-Alex Thomson           S...
Working the bow on an ocean going rocket ship-Alex Thomson Sealaunay photo
Credit: guido
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 11, 2012 - 09:31am PT
OK, I'm ignorant.

Is the race strictly wind driven, or can the vessels use their motors when becalmed?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2012 - 09:34am PT
Wind it is.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 11, 2012 - 10:28am PT
And is there no end to the money that can be spent? A rhetorical question,
obviously. I do find it fascinating and all but it is also mildly repugnant,
or is that republican? It would be more interesting to me if they were
sailing a single design.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Nov 11, 2012 - 11:00am PT
Innovation comes when people try new designs.

Are there any women skippers in the race? Or are women too smart for such shenanigans? Or what?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2012 - 11:03am PT
Actually I think it is more interesting that they are not sailing the same design. The tech leap in these boats is astronomical and would be constrained by a one-design criteria. The Vendee sailors are at the top of the class, period. You race a lighter but faster boat and you risk the possibility of crash and burn.

Three, unrelenting months of intense pushing of man and boat to the limit is hard to fathom, no pun intended. Take a close look at some of the designs on the site-fascinating stuff hey what?

Get back to work in your garden Reilly!

Yes Boodawg- The beautiful Ms Samatha Davies on Saveol. Her second Vendee and she did quite well the last race with a 4th I think.
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 11, 2012 - 11:05am PT
Looks like there is a woman in the field. Samantha Daves.

Prod.
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
Nov 11, 2012 - 12:16pm PT
Three months? The winner will do it in close to 70 days. If you want to see a bunch of the same boats race check out the mini transat. It's from France to Brazil, around 4,300 miles single hand. Not a one design race but close.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 11, 2012 - 01:20pm PT
From the reports it sounded like Guillemot hit something.

Have you or any of your sailing buddies ever hit anything Joe?

These boats are incredible. They aren't really built to be safe, they are built to haul ass. I was watching a sailing DVD the other day and a guy talked about having a spinnaker and all of his sails out in solid 50 knot winds in the southern ocean. These boats are built to plane or surf downwind. with the tiny moment of the keels, they must lose a lot of leeway on any kind of reach.

Since so much of he race is in the southern ocean, with a fairly predictable weather pattern, most of the race is downwind, although a furious wind. Most boats would get overtaken by those big waves, but these boats are so fast that they can go over them.

The problem is that they are so beamy and flat that if they capsize, they can turtle and stay that way.

Sailing races are huge among the French. Lots of sponsorship money. In the U.S. there is pretty much Redbull or nothing.

--spoken by a total bluewater idiot...
Gene

climber
Nov 11, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
Have you or any of your sailing buddies ever hit anything Joe?

Does a reef in the Philippines count? Long story.

g
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 11, 2012 - 03:26pm PT
PM me. I am looking at boats right now. My head is all full of prismatic coefficients and other stuff that I am in kind of a paralyzed state.

The Vendee Globe is a historically dangerous race. I have a big coffee table book on the great races, and didn't they change the route a little in order to keep them from going so far south that they got into ice problems?

The route around the world can be made shorter by going to a really high latitude. Danger doesn't slow down the competitors a whit. It has to be enforced by race rules.

I think everyone has probably seen a picture of the BOC or Vendee Globe boats capsized in crazy weather with their twin rudders pointing into the air.

Even the big non-solo race has fatalities from man overboard. I have read of some accounts of them not even knowing someone was missing until somebody noticed. Too late in those cold waters.

Whatever became of the America's Cup? It used to be a big deal, then they started cheating the rules by sailing catamarans and stuff. Then it lost its following.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 11, 2012 - 03:45pm PT
living on the edge so to speak


So to speak? So to speak? Well doesn't surpirse me an accomplished sailor like you would be humble!


Susan

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 11, 2012 - 08:38pm PT
Credit: NGeo
Comin' to getcha!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 12, 2012 - 08:24am PT
^^^^^^^MM WTF is that?


How does one go three months with no sleep?

Have a baby or go to sea.




Susan
The Alpine

climber
Nov 12, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
ICEBERG!!!!!!!
Guck

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 12, 2012 - 06:31pm PT
Just wondering if they have tracking devices like the "yellow brick" used for the transpac. It was cool to follow the race and see the posts.
Guck

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 08:30am PT
I found tracking for the Vendee Globe at:

http://tracking2012.vendeeglobe.org/en/

The details are not as good as for the Transpac, but there are embedded videos live (mostly in french). It sure is wet out there!!
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 08:37am PT
Hey Guido, Thanks for posting this I am really enjoying watching and learning.

Funny, folks talk about going a little batty being solo on ElCap after day 5 or so...

Prod.
Steve Hickman

climber
Norwood, CO
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:18am PT
Cool! Thanks for recent hospitality. Busy designing / building adobe walls in Az desert. Don in Nepal reports that Vibram heels came off both old Asollo boots at 18000 ft.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:26am PT
Wow.................................................

My ballz just shrunk a little.

Time for my nap.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Nov 14, 2012 - 12:07pm PT
Are there any women skippers in the race? Or are women too smart for such shenanigans? Or what?

Brit Ellen MacArthur came second in 2000.
Guck

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 08:03pm PT
Samantha Davies is the only woman in the race this year. She is the british skipper for Saveol. You can track her progress and watch her videos (she speaks in fluent french) at

http://tracking2012.vendeeglobe.org/en/

Click on her in the skippers list on the right. Her path will be highlighted on the map, and click on the video icons to see or hear the media. It is a really cool site!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2012 - 06:27pm PT
Big Bummer!

Samatha Davies on Saveol has lost her mast. So only 5 days into the race and almost a 25% attrition rate with the fleet. One boat with a lost keel, two with severe collisions and now the first boat to lose a mast. She was my fav in the race and the only lady. Her smiling face and great attitude will be missed.

"At 1945hrs (French time), on Thursday, November 15th, Samantha Davies contacted the race office of the Vendée Globe to report that her boat had dismasted. Davies is not injured. She is safe inside the boat with all the watertight doors closed.…

When the incident occurred, she was about 130 nautical miles northwest of Madeira (position 34 ° 20'N 19 ° 01'W). The conditions at the time of dismasting were: wind 260 °, 40 knots, swell northwest, 3 to 4 metres. But the situation will gradually improve, with winds decreasing to 15 knots in the second half of the night.

After speaking to Davies, the race office contacted the Cross Griz Nez (France’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to release an urgent Notice to Mariners (AVURNAV). All vessels navigating in a 200 nautical mile radius around Savéol were informed of the incident and the position of the boat.
Gene

climber
Nov 15, 2012 - 06:36pm PT
I hope Samantha gets home safe. Seems like the situation is under control.

Guido - you mention collisions. With what? Hopefully knot competing yachts.

g
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2012 - 06:47pm PT
Fishing boats.

SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 15, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
Dang....she was my fav



Susan
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 16, 2012 - 11:08am PT
She is motoring now.

Another sailor is limping to the lee of one of the Canaries so that he can climb up the 100 foot mast to recover the main halyard.

I've had that happen, but it weren't no damn 100 feet.
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 16, 2012 - 11:11am PT
Bummer I was cheering her on..

100 foot mast? WOW

Prod.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2012 - 06:35pm PT
Sam arrives in Funchal. Out, but not down and she can still give us one of her beautiful smiles.
Samatha Davies and the Vendee
Samatha Davies and the Vendee
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 18, 2012 - 09:17pm PT
Guido, are those inboard/outboards in those cavities?
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Nov 18, 2012 - 09:41pm PT
They're approx. 30 HP inboards with sail drives, I.e. the sailboat version of an I/O.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
There was a bit of discussion about the two collisions with fishing boats. I guess a lot of them are small enough not to need an AIS or just plain don't bother in some places.

I believe that if the boat is actually fishing then the sailboat has to give way. So fault probably lies with the racers, or for all practical purposes does.

Another one bit the dust. A guy broke one of the hydraulics that cants his keel. He's toast.

I wonder how many will cross the finish line?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:42pm PT
It appears all these high-end racing sailboat designers have abandoned typical engineering safety factors and are pushing the red line of materials performance to squeeze every possible ounce out of these boats. That seems entirely in-line with how the sailors themselves push their boats and it certainly makes for fascinating 'man-against-nature' races with the boats tuned tighter than guitars with heavy gauge strings. The fact the boats are coming apart tells you just how close to the metal the designs and materials are running. I'm guessing you have to be an excellent sailor just to get one of these boats from any point A to any point B intact.
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:16am PT
It's difficult to argue that you're operating in a seaman like manner when you're napping and you run into someone. That's the major hitch in solo racing, especially I boats like an Open 60 that is moving so bloody fast. You're ALWAYS the overtaking/give way vessel, even when you're racked out.

If I had to guess...8-10 will finish.

Prod

Trad climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 06:17am PT
I would say that the fishing boat collisions are a black eye to the sport. Somewhat of wreckless megamillionairs vs working class seamen...

On another note, is there ever any worry of piracy in these races? Seems like they are traveling in that territory?

Cheers,

Prod.
The Alpine

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 08:37am PT
Thin tolerances indeed. Repairs remind me of astronauts working with mission control:

Alex was forced to stop HUGO BOSS for an hour with big waves smashing into the back of the boat to enable him to change over the bars and get the starboard rudder steering again, allowing him to start sailing again.

Together with the onshore team back in the UK, the focus of the last 24 hours has been on the repairs to enable him to continue safely:

“The bar is a very thin carbon tube about 3m long which was broken in two places, and we do not carry a spare unfortunately,” explained Alex. “Cliff our composite engineer is a genius problem solver and he came up with a plan with Ross and Clarke which would splint the breaks using carbon strips. I firstly had to cut the strips with the grinder with a diamond cutting blade I have onboard. I was not looking forward to doing it because literally everything would be covered in carbon dust. I cleared the cockpit and got to work all while averaging 19 knots of boat speed. I managed to do it without cutting a finger off or cutting through the cockpit floor. Once I had finished I was covered in silver paint and back carbon dust and the cockpit looked like Cliff’s workshop!

http://www.alexthomsonracing.com/2012/11/alex-thomson-in-emergency-repairs-to-broken-rudder-tie-bar/
The Alpine

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:11am PT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:16am PT
I was covered in silver paint and back carbon dust

Carbon fiber dust and he's not wearing a high-tech dust mask?
I guess he doesn't figure to last long enough to see the folly of that.
The Alpine

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:19am PT
In the vid you can see he wears a mask.

Dont want to be breathing in those nasty little bits!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:27am PT
I only looked at the vid still frame. That cheapo mask he did put on might
keep out 80%. And I hope he put his clothes into a plastic garbage bag,
never to be worn again, before he ducked his head in the sea to wash his hair.
But maybe he comes from good English coal miner stock... ;-)
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 10:36am PT
Reilly those cavities are the rudder shafts and bearings, sometimes enclosed and sometimes totally open.

Mega millionaires? Interesting perspective but dubious at best. Most of these racers live on the financial edge akin to sacrificing everything to get a boat into the race.

Collisions are a serious problem and actually quite rare but the burden is certainly on the solo sailor. To have two within a short span and within the same area is scary to say the least.

And! to get one of these boats from A to A would be a challenge, let alone A to B.

These are full out racing machines, driven with the pedal to the metal and designed along parameters obviously still being tested. The ram that broke on the swing keel was designed to a load of 120 tons with an anticipated load high of 40 tons. Hard to imagine the fright of having a deep, hefty keel that can't be controlled from port to starboard and trying to come up with a system to at least stabilize it at a center position. Friggin 5.13 at least with a long long run out to your belayer.
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 07:30pm PT
Mega millionaires? Interesting perspective but dubious at best. Most of these racers live on the financial edge akin to sacrificing everything to get a boat into the race.

Didn't mean to offend. This is the first time I've followed sailing beyond our neighborhood Laser races when I was a kid. There seems to be huge money behind the racers though, those boats can't be cheap...

Anyone have any info on my other question of piracy? Is that an issue?

Prod.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 19, 2012 - 08:43pm PT
Piracy is far from my field, but most of what we read about happens in places like the Straits of Malacca and off the Horn of Africa (Somalia). Places with concentrations of commercial and pleasure shipping, and easy targets - mostly freighters, or people, they can hold for ransom. The around the world race goes south through the mid-Atlantic, does most of the circumnavigation at high southern latitudes, then returns via the mid-Atlantic. If there were any piracy, it'd be off the coast of South America or west Africa, and coastal. It doesn't seem likely.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
There was a round-the-world race just in the last year that had to load the
race boats onto freighters and move them past the Somalis.

Then there have been a number of sailboats jacked by the Somalis with fatal
consequences in at least one case.

The good news is that the Somali pirates are on the run. Successful jacks
this year are about 1/5 of last year's. For some reason the press didn't
make a big deal of the NATO led helicopter gunship attack on the main pirate
base in Somalia which laid a serious whoopin' on 'em. It seems the pirate
bosses are looking for less risky ways to invest.


The Economist:

Hung, drawn and quartered

Better deterrents are putting the Somali pirates’ business under strain

Nov 10th 2012 | from the print edition

IT IS too early to declare victory against Somali piracy, which cost the shipping industry and governments as much as $7 billion last year. But the fall in the number of successful hijackings since the peak of 2009-11 has been dramatic. The International Maritime Bureau, a body that fights shipping crime, counted 219 cases of pirates trying to board a vessel in 2010 and 236 in 2011. This year’s total is just 71, against 199 for the same period last year. Successful seizures are down from 49 in 2010 to 28 in 2011 and only 13 this year.

Pirate activity normally wanes between the end of May and late September, when the south-west monsoon is lashing the Arabian Sea and this year’s storms were particularly severe. The light skiffs (launched from bigger “mother ships”) that the pirates use to close on their prey can only operate in benign sea conditions.


But the pirate lairs along the Somali coast show little sign of preparing for a new hunting season. Associated Press reporters who reached one of them, Hobyo, found that the pirates’ flashy cars, booze and prostitutes had disappeared and the cash for new raids had dried up. Some think the pirate “kingpins” may just be stocktaking before reinvesting. But the “stock” of hijacked vessels and hostages has shrunk from 33 ships and 758 hostages in early 2011 to just nine ships and 154 hostages now. Some of these have proved hard to ransom and have been there a long time.

Tom Patterson, a maritime-security expert at Control Risks, a consultancy, points to three factors that have made piracy a lot riskier and less profitable. The first is that soaring insurance premiums and the threat to crews have forced shipowners to change their ways. Ships have been made harder to attack by a range of measures known as BMP, or best management practice. They cruise faster and practise evasive manoeuvres. Physical barriers such as razor wire are now fitted. Many have secure “citadels” on board for the crews to retreat to if all else fails. They also follow the reporting protocols established by the European Union’s naval task-force (EU NAVFOR) when crossing dangerous waters.

The second factor he cites is better co-ordination by the international naval task-forces. These include the EU flotilla, a similar one provided by NATO, an American-led coalition and warships under national commands from China, Japan, India, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia. These all meet four times a year to discuss tactics and make better use of the intelligence coming from surveillance aircraft and Somalis who want to be rid of the pirates.

The legal issues around fighting pirates are still tricky. But the foreign naval forces have become more assertive. On October 11th an EU vessel arrested seven pirates because their dhow was carrying ladders and a large quantity of fuel and water drums. Pirate mother ships now face pre-emptive boarding and skiffs are destroyed rather than ordered home as happened in the past. Mr Patterson highlights the psychological importance of a strike in May by helicopters from EU NAVFOR on targets near Haradheere, a pirate haven. It destroyed fuel, outboards and speedboats. The force’s spokesperson, Lieutenant Commander Jacqueline Sherrif, says that disrupting logistics on land “sends a strong message” to the pirates and their investors who now know “they will no longer have impunity on the beaches”.

However, both Mr Patterson and Rear Admiral Anthony Rix, now of Salamanca Risk Management, say that the biggest game changer of all is probably a third factor. Mr Patterson reckons that more than a quarter of vessels now carry armed security guards. The shipping industry used to oppose this, fearing that armed guards would escalate violence. But not a single vessel with guards has been boarded. Usually a warning shot is enough to deter the pirates. Lieut-Commander Sherrif says: “The pirates go to sea to make money, not die in a firefight.” BIMCO, the biggest international shipping organisation, has recently produced a standard contract for the industry, known as GUARDCON. Most of the security firms supplying guards are British. Admiral Rix says that his company hires mostly former Royal Marines.

Nobody in the anti-piracy effort believes that a return to the epidemic levels of the past is likely, but some worry that complacency could allow the pirates to make a limited comeback. The shipping industry is in recession and under huge cost pressure. Defence budgets are under strain, too: the political will to support constant naval patrolling in the Indian Ocean may weaken. As Admiral Rix notes: “The pirates’ business model is still attractive. It would be naive to think that the current low level of activity suggests that they have found something else to do.”

from the print edition | International
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 19, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
If any of the Vendee sailors end up anywhere within 5,000 km of Somalia, they may have bigger problems than piracy.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:04pm PT
Well, actually they will be within 3000 kms of the southern limit of the
Somalis' operations. And who knows, maybe they'll set up a new base on
Amsterdam Island. ;-)
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 26, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
Very interesting Reilly.

Cheers,

Prod.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 26, 2012 - 06:35pm PT
16 days into the race with 13 boats left and only 19,700 nm to the finish. Approximately 1000 nm to the Roaring 40s and the Great Southern Ocean. Ice berg watch ahead.
Credit: guido



Prod

Trad climber
Nov 30, 2012 - 06:10am PT
Down to 13 racers, from 20. WOW.

Prod.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2012 - 05:25pm PT
As for design safety, yeah, they have abandon ship goodies, but these boats are not designed to be that safe. They are designed to plane rather than the more normal displacement boats. They surf rather than cut through the water, and since most of the race is downwind, they are designed for this course. These boats might have a spinnaker and all sail up in a gale, surfing over the monster waves.

What sucks about these beamy boats is that when the capsize, they will be damn lucky to right themselves. They will turtle, and that sucks.

So these guys and gal are brave and outstanding sailors. The French have been ruling these races for a while now. No sponsorship money in the United States. You won't hear a peep about it in the news unless something really bad happens.

However, TV means very little to the sailors. They are in the moment having incredible experiences. These aren't rich guys. They are kind of like old first round draft picks. Very famous and accomplished to get a boat that expensive. Almost all of them don't own the boats, either, I would wager.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 2, 2012 - 10:21am PT
Allez, indeed! I can't even conceive of going that fast in a sailboat.
And don't need to thanks to le internet.

And I really dug the ad before the vid for a Mormon Christmas - LOL!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
Into the Southern Ocean and only another 50 plus days to go.

Alex Thomson and some wild wild sailing.

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/mag/5893/alex-thomson-at-25-knots-video.html
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 7, 2012 - 11:28pm PT
That was nucking futs!!!!!!!!!!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 16, 2012 - 07:50pm PT
Southern Ocean day 37:
http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/mag/6939/day-37-highlights-sunday-december-16-2012-video.html
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 16, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
I have been keeping up and it amazes me.

I still think it would be cooler in rowboats, though. Hell, Ray Jardine rowed across the Atlantic.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 16, 2012 - 10:15pm PT
Hell, Ray Jardine rowed across the Atlantic.

Yeah, but I think the southern ocean is different.
cb

Mountain climber
CA
Dec 17, 2012 - 02:05am PT
last week the current leader broke the 24hr distance record by a solo mono hull sailor (545.3 miles/24hr), that is huge.

I sailed/raced professionally and the fastest I've gone is about 25kts for just moments at a time. This guy averaged all day and night 22.3kts which means he was probably hitting 30kts regularly to get that high avg. It may not sound fast but that feels like going Mach 6 on a jet for over a day in continuous turbulence.

On top of that they haven't slowed down much since they broke the record.

These new kids leading the vendee are turning into living legends.

hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Dec 17, 2012 - 10:56am PT
makes space travel to mars a snoozer by comparison, like "lit majors only" need apply
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2012 - 06:58pm PT
Bernard Stamm on day 39 in the Southern Ocean;
http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/mag/7161/day-39-highlights-tuesday-december-18-2012-video.html
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Dec 26, 2012 - 10:54pm PT
bump
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
Day 53, first boats around the Horn and icebergs to starboard. A little sleep goes a long way, but the continual deprivation is accumulative and warmer weather will be most welcome.

Tough hombres!

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/mag/8587/day-53-highlights-video.html
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 1, 2013 - 07:16pm PT
Inside or outside of Staten Island? :-)
Hard to wrap my pea jacket brain around 53 days.
BITD it wasn't unknown for ships to take a month just to round The Horn! (granted that was E to W)
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
Day 58, some nice video shots and the wear and tear on boat and mind of this venture:
http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/mag/9121/day-58-highlights-video.html
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2013 - 06:19pm PT
4 years ago, in the Vendee Race, Jean Le Cam capsized near Cape Horn and he is now in almost the same location. How many people would have the courage to venture South again into the Southern Ocean. I'm a slow learner but once is enough would be my motto.

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news.html

Upside Down Le Cam So- 2008

Four years ago on this day, 200 miles from Cape Horn Jean Le Cam capsized not far from the point he is currently passing.

Today, four years ago, on the 58th day of racing a dramatic event occurred. January 6 at 2:40 am, VM materials, Jean Le Cam's Open 60 lost its keel bulb and capsized 200 miles from Cape Horn, not far from the current position of Jean Le Cam onboard SynerCiel.

He waited patiently for endless hours in his survival suit in the hull of his upturned boat. At 3:21 p.m., Vincent Riou arrived on the scene and was able to contact Jean by throwing a packet of butter at his boat.

At 19:00, he decided to leave his boat on his own. A chilling expedition in cold water of around 5 degress through a submerged exit hatch. Jean plunged into the cold, weightless in the water, then popped outside and clung to one of the boats rudders. It took four attempts before Riou managed to recover hime aboard PRB. During the rescue, the outriggers of PRB broke and Riou had to abandon the race after passing the Horn for the second time.

Jean Le Cam is expected to round Cape Horn sometime tomorrow afternoon.
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 17, 2013 - 04:24pm PT
Hey Guido,

Thanks for turning me on to this race. It has been fun watching it for 63 days....

Prod.
Guck

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 17, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Jean Le Cam mentioned in his last audio broadcast (in french) that he was thinking about joining the Carnival in Rio, scheduled to start in a few days. Whether he finishes the race or joins the carnival, this Dude has a lot of class and a good sense of humour!!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
Day 73+
Jean-Pierre Dick on Verbac, in 3rd place in the race loses keel with only 2,000 nm left to the finish in Les Sables D'Olonne, France.
Jean-Pierre Dick on Verbac in the Vendee Race
Jean-Pierre Dick on Verbac in the Vendee Race
Credit: guido

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/article/10785/if-i-go-back-what-will-you-do.html

On Monday, before the loss of his keel, Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) told Vendée Globe TV that would be trying to finish the book he had been reading about Maurice Herzog, the French mountaineer; Un Héros (A Hero) by Herzog's daughter Félicité.

On Tuesday after the loss, he revealed part of his inner monologue of whether he could or should continue in his compromised boat: “The competitor and the sailor do not agree,” Dick said. “Should I continue in a degraded state or abandon and go and hide in the Azores.”

Herzog, who died last year, faced perilous decisions when he and Louis Lachenal became the first to climb a peak over 8000m when they summited the Himalayan mountain Annapurna, the 10th-highest mountain in the world in 1950.

On June 3, 1950, Herzog and Lachenal set out for the summit, without extra oxygen, and wearing thin leather boots. As he felt his feet go numb with frostbite, Lachenal initiated one of the most famous exchanges in climbing:

''If I go back,'' he asked Herzog, ''what will you do?''

''I should go on by myself,'' Herzog replied.

Continuing on meant the loss of Lachenal's toes; turning back meant the loss of Herzog's life. ''Then I'll follow you,'' the gallant Lachenal said.

Jean-Pierre Dick can talk on the satphone to others, but in the end he is alone at sea; the competitor and the sailor. How important is it to finish? This is his third Vendée Globe. He made it home first time round in 2004-05, but was forced out with rudder damage in the last race. He started as one of the favourites for this race. He has lost the chance of third place, but fourth and a hero’s welcome in the Les Sables d’Olonne canal pulls him. What is he prepared to risk to cover the 2,000 miles and close the circle?


BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jan 26, 2013 - 08:49am PT
The race is almost finished!

Can you imagine sailing around the world in 77 or 78 days?

Alex Thompson is hanging around J.P. Dick, who lost his keel as described above. These planing boats must be nigh impossible to sail without that huge bulb keel. Since Thompson has 1000km from #3, he is sailing along with J.P. to make sure he can get home O.K.

The videos of them doing 35 knots downwind in the southern ocean will make your hair stand up.

http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/
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