Vendée Globe: Finish in Sight for Colman
Published on February 23rd, 2017
(February 23, 2017; Day 110) – There are four skippers left at sea in the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe. Conrad Colman (Foresight Natural Energy) is only 163 miles from the finish, and although under jury rig, is making 6.8 knots towards the finish. Even though the northwesterly wind will continue to veer northerly during the night and become lighter at times later in the day tomorrow, Conrad hopes to arrive on Friday night.
“It is good now. I feel like I am almost there. It is grey and overcast but blowing from a perfect angle, maybe at 15kts and I am on a broad reach. And I am heading directly towards Les Sables d’Olonne, that is exciting. It is great. I see an ETA for possibly tomorrow night (Friday) but it is incredible to finally feel like I am counting down the final miles. That is so exciting.
“Yesterday I had the Spanish coast on the horizon in between the patchy cloud and severely limited visibility. I had very little wind and had oily, black seas. But in the middle of the night the wind started to build and now I have this weather which looks like it is going to bring me home. I am only just managing to stay even in terms of energy consumption. Some of the solar panels were damaged when the mast came down.
“So I have the solar capacity to keep the boat ticking along. With the pilot I have wound right back and in the easy conditions I am able to replace what I am using. I am really low on food right now I have just two biscuits left from the liferaft. I want to see my family and friends, but the thing for me is to eat something fresh.
“I am hungry all the time. And I am having to sleep a lot and to bundle myself up because I don’t have the energy to keep myself warm. At the same time as my energy is going down my own excitement is going up. So I am managing to stay functional. I am in a good mood and happy to be here. I am a happy kind of guy.
“But this is not how I wanted to finish my Vendée Globe. Losing my mast has complicated my life in many, many ways, mainly for the future of the boat and my campaign. At this point I cannot do anything about the future. All I can do right now is to do my job, to try and knock down these final miles as fast as I can and even thought I am disappointed to have lost the rig and to have lost so many places in the race, I am pleased to have overcome the challenges which have presented themselves, and not to have thrown in the towel when the mast came down with 700 miles to go.
“And to have the prospect of finishing tomorrow, there is a bit of a balance there. Most of all I am looking forwards to be able to relax and to have the sensation of it being done. For 109 days I have been wound up pretty tight with serial problems with the boat, and just sailing the IMOCA 60 solo. So I am looking forwards to letting my hair down and relaxing.”
Final Results (Top 10 of 29)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), Finished, 74d 03h 35m 46s (1/19/17)
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), Finished, 74d 19h 35m 15s (1/20/17)
3. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), Finished, 78d 06h 38m 40s (1/23/17)
4. StMichel-Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Finished, 80d 01h 45m 45s (1/25/17)
5. Queguiner – Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies, (FRA), Finished, 80d 03h 11m 09s (1/25/17)
6. Finistère Mer Vent, Jean Le Cam (FRA), Finished, 80d 06h 41m 54s (1/25/17)
7. Bureau Vallée, Louis Burton (FRA), Finished, 87d 21h 45m 49s (2/2/17)
8. Spirit of Hungary, Nándor Fa (HUN), Finished, 93d 22h 52m 09s (2/8/17)
9. CommeUnSeulHomme, Eric Bellion (FRA), Finished, 99d 04h 56m (2/13/17)
10. La Mie Câline, Arnaud Boissière (FRA), Finished, 102d 20h 24m 09s (2/17/17)
The eighth Vendée Globe, which began November 6 from Les Sables d’Olonn, France, is the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance. Twenty-nine skippers representing four continents and ten nations set sail on IMOCA 60s in pursuit of the record time set by François Gabart in the 2012-13 race of 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes.
For the first time in the history of the event, seven skippers will set sail on IMOCA 60s fitted with foils: six new boats (Banque Populaire VIII, Edmond de Rothschild, Hugo Boss, No Way Back, Safran, and StMichel-Virbac) and one older generation boat (Maitre Coq). The foils allow the boat to reduce displacement for speed gains in certain conditions. It will be a test to see if the gains can topple the traditional daggerboard configuration during the long and demanding race.
November 12, Day 7 – Tanguy de Lamotte, Initiatives Coeur, masthead crane failure
November 19, Day 14 – Bertrand de Broc, MACSF, UFO collision
November 22, Day 17 – Vincent Riou, PRB, UFO collision
November 24, Day 19 – Morgan Lagravière, Safran, UFO collision
December 4, Day 29 – Kojiro Shiraishi, Spirit of Yukoh, dismasted
December 6, Day 31 – Kito de Pavant, Bastide Otio, UFO collision
December 7, Day 32 – Sébastien Josse, Edmond de Rothschild, foil damage
December 18, Day 43 – Thomas Ruyant, Le Souffle du Nord, UFO collision
December 24, Day 49 – Stéphane Le Diraison, Compagnie du Lit – Boulogne Billancourt, dismasted
December 24, Day 49 – Paul Meilhat, SMA, keel ram failure
January 1, Day 57 – Enda O’Coineen, Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland, dismasted
Source: Vendee Globe