Vendée Globe: Dismasted but not deterred
Published on February 15th, 2017
(February 15, 2017; Day 102, 16:26 FR) – Conrad Colman has been making modest but positive progress since he managed to set sail under his jury rig very early this morning. The Vendée Globe skipper whose Foresight Natural Energy was dismasted just around 2200hrs on the night of February 10 reported that he had set part of his mainsail and was planning also to fashion a foresail as well.
He had made around 40 miles in a north westerly direction since early this morning but his biggest problem is lack of wind. It is believed he is heading west and north to try and hook into some stronger downwind and reaching conditions which would hopefully allow him quicker speeds towards Les Sables d’Olonne, 725 miles to his north east. Colman now has a working computer and has been able to send some test e-mails.
Sailing at angles closer than 90° to the wind is not really ideal. The sail plan is not suitable and it might put too much strain on the rig when the wind strengthens. In the lighter winds, the tacking angles would be massive. Under such a jury rig, the ideal is moderate winds at an angle of greater than 90 degrees.
Colman is likely to avoid the southern part of the Bay of Biscay where the wind will be light and blowing from the East from Saturday. It looks more likely that he would sail northward to position himself north of the Azores high and the associated ridge. He could then sail in westerly winds which will strengthen over the next few days and will push him towards the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne by the end of next week.
Arnaud Boissières had less than 190 miles to make to the finish line off his home port of Les Sables d’Olonne. While he was still making a solid eight to 10 knots late this afternoon, he looks set to endure a slow final day in a wide high pressure ridge.
Ironically, that system is responsible for beautiful spring like sunshine around Les Sables d’Olonne where the flags are scarcely lifting in the light breezes. Boissières will be impatiently counting down the hours until he can be re-united with his infant son, Leo, who was only one month old when the race started. Boissières on La Mie Câline is expected to finish Friday morning entering the channel around 1000hrs.
In 11th place now Fabrice Amedeo is 300 miles behind Boissières and is due to finsih Saturday evening while 12th place Alan Roura will sail a more northerly course but should have wind through the weekend which now means the race’s youngest skipper can finish later on Sunday.
Increasingly then it is looking like three boats in three days. Rich Wilson, slanting NE to pass south of the Azores, is now expected Tuesday. Didac Costa has increased his distance on Romain Attanasio through the day also. The Spanish skipper is making 12-13kts downwind, easy miles, while Attanasio is unlucky to have been caught up in light airs behind.
Approaching the latitude of the Cape Verdes, Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) is in 15-20 knot NE’ly trade winds as are quite common in this zone. He has been the fastest over the past 24 hours clocking up 259 miles. Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-faceOcean) is thirty or forty miles from the coast of Brazil. Still 3700 miles from Les Sables, the finish is still a long way off, particularly seeing he intends to carry out a pit stop in Fernando do Noronha tomorrow afternoon.
Current Ranking – Finished
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)
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