Friday, December 9, 2016


This is how it is right now for the two first and also for the ones that are 4000nm behind. Storms everywhere and the two on the front keep on racing, actually with the 2nd, Alex taking the opportunity to win some miles over the first, Armel, going faster.
The toughest race in the world just become tougher and I really cannot understand how those two on the front can have any sleep going at 19/20k average speed on confused seas with waves over 6m, for more than 24 hours. That says a lot about the incredible seaworthiness of those boats but also about the incredible will, stamina and knowledge of those sailors.

The two on the front did not yet passed over the worst of the storm, bigger seas are ahead and they will take at least more 12 hours to come out of that storm, more probably to Alex and what lay ahead seems not much better. Terrible weather on this vendee.

But the worse will hit the others that are behind, that will get in some days not only big winds but big winds with the huge seas formed by previous storms. See the white on those images? Well, it is the end of the scale in what regards size of seas, 9m waves and over and they are not talking about the bigger waves among those, just the average size.

All these guys are amazing sailors, not only the first. If you are not convinced this little story told by the NZ sailor (Conrad Colman), that sails in 12th place, will convince you otherwise:

 "When the wind shifted this afternoon from NW to N, I changed from my bigger reaching sail to my smaller flatter sail, the Solent or J2 which means its the second biggest jib on the boat. When I unrolled it I saw that the pocket that holds the sail onto the cable was damaged and the sail risked to unzip itself completely. 
As the front of the sail is only exposed when the sail is unrolled I would have to fix it when the sail was working and the boat was fully powered up because I couldn't bear away onto a run because the Ice exclusion zone itsn't far to leeward. So, with the wind blowing at 20 knots and boat speed sometimes the same, I climbed almost to the top of the mast and then hand stitched the pocket closed and then covered the repair with self adhesive sail cloth. 

Because I had a lot of stitching to do I did it i several sections, which of course meant I had to cut new lengths of string and re-thread the needle. 22 Metres in the air, one foot hooked around the sail and the other around the mast, bracing to stay stable and then concentrating on the needle I figured the closest possible comparison would be threading a needle on the back of a galloping horse while doing the splits and situps at the same time. I guess you need to have a head for heights!"

 News -

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