Once every four years - Vendée Globe

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
Initially I thought I would post this in the ongoing thread “Glad I’m not a passenger” but, “passenger” in those crafts is an alien concept.

For those that never heard before, “Vendée Globe” is a race held once every four years with yachts in solo mode, expected to complete a navigation around the globe.

Having started November 8th from Sables d’Olone (France), leaving Capes Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn on their port side after navigating non-stop approximately 24.400 sea miles in (expected) 74 days, they should return to the departure port.

You can read here the most basic or peek the tracking (updated every 3 hours), here

To gain some understanding of what they are doing, make sure you click on the icon like “~~” on the right, that enables a wind distribution graphic.

Traditional designs are still racing but more and more “foilers” are participating. What a foiler is

How hard is that? Some relevant points:

Only the skipper is allowed on board.

Repairs if done, by the skipper alone with whatever tools/materials there are on board. Cannot go ashore for that.

Meteorological routeing support from shore, is not allowed.

Comfort? Ask them. I doubt there is much of that on board.

Noise plus vibration / slamming (hammering) quite posible for long periods, depending of sea conditions / speed and course.

You can go the hard way but the chances of massive damage / loosing a mast are always present. Ask Alex Thomson (UK), few days ago.

Oh yes, sometimes they can sleep.
 
Last edited:

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
Thanks for this.

How did #32 Charal, Jérémie Bayou, turn back on Nov 12 to Les Sables d'Olonne on Nov 14, resume on Nov 17 and has almost caught up with the rear boats of the fleet? Amazing!
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
And what became of #33 CORUM L'Éparge, Nicolas Troussel, the boat and sailor after Nov 25?

Is #32 allowed a conduct a rescue operation?
 

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
Thanks for this.

How did #32 Charal, Jérémie Bayou, turn back on Nov 12 to Les Sables d'Olonne on Nov 14, resume on Nov 17 and has almost caught up with the rear boats of the fleet? Amazing!
Did things right and quite quickly. The good ones seem to be part of group quite different from the average I guess.
 

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
And what became of #33 CORUM L'Éparge, Nicolas Troussel, the boat and sailor after Nov 25?

Is #32 allowed a conduct a rescue operation?
Not sure of your question about #32 only, but I can tell you this: according to the Vendée Globe rules, the sole opportunity the presence of other people on board is allowed is in the case of a rescue.

Please give me time and I will tell you a short story about that when I retrieve some pictures. Maybe tomorrow.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
Not sure of your question about #32 only, but I can tell you this: according to the Vendée Globe rules, the sole opportunity the presence of other people on board is allowed is in the case of a rescue.

Please give me time and I will tell you a short story about that when I retrieve some pictures. Maybe tomorrow.
Ah! The numbers are the positions of the boats, not boat numbers.

Oh, I see now after I expanded the map view.
CORUM took refuge at Mindelo, Sao Vincente, Cabo Verde Islands on Nov 19. On Nov25 Charal was passing east of the islands on Nov 25 while CORUM was still at Mindelo.

It's funny to see on Nov 24, 25 when the fleet got no wind.

That's a great tracking map when you look at the expanded view.
 

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
@MrChips

During Vendée Globe 2008/09, Jean le Cam's boat capsized not too far from Cape Horn. He was rescued by a colleague, Vincent Riou. During the maneuver approaching le Cam's yacht, Riou's got damaged / lost his outrigger and from what I heard, later, also the mast. The surviving Riou's boat was first sent to Puerto Williams and then to Ushuaia (our Southernmost city).

Few days later I had to go there to supervise the loading of the boat on a freighter. By then, both skippers were gone home. No chance to meet them.

BTW, Jean le Cam, is the oldest guy (61) in the current race and his boat is a traditional design, not a foiler. (He uses to say he's running a Renault 4L against Ferraris). Anyway, he's stubbornly holding the 3rd place.

Pictures taken when loading the Riou's boat for France.

DSCF5788.JPGDSCF5792.JPGDSCF5794.JPGDSCF5806.JPGDSCF5807.JPG
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
This is an amazing word map of wind strength and direction.

https://earth.nullschool.net/

What is really intriguing is on the east of South Africa (shown at the green circle at around 36.6°S, 43.9°E) there are winds reaching 50kmh suddenly take a 90° turn from east to south. Right in the center of the turn the wind strength is 0.

What would cause this to happen?

world wind map.jpg
 

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
This is an amazing word map of wind strength and direction.

https://earth.nullschool.net/

What is really intriguing is on the east of South Africa (shown at the green circle at around 36.6°S, 43.9°E) there are winds reaching 50kmh suddenly take a 90° turn from east to south. Right in the center of the turn the wind strength is 0.

What would cause this to happen?

View attachment 223688
A low pressure for starters, I guess.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,890
Gales in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of Africa are legendary. I've made the trip across from Africa to Western Australia a few times on a sizable military ship. We altered course to avoid the winds and waves.
 

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
Gales in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of Africa are legendary. I've made the trip across from Africa to Western Australia a few times on a sizable military ship. We altered course to avoid the winds and waves.
Thanks God, vessels do that. If they were rigid enough, next time could break in two with no hope.

When you are in the bridge with heavy weather, you do not need much to see your vessel doing that. It also may be perceived down there in the lower holds, on the sides at the bottom of the frames.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,909
Pictures taken when loading the Riou's boat for France.
That boat has almost no freeboard or deadrise! Has to be very harsh riding with that flat of a bottom since it has no deadrise to cut the waves. I guess it helps to have a few tons of keel to help hold you down on the wave...
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
Many of the boats have hydrofoils that will lift the hull off the water.
Sadly this boat, piloted by UK skipper Alex Thomson suffered damage to the starboard rudder and is heading to South Africa. It will have to retire from the race.

 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,909
Still a bit baffled by the hydrofoil trend. Wonder how they do in heavy seas? That picture looks like 1' seas, almost calm flat water. Not even a hint of whitecapping that starts with about 3' seas, around here at least.
 

Thread Starter

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,172
Many of the boats have hydrofoils that will lift the hull off the water.
Sadly this boat, piloted by UK skipper Alex Thomson suffered damage to the starboard rudder and is heading to South Africa. It will have to retire from the race.

Ruyant, second as of today, had to cut his port side foiler (the stunt he did with an electric saw is in a video in the Vendée site). According to him, not a big disadvantage because most of the prevailing Winds for the rest of the race would require the intensive use of the stbd side foiler.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
In ultra extreme competitive sport as Vendée Globe, this is what happens.

Kevin Escoffier in PRB, the #3 placed boat 1000km south-west of Cape Town, South Africa, activates his distress beacon. His boat is taking in water.

Jean Le Cam in Yes we Cam!, the #4 boat changes course and heads to the last known position.
He arrives at the scene and finds Kevin Esccoffier in his life raft.

This is what sailors do.
 

bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
571
This is an amazing word map of wind strength and direction.

https://earth.nullschool.net/
Cool site, thanks for sharing.

What is really intriguing is on the east of South Africa (shown at the green circle at around 36.6°S, 43.9°E) there are winds reaching 50kmh suddenly take a 90° turn from east to south. Right in the center of the turn the wind strength is 0.

What would cause this to happen?
Center of circulation meeting strong upper-level wind shear. The sub-tropical high lies at 30°; southward, cool dense air sinks to mix with warm, humid air. The resulting pressure and temperature gradients, combined with the Coriolis effect, creates large convective wind systems with a westerly flow. You can see this westerly flow more clearly if you increase the altitude (decrease pressure) on the site. Near the Earth's surface, land effects and sea currents complicate the dynamics, creating unstable vortices and eddies, which get distorted by the prevalent upper-level flows. You'll find similar surface-level wind patterns along the same longitude on the east side of South America. The passage around Cape Horn is infamous for its treacherous waters and winds.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,531
Good news at last!

Kevin Escoffier, skipper of PRB has been found and rescued by skipper Jean Le Cam early this morning at 0118h UTC after daybreak.

Jean had reached Kevin yesterday but lost sight of him in 6m waves. Three other boats were diverted to help in the search. Darkness set in and the search was postponed until daybreak. (It is summertime in the southern hemisphere so nights are very short especially that far south.)

Ironically, on January 6, 2009, during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou, the then the skipper of PRB, rescued Jean Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA 60 which capsized at Cape Horn.

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news...by-fellow-vendee-globe-competitor-jean-le-cam
 
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