Saturday 07 January 2017, 19h45|
Colman – 'the escape from the middle of nowhere'
Saturday 07 January 2017, 19h45
Having fought for three days to keep his dreams of completing the Vendee Globe alive, New Zealander Conrad Colman is back racing – and he couldn't be happier.
Battle for Vendée Globe glory set to return to Northern Hemisphere
Thomson joins Le Cléac'h in the north after record-breaking run
Conrad Colman - 100% Natural Energy
© Stéphanie Gaspari - Groupe Bel
Two days ago the 33-year-old's IMOCA 60 Foresight Natural Energy was pinned on its side for several hours by 60-knot winds. Man and boat were battered and bruised but both made it through relatively unscathed. In his latest blog, Colman describes his joy at being back in action, sailing away from Point Nemo, the most isolated spot on the planet.
“It feels wonderful to be heading eastwards again, with mast pointing upwards, sails in the middle pulling me forwards and the keel in its correct place under the water. It's much more relaxing than being dragged sideways across the tops of the foaming crests with the keel pointing skywards instead of the mast!
“Before leaving the topic of one of the worst days of my life, I would like to talk about Jules Verne. I am a huge fan of his books and indeed the racing number of this boat is NZL 80, inspired by his book 'Around the World in 80 Days'. His other most famous book, '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' is the story of a famously reclusive submariner called Captain Nemo who lived under the waves on his submarine in order to avoid all of humanity. In honour of his isolationism the most isolated point in the oceans is called Point Nemo and marks the midpoint between New Zealand and Chile and the Pitcairn Islands and Antarctica. I was just south of this point when the forestay failed so you might say that I followed the real estate agent's maxim 'location, location, location' when choosing the spot for my disaster.
“Escaping from the literal middle of nowhere feels great, especially as I have benefitted from light winds and largely sunny days to finish fixing the mainsail and get the boat and myself into decent shape again after the dramas of the previous days. I have several bruises, cuts on my hands and a misplaced rib that I managed to sort by stretching so it's going to take a few days for me to recover. Thankfully now that the boat is ready to go I have some stronger winds coming from the south that will allow me to make good progress to the Horn and allow me to finally close the door on challenging passage through the wild oceans of the south.”