Sundat 1st January 2017
Resolve and Resolution this New Yearís Day
As the repercussions of Irish stalwart Enda OíCoineen losing his mast this morning ripple across the rest of the Vendee Globe fleet on this first day of 2017, the remaining skippers have been spurred on to ensure everything is shipshape aboard their own vessels, with an emphasis on safety and ingenuityÖ
Enda O'Coineenís Boat has Dismasted 180 Miles South-East of New Zealand.
Tumbling Dice. Enda OíCoineenís Boat Dismasted.
Photo sent from the boat One planet One ocean, on December 8th, 2016 - Photo Didac CostaPhoto envoyée depuis le bateau One planet One ocean le 8 Décembre 2016 - Photo Didac Costa
Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-Face Ocean): ďTo celebrate New Yearís Eve I spent a lot of time on the telephone and naturally the first person I called was my mum! This festive period is radically different to anything Iíve done before. I did have a very nice dinner though of duck leg with ceps and morel mushrooms, lovingly prepared. Iíve decided to make my pit stop in Recherche Bay, Tasmania now, near Hobart, which is on my route, with an ETA around tomorrow evening, depending on whether I choose to make a night stop. It is important I make a stop whatever happens, especially given Endaís catastrophe this morning. The boats are suffering. Only yesterday I was repairing some anti-friction patches on the J2, when I happened to notice that the furler needed tightening. In the time it took to hunt down the key, the pin had come out and it was held on by just two linesÖ quite something when you consider that it supports the mast. After going half the way around the world, the boats are really copping it so this morningís events have bolstered that idea in me.
I changed all the rigging in late August after the dismasting so the loops and lashings have never been tested and Iím scared that where they touch the carbon, there could be wear. It may transpire that all is well but I need to check. Given my broken rib, Iíll have to take some anti-inflammatories before I scale the mast and Iíve absolutely no desire to do that at sea for obvious reasons. With my injury, putting in a reef takes 20 minutes now instead of 5 and I shake out the reefs later. Iíll change the lashings if need be, repair the hydrogenerator and then attack the second half in very good shape hopefully.
Mooring up will be done according to the wind and the chop. I have 2 big problems though. Firstly, my engine only starts using a sail, so I would need to kill the motor once I moor up. So either I will have to find a mooring I can sail back off, or Iíll have to find another way of starting the engine such as hoisting a sailbag to the top of the mast and then dropping it. The pit stop may last hours or up to say 2 days depending on what I find aloft.Ē
?Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire VIII): ďIím in the South Atlantic off Brazil, less than 400 km from Rio. Weíre close-hauled and heeled over so itís not very comfortable and the boatís slamming, but we should be able to pick up the pace again in 3 or 4 days. Iím happy to be making more speed today after some complicated days of late.Ē
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss): ďNot much sleep again last night with the wind shifting everywhere and without the anemometer and hence no wind speed. But I now have an anemometer again and Iíve just noticed that Iíve picked up a bit of seaweed and kelp on my deck spreader so that shows the bit of heel Iíve had from sailing with no foil on port tack. So, the anemometer is now hanging on the back of the boat. The pieces were made before we left so all I had to do was fit them in place and glue them, wire the whole thing up and stick in the offsets and so now Iím driving on wind angle, which means Iíll be able to get some sleep, which Iím really looking forward to!Ē
?Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac): ďThe sunís out again after a bracing night and I have a big decision to make regarding whether to pass in front of or behind the depression. In the meantime, Iíve prepared some bubbles just to get my priorities straight!Ē
Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys): ďI have no air at all! The sails are flogging. Thereís nothing, absolutely nothing here. Not a breath of air! The wand is at a standstill so Iím stuck fast, unable to find a way out. What are the chances? A big storm for Christmas and becalmed for new year! What a cheek!Ē
Jordi Griso (team manager of Didac Costa-One Planet One Ocean): "It's quite a symbolic moment to reach the halfway mark, perhaps even more so than rounding a cape or switching oceans. Passing the midway point shows you the true scale of the distance that remains to be travelled. Mentally this is an important moment. Didac is now moving closer to Les Sables rather than away from it. You have to deal with the fatigue of the equipment while continuing to race intelligently now. For Didac, the primary objective is to make Les Sables. He must remain attentive because the slightest problem can become a big concern in this area. The past week was a bit difficult with the passage of a big depression and gusts of more than 40 knots, head on! He had problems with his autopilots and helm that have now been resolved. The boat is not in tip-top condition, but Didac can continue racing and Romain Attanasio is not far away so the rest of the race is going to be interesting."
Alan Roura (La Fabrique): ďI wish you dreams that go forever accompanied by a passionate desire to make some of them a reality. I hope you love what you should love and forget what you should forget. I wish you passion and I wish you silence. I wish you birdsong on waking and the laughter of children. I hope that you can respect the differences of others, because discovering the merit and value in each other is a journey worth taking. I hope you can resist stalemate, indifference and the negative virtues of our time. Finally, I hope that you never give up searching, adventure, life or love, for life is a fabulous adventure, and no one should give up on it without a tough battle. I wish you above all to be you, proud of who you are and happy, because happiness is our true destiny.
?Here on the racetrack the wind has begun to gradually pick up, the sky changing colour to pave the way for a fine low pressure system thatís looming. Unfortunately, I wasnít able to climb as far North as the others, so Iíll get hammered by a lot of wind from a very bad angle, which is not very reassuring. La Fabrique is ready though. I went over her four times today and she has been checked from top to bottom. For this first day of 2017, there isnít a lot to say. It's just magical to celebrate this day alone and lost in the ocean and it's an incredible time to live fully in the moment. I just watched the ocean on New Yearís Eve and took some time for myself, to take in what I am doing here.Ē