The most interesting game will be in the Pogo 40 class fleet. Regular sailors without vast support teams, racing with skill across the ocean. How about some insight concerning the action in their world
I tend to agree with you, Michael, when it comes to the Class 40 guys who are scratching along, well out of the heavy breathing scene up front. However, this is filed under the Multihulls area of boatdesign and I'd probably get chewed-on for talking about the monohulls under this designation. We already have one person, having seriously reduced knowledge of racing issues, who wants to rail about monohulls. Stuffing-up my own thread would probably be less than appropriate.
Perhaps you could start a thread in Sailboats regarding the Class 40's and we could all participate there?
It looks like the over night wind came to Cammas a lot earlier than the smarty meteo guys predicted and Coville did not get to chew-off a huge piece of the lead as was expected. Perhaps Cammas has dodged a bullet of the highest order? One thing that is clear, though, is that Groupama 3 is not faster than Sodeb'O in the same wind and waves, so let's put that mythology to rest, shall we?
In my next life, I am going to be a weather guy on TV in a major market. I'll get a huge clothing allowance, get to earn in the $250K+ region and best of all; I really don't have to get anything really right, as I can right it off to the vagaries of the weather itself. Cool
For guys like me, with limited bandwidth on the yacht , its difficult and expensive to load web pages and follow the google earth images. Oh ,and no criticism intended. This is a multihull site and plenty of technology and excitement happening with the race big boys. Keep up the good work !!
Hold the Presses!
The man, Francis Joyon on IDEC, has lit the afterburners and is closing on both Sodeb'O and Groupama 3, pushing his boat to higher speeds in basically the same wind conditions being sailed by Cammas and on the same line.
Right now, Joyon has blasted his way to within 30 miles of Coville's position and they are both putting the hammer down on Cammas in attempt to make this a serious three way race to the finish in Guadeloupe.
Now, the weather routers are saying that there is a good chance that the Tropical Storm/Hurricane, Tomas, is going to toss in a series of wild card weather patterns in the close approach to Guadeloupe and things are far from decided, depending on how these three skippers play their data and handle their boats.
No doubt, all of them are pushing their bodies and mental capabilites into the very grey zone of sleep deprivation right now as they all work to extract every bit of performance from their boats.
Wild stuff out there and it is shaping-up to be one of the all-time great RdR races in the history of the event.
From Thomas Coville this afternoon French time:
Magazine: "My diet yoyo" by Thomas Coville
Curious by nature, Thomas Coville is interested in everything. Everything? Nope! When one talks food, the skipper of Sodebo is trying to hide his boredom. Fortunately, for a solo sailor, food is a parameter of performance. The conversation can get involved. Phew!
"I lost nine pounds on the world tour of 2009 and six pounds for the Route du Rhum in 2006, both in muscle mass in hydration, a Thomas Coville confessed in great shape just days before the start of the Route Rum. This is related to poor stress management and food on board. But I've always seen it as something secondary: I am making myself available the boat, I hold on the energy it needs. To find the right balance between the energy needed to generate and that which I leave, I'm not always very good. "
Should I complete a medical information form, Thomas Coville, 42, enter "Height: 1.80 m optimal weight: 76-78 kg. " "Six or nine pounds of lost gear! The Mariner pleads breaking between his fingers, the shell of a walnut. We can not draw sweeping conclusions, each context is different. To gain weight, I know what stage pass by: I must rebuild muscle mass, and eat high protein. But against a judoka who practices in a competitive weight class, I have no pressure! "
Year after year, food and sleep deprived sailors remain tied to the endless questions on land. The two topics are intimately related since the digestion pushes to sleep. "During the race, Thomas needs from 3000 to 3500 calories per day, says Caroline Pommeret, logistics manager of the team Sobedo. He must eat three meals lyophilized (*) prepared by the R & D Sodebo, breakfast, rolls Sodebo, dried fruit, cereal bars. Should be optimized, whether things are accessible, easy to open, easy to prepare and cook quickly. "Again, the key word is performance. "It is true that it's easier to move the boat and the ease of focusing on this subject," admits Thomas.
No doubt he loses weight at the end of the Route du Rhum, the skipper of Sodebo chew the steak to take the bull by the horns. "The food is not my obsession," he trumpeted again. From the standpoint of physical effort is more important for me to have managed to climb Mont Blanc in September. "Curious by nature, the skipper knows Sodebo also deftly deflected a conversation!
(*) Freezing process under vacuum to evaporate the water (ice) used in foods, they become lighter and keep well. (Freeze Dried CIP)
From RdR site Headline News:
CovilleS'on the comeback
A long, industrious, testing 24 hours for both of the leading Ultime skippers in the 2010 Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale sees Thomas Coville start to come back at the so far completely dominant Groupama 3 of Franck Cammas. Coville has pushing as hard as he dares on the giant red tri Sodebo, reporting to today’s lunchtime radio vacation that he had been regularly making 33-34 knots, and has posted the highest 24 hours run yet of this edition of the race, making 519 miles as his northerly routing now sees him in stronger and more consistent wind than Cammas.
Over the last 24 hours, Thomas has chewed through more than 100 miles of the lead developed by Cammas and continues to close.
Meanwhile on the Class 50 Leader
From Franck-Yves Escoffier on Crepes Whaou. This post shows how fickle the weather can be while leading in the class. One day you're blistering the second place boat by 100 miles and the next, you are just 24 miles out in front.
First Trap Midterm
Pancakes Wow! still stuck for four hours
Ouch, ouch, ouch! This windless, it hurts. The classification of 20 h, Crepes Whaou! saw his lead melt like snow in the sun and has more than 24 miles ahead of Actual. Blame the front! A twisted first time that Franck-Yves must assume because ... he has no choice. We'll have to solve it. This will probably be the last joke reserved for leaders. The arrival in Guadeloupe on promises even better.
Franck-Yves remained literally stuck for several hours. It seems that it has restarted 21 hours.
Positioned slightly north (25 miles) as its most direct opponent, Crepes Whaou! should logically affect the flow of Northern saving Actual before.
Groupe Actual Commentary
Onboard Group Actual, Yves Le Blevec filed this pair of reports today.
"While the former has not crossed the line, it could be me!"
"Beautiful sailing conditions currently on Actual, good weather, beautiful sea and good speed in the right direction!
We should not kid ourselves, it's very temporary, this very night we change our system and weather conditions will become much less friendly: strong wind, rain and grain to the program ...
I try always to sail on the same pace, putting as first priority on arrival in Pointe a Pitre. I know that Actual is a good boat, fast and strong but clumsy, careless and excessive attack can ruin all the work of a team.
The race solo but it is a real team behind it, I'm proud and I strive to honor that trust.
Pancakes Wow! is ahead, it is a fact, but it is not that far. We are not yet at the halfway point and it may take many things in one way or another.
I do not loose anything, the rule of the game is simple as long as the former has not crossed the line it could be me! "
"Finding the right position of the cursor!"
"At last count, Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crêpes Whaou!) Has regained some ground, I had a little less wind than him but in fact it is a fact" elastic "is normal, Pointing to the next, it will also go faster and after it reversed! For now, I have some great sailing conditions: good weather, warm, blue sea, but the next night, everything changed: gray, wind brief baston! It's hard to imagine that when we see the weather at this time. I shifted a little further south than pancakes Wow! for passage of the thalweg, it will perhaps make a difference. In Anyway, I'm surfing the best and I try!
Our Multi's 50 does not go well in heavy seas, which is why I chose the southern route. I know I will come under more complicated with cross seas and wind, he'll have to be careful and not make stupid, go fast, while remaining vigilant, we must find the correct position of the cursor, as of usual!
I guess the race is fun to follow from the outside, it may be the goal of the operation, making good show! "
As bumpy as a transaltion can be, this posting from Francis Joyon still illuminates some of the concerns and realities that a high performance ocean racer experiences when driving one of the fastest blue water racing machines on the planet.
"I AM WHERE I WANTED TO BE"
Thursday, November 4, 2010
"The vagaries of the weather combine to make the road wide trimaran IDEC always a bit more complex. A circumvention past 48 hours complicated the Azores, in a fake South East trade wind strength as irregular in direction, succeeds today and since that night in front of the bows of a succession of giant storm episodes although unforeseen . Result, a navigation accordion as exhausting for the nerves to the physical, as Francis once again sacrificed on the altar of its performance subject of sleep, forced to react instantly to the phases of accelerations becalmed as the brutal wind.
His recent averages reflect exactly the speed at which Francis and his immediate follower Yann Guichard on Gitana XI are presented with small numbers worthy of the great devourer of what IDEC oceans. Francis, price wise jibes towards the northwest preserves a strategically important position on the water. He knows that his accounting position will move much in the short term, with a Sodebo soon be able to proceed directly and at high speed. In the longer term, and despite the stunning departure from the readout Franck Cammas, who has avoided brilliantly anticyclonic storm and drift, Francis does not exclude a general gathering of the top names in the classroom, in the perspective of a final sprint.
It's the surprises of the night, surprised that the best weather observations both on land and embedded system, were detected. Francis Joyon, closely tailed by Yann Guichard sees his long road to the accordion, with terrible slowdowns under cloud clusters charged with electricity, followed abruptly by terrible wind accelerations. 5 knots here, then 28 knots within minutes ... a regime that requires a presence on the bridge at all times. This work does not, however, reflection, because in some semblance of trade winds nearing teasing, Marine Locmariaquer also had to repeatedly reposition the IDEC on the chessboard Atlantic, gaining a little to the north to escape the quiet zones. Ultimately, it is a Francis Joyon serenity while speaking today. "I'm where I wanted to be" stressed, he explained. While the tide is turning slowly in the South East and the swell is ordered that Francis plans tonight establishing more regular flows and conducive to push towards a new disturbed area, one created by the cold front behind the anticyclone, which will redistribute some cards in Ultimate.
If the position of leader Franck Cammas commands respect, yet it does not shoot Francis Joyon and his weather adviser to the ground, Jean-Yves Bernot, defeatism. "Each day has enough trouble of its" Francis explains, "The game remains very open and nothing seems definitely played. This race is exciting, offering the possibility to compare formidable boats ....". The route followed by Thomas Coville very north, and that prompted yesterday Sidney Gavignet abandoned after the breakup of his Majan Oman Air is naturally closely observed aboard IDEC. "Things may seem simple on paper Sodebo," says Francis, "but in reality, its route is very complicated to manage, with a transition zone before the flow of North East."
The establishment of a wind more regular should also provide an opportunity for Francis to take some rest. After 4 days of racing, his sleep stages were reduced to a minimum. "Fortunately, I eat well. Appetite home has never been a problem ..."
The early AM report from the RdR site:
Brakes on ahead for the Ultimes?
"All things going as expected Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale leader Franck Cammas (Groupama 3) will have passed under the marker 1000 miles to the finish this morning, which should signal the final sprint to Pointe-à-Pitre. But ahead almost half of that last mileage looks to be plagued by some extremely light winds, a huge zone effectively barring the direct rout to the finish.
Whilst Cammas lead by 283 miles this morning, it is Francis Joyon (Idec) who is now up to second place after an electric 24 hours. The solo round the world record skipper pushed the line higher with a 534 miles 24 hours to 0400hrs this morning. In fact up to the NWW by around 435 miles Thomas Coville (Sodebo) had lost little to the leader, Joyon has simply been faster."
The latest positioning, as shown by the image below with the meteo overlay, shows that Coville has further reduced the lead of Cammas to 235miles. Joyon is only three miles behind Sodeb'O, but on the opposite side of the rhum line and about to hit much lighter winds. He'll have to gybe off to the West to avoid a massive slow-down.
At this point, the two big red boats are hunting Cammas like a rabbit and they are closiong on him by leaps. Franck can't afford to make one mistake in his quest to win the RdR this year.
Off to the left in the image, you can clearly see the churning low pressure zone of Trop Storm/Hurricane Tomas just north of Haiti/Dominican Republic. No telling just how that is going to effect the racing, but it sure adds an element of disturbance to the atmosphere which could really cause trouble.
The latest from Thomas Coville this morning:
NEWS: Gybing down to the Trade Winds
"This morning, Yann Guichard and Gitana 11 are over 500 miles of the top three of the Route du Rhum. And yes, it seems that the finish of this 9th edition will be played between Groupama 3 still strong leader to 1026 miles from the finish, which returns Idec second with 260 miles behind Franck Cammas and Thomas Coville Sodebo that progresses only 12 000 Francis Joyon.
One for Tom and Francis, two for Frank, waltz of jibes began in the flow of East North East still blowing 25-30 knots with comic. These slaps in which we must be on deck, listening to the boat. Jibe in these conditions can quickly "rock'n roll". The figure of speech is never far away that fear of breaking slats and as the skipper of Sodebo said before leaving: "You do rarely break a batten, the entire bundle is likely to pass and there, the race stops. His router Thierry Douillard says the jibe that night went perfectly.
All eyes are now turning to the disturbed area that installs on the road to the West Indies. For several days, everyone knows it will be complex to negotiate. An easterly wave that cancels the trade wind is downright out of fuel. The Caribbean highway will turn into a small mountain road. We must be opportunistic, have to borrow the good success shortcuts at the right time and most importantly, do not fall asleep at the wheel. The position of North and Frank Thomas should be an advantage but the system can move and close the door."
This one is just for you, Michael Pierzga.
Departing ever so slightly away from the pure story of multihulls in the Route du Rhum; Here's a piece from Kito de Pavant about his Open 60 entry, Group Bel and how he has experienced such a bad failure from his canting keel ram, that he has had to abandon the race and make his way to the Azores to make repairs.
Kito de Pavant abandons the Route du Rhum and reroutes to the Azores
"There is huge disappointment on board Groupe Bel. At 23:42 (French time _ GMT+1), this Friday 5 November, as he was sailing 270 miles northeast of the Azores, in 5th position, Kito de Pavant notified his technical team that the keel-head pin (steel part connecting the ram to the keel head) had broken. The Groupe Bel skipper immediately used the backup system which enabled him to immobilize the keel (swing) on its axis. The monohull is making safe progress towards the Azores, close hauled under a two reef mainsail only and at a speed of 9 knots in a 30 knot wind.
At 00:30, Kito officially informed the race organizers that he was abandoning the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale. The aim now is to bring the yacht back to Port Camargue as quickly as possible to prepare her for the start of the two-handed round the world Barcelona World Race leaving Barcelona on 31 December.
The skipper is OK and that's the main thing, but the disappointment is huge for the man who had dreamt so long of competing in the Route du Rhum. In testing conditions for the whole fleet since the start of the race in St. Malo last Sunday, Groupe Bel was in the centre of an exciting battle being played out by the seven 60 foot monohulls leading the race. Since passing the front on the night of Thursday to Friday, Groupe Bel was charging downwind, and, together with Vincent Riou, was the fastest Imoca in the ranking at 20:00 yesterday, at a speed of 19.1 knots.
The whole Groupe Bel team, their many supporters, and his team, friends and family are supporting him through this difficult time. The technical team is currently organizing to meet the skipper and his boat in the Azores, which he should reach on Saturday night.
Radio contact during the night with Kito on board Group Bel:
“What I heard sounded like an explosion in the boat. I looked on deck but couldn't see anything. The boat immediately started to heel over sharply. I went to see the keel and saw that it was being banged about without anything holding it. On our swing keel yachts, we have a shaft under the boat and a second one above which acts as a lever arm on which there is a steel pin. This is what had broken. We quickly made the decision to stop the Route du Rhum here. So I am turning round to return to the Azores. We cannot continue the race like this. The boat is safe right now. Luckily, the broken pin is still there, but the backup system is pressing on it, so we must really take it easy.
I am heading towards the Azores, Horta or Sao Miguel. I still haven’t made up my mind yet. It will depend greatly on the arrival of the technical team. The conditions are not very good for sailing there. I find myself close hauled in a rough sea at a windspeed of 30 knots. I am under mainsail only with two reefs. Within 24 hours things should improve, which will allow me to drive the yacht a little harder and to go to meet my team.
Sailing in this Route du Rhum was really important to me. Naturally, it’s hard to take. Particularly, since we were doing well. I had ambitions in this race. I was enjoying a match with the seven other boats in the lead. It would have been a good battle to the end. However, the story goes on. We must now look forward. It is a fine project which will lead me to the Barcelona World Race. We will get back to work and repair the technical problems that arose on the keel. We shall not let this get us down."
As of 1900 hours French time (35 minutes ago) this is the current positioning and meteo overlay as supplied by the RdR site.
Even a cursory look will tell you that Thomas Coville aboard Sodeb'O, is still closing steadily on Franck Cammas on Groupama 3. He is now 206 miles behind. From this point on it's a serious sprint to the finish line with accurate macro-routing, in what will be very tricky weather conditions, right at the top of the list of priorities. This routing, coupled with skipper savvy and sleep deprived awareness will be played-out intensely over the next two-three days, as the two leading boats drag race to the finish line.
Once again, it is clear that Groupama 3 is not a clearly faster boat in similar conditions compared with Sodeb'O, extra beam, or not. G3 may still win this iteration of the RdR, but it won't be because the boat is faster, or is maybe able to carry more sail than Sodeb'O.
Francis Joyon's rush to the front is apparently over for the time being as he has fallen into a zone of lower wind speeds coming from a less than advantageous direction for maximum boat speed.
As to calling this race a done deal at this point; That would be like the famous, 1948 newspaper headline showing President-Elect, Harry Truman holding-up a front page that says Dewey Defeats Truman!, when, in spite of the way too early comments by the "experts", Harry Truman was, in fact, elected President. There's still a long way to go, hotshots and anything can happen. Smart folks let these kinds of things play themselves out to their final conclusions, especially when one realizes that a $20 fitting can let go at any moment and the whole thing can then become a memory.
The latest from Thomas Coville and Sodeb'O
NEWS: Rodeo, weather, sleep
"What rhythm! At 15h40, the ranking of the Route du Rhum gives Thomas Coville to 206 miles behind the leader, Franck Cammas. The full throttle, the skipper of Sodebo traveled 509 miles in the last 24 hours. The chase continues to Pointe-à-Pitre, with two other thieves, Yann Guichard and Francis Joyon, the latter launched in over 23 knots average for 24 hours.
"Even if it's sunny and the water became almost warm, conditions are very tough for two days, explained Thomas Coville on the deck of the maxi-trimaran Sodebo at the video 16 hour shift. Yesterday was the more impressive because I was still gennaker. I even forced a little dose was probably too much. I got up to 43 knots in a squall: in these cases, the vessel of 12 tons seems tiny! "
Covering an area of 325 m2, the gennaker is the most powerful headsail. In the middle of the night, Thomas was traded to the 152 m2 of the Solent and has also put the night used to jibe and lock on a direct route to Guadeloupe. The sailor was also opportunistic when it crossed the sandman, stealing a quarter of an hour's sleep, here and there, a few quiet moments and most importantly, a good hour nap this morning. "The hardest thing to sleep, explains Thomas. You have to trust the boat, I have the right autopilot, the right setting: that's what it takes control. "
At a thousand miles from the finish, Groupama 3 still has 200 miles ahead of his pursuers. But the weather reshuffles the cards and laying on the mat ocean wave Tropical East that disrupts the trade winds. To achieve Pointe-à-Pitre, Sodebo embouquer chose a narrow corridor between the easterly wave and tropical storm named Tomas (it can not be invented!). "There will be an area with little wind, considering Thomas Coville, it will be in shambles, there will be many new maneuvers. It'll be really hard! "Sodebo and Groupama 3 have thus chosen to bypass the tropical wave from the west while IDEC and Gitana 11 is placed in its east. A few days before arrival, nothing is done!"
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