Isabelle Joschke suffers damage to keel hydraulics (Vendée Globe update 4Jan21)

The last few days into 2021 have proven extremely tough for Isabelle Joschke (pictured above). She was fifth on December 28 and in the main chasing group but she has suffered damage to her keel hydraulics.

Her team’s reported she has had successive problems since the turn of the year, the worst coming yesterday (3Jan21) when her keel ram gradually let go around 1300hrs UTC.

“I lost my aerial 48 hours ago. The autopilot can no longer steer in wind mode. That was already an additional difficulty for me in terms of performance. Then in the night from Saturday to Sunday, I tore my gennaker. Since then I have been short of power. With all these problems, I hadn’t slept enough and I was exhausted. So I went to rest and after half an hour I heard the creaking of the keel which was gradually releasing. I knew something was going wrong. I called my team to discuss solutions. We looked for hydraulic leaks, I got out the toolbox. When we wanted to do a test and when I activated the actuator motor, I heard a rather loud metallic noise. At this point I noticed that the cylinder rod had come loose from the keel head. Even so I am still OK because I have a keel locking system in the middle. Now we can say that the boat is completely out of danger,” says Joschke.

Charlie Dalin (Apivia) became the second Vendée Globe skipper to round Cape Horn at 0439hrs early yesterday morning, following leader Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq IV).

Bestaven completed his initiation as a Cape Horner by calling the keeper of the lonely lighthouse at the end of the world and passing on his thanks and his regards.

Hear from skippers around the fleet

Pip Hare has had a tough weekend

She lost her wind data and was caught be a big weather system. She thinks she has a week of unstable breeze ahead of her, veering between 20-40 knots.

“I signed up for this, this is tough. There’s a reason why fewer than a 100 people have finished this race. . . I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I’ve finished feeling sorry for myself.”

Watch as she recounts sailing next to the ice limit and how she’s listening to boat instead of using wind data. (20.15, 3Jan21)

Miranda Merron is enjoying ideal conditions

“Really ideal conditions today with a beautiful swell, wearing around twenty knots. But it will not last forever. There’s a bad depression coming from the north. Depending on its trajectory, it is possible to find yourself in a lot of wind and especially a lot of sea and no escape because of the prohibited zone. I don’t know how to handle this yet. Do you have to slow down or make a big detour, or will the situation miraculously change?” (08.10, 3Jan21)

Watch yesterday’s round-up by race organisers

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.