Vendée Globe: update 12Nov20

Here are our daily snippets of the Vendée action. You’ll find brief, dated, updates on how Pip Hare, Miranda Merron, Sam Davies and Alex Thomson are faring, alongside any headline news.

Jérémie Beyou, a pre-race favourite, was yesterday forced to turn back to the start port of Les Sables d’Olonne after suffering a succession of problems including rudder damage and a broken backstay after three days of racing. He is expected back late on Friday. The race rules leave the start line open for ten days.

“It started around 2pm on Tuesday when a sheet block tore off, which sprayed carbon all over the cockpit,” says technical director of the Charal Sailing Team, Pierre-François Dargnies. “Jérémie had to do a little repair, he got in the boat to get it all set up, and while he was inside the boat he hit something. In so doing the boat gybed it ended up on the other side.

“He then realised that the starboard rudder was damaged. He decided to wait for the passage of the front in last night to start the repairs on the rudder. He tacked this morning while waiting for the sunrise to be able to tackle this repair, but after a few hours later the starboard backstay (cable that supports the mast from the rear) broke suddenly, probably because the sheet block is quite close, beside backstay and the carbon shards must have sheared it.”

Alex Thomson is desperately tired

“Last night was interesting, a very difficult passage into the front with 2.5m waves spaced very closely together. I saw some of 7m,” he says about Tuesday night.

“Haven’t been getting much sleep. Have been napping. When you get this desperately tired you have to be super careful. Your mind gets all fuddled.

“Written on the cockpit are how to do basic things like tacking and gybing, that just helps me when I’m super tired.”

Watch Thomson’s update (20.24 11Nov20)

Listen to Thomson checking in with Vendée Globe organisers on 12Nov20.

Pip Hare says yesterday (weds) was a tough day

“The sea state after the front was horrendous, not helped by the fact it takes about an hour to empty the ballast out of the bow of Medallia and so not only were the waves big, breaking and coming from strange angles, but we pretty much either went through them, due to having not enough sail up and too much weight in the bow – this meant every time I tried to do anything on deck, I was constantly dealing with huge, slow moving walls of water that were big enough to lift me off my feet as they came down the deck.

“I’ve noted the warnings about tropical depression Theta and there she is, right in our path. The tricky thing about that is going to be negotiating what happens afterwards as it appears to have sucked all of the wind out of the surrounding areas. I need my brain to be out of the granny gear by then.” (07.44 12Nov20) Hare is pictured in the headline image.

Listen to Hare checking in with Vendée Globe organisers on 12Nov20.

Sam Davies was in ‘washing machine’ mode

Davies says it’s hard to hold the camera in the middle of a storm but she wanted to share the extreme conditions. She doesn’t want to go too fast. (15.11 11Nov20)

Miranda Merron says it’s been intense

“For now, the race has been very intense, and it will continue with a complicated weather ahead. At this moment yesterday morning we had between 30 and 40 knots approaching the cold front. It was pretty big on a completely black night.” (08.39 12Nov20)

Watch the Vendée Globe official ‘day three’ round-up posted 11Nov20

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