Posts Tagged ‘transat jacques vabre’
A fascinating story from a great storyteller; Alex Thomson tells us the why, the how, and way, way more about the Hugo Boss damage, dismasting, rescue, and recovery. You won’t wanna miss this classic SA Skype ‘Innerview’, and you can see the written index of the chat here and add your thoughts or arguments here.
November 4th, 2015 by admin
A couple of days ago in the doldrums, Open 60 PRB – probably the lightest Open 60 ever built, caught up to Gabart and Desjoyeux aboard Macif, who’d been leading almost from the gun. Young Francois and the grizzled veteran Michel showed what they and their latest gen VPLP/Verdier boat could do that night, putting almost 20 NM on the orange boat by morning. But maybe they are a bit too fast.
Macif continued to stretch her lead until yesterday when her rig went over the side, not all that far from where the same pair last lost the rig off the nearly identical boat during the Barcelona World Race (though that was Foncia, sistership to Macif). The duo cut the mast away and are proceeding under jury rig to Salvador de Bahia, and they are still fast, sailing almost six knots with no mast at all. Check the short jury rig video here, and track PRB, Maitre Coq, and Safran as they fight for the win with just one day left on the course. More from Gabart:
“We were sailing on port tack under full main and big gennaker in 15-20 knots with a small seaway coming from behind. An hour or two before we’d had some gusty wind but the wind was stable when the mast broke. We were under autopilot with myself in the cockpit and Michel resting inside when the mast went, breaking a dozen meters above the deck, meaning 18 meters of mast in the water. The standing part was supported by the cabin top/coachroof.
We turned downwind, fortunately all safe when it happened. It took about an hour to separate the upper part from the lower part, making sure we could preserve the boom for a jury rig. We’re both in the same state of mind: Sad and disappointed, but we are forward looking people and at these times it’s better to do that than to dwell on problems.
Within two seconds of the first noise, the mast was down, so it’s hard to speculate on what might have happened…I suspect it was a tube failure rather than fittings or attachments. We were definitely pushing the boat but in a very usual way and in normal conditions; certainly not the first time I’ve pushed this boat since her launch!
After the Vendée Globe, we stepped a lighter mast that would hopefully not sacrifice reliability, but it was maybe a bit more fragile in the harsh conditions of this TJV. I don’t want to second guess much, because maybe the Vendee Globe mast might have been fine, but maybe it would have broken too.
I don’t think our match race with PRB had any impact on how we pushed the boat. We took a step back at times, our goal was to sail better consistently. We did not want to overdo it, we wanted to sail cleanly and even if PRB had been a few miles ahead, or behind, then nothing would have changed.”
Second time unlucky
“I have had two dismastings in my life, both in IMOCAs between Brazil and Africa and both sailing two up with with Michel . We think of the dismasting which happened two years ago in the Barcelona World Race. But the reasons are different. But there is the same feeling of sadness because all of a sudden everything just stops. At the same time we look to the positives, it could have happened at any other time and that would have been worse for us and for the boat. It’s been great since it happened in the Barcelona . There is no reason why we can’t follow on the same after this second dismasting.”
November 21st, 2013 by admin
After our forestay detached from our rig, we spent the better part of 30 hours getting to Lorient to try and fix the problem. When we arrived in Lorient we found three people waiting for us on the dock: Ryan Breymeier, a good friend and fellow American short-handed sailor, Yann Le Bretton, prepareteur who we met in Charleston this year at the Atlantic Cup and Yann’s girlfriend who’s name I didn’t catch. As soon as we got to the dock they hopped on board. Ryan had a dock cart full of bits to sort out all of our trouble; a mast jack to jack up the rig so we could fix the forestay problem, vacuum bag material to fix our leaky rudder post, and a bunch of rigging bits to put it all together. On top of all of that they brought 2 large pizzas.
It’s pretty awesome to be in another country, in a harbor you have never been in, pull in with a broken boat (and broken Rob but we will get to that in a minute), see two faces you know smiling at you telling it will all be OK and pull off the dock just 4 hours later with it all fixed. Ryan asked if I was OK because Hannah mentioned that I had hurt myself. So, sometimes I over do it. People that know me will laugh at that because maybe it’s more than sometimes. Anyway, I think I pulled something too hard and both my forearms were swollen and really painful. Anytime I pulled or grabbed something I was in a lot of pain and of course sailing is all about pulling and grabbing so nedless to say, I was suffering. Ryan told me he had spoken to a doctor at the hospital and that I could go to the Emerrgency Room and walk right in. He said there would be no wait and that the doctor would sort me out. I ws thinking no way. I was just in a hospital in France 2 weeks ago getting stitches in my finger and it took 4 hours for 3 stitches. Yann’s giirlfriend took me to the hospital, we walked in and the doctor took me in in less than a minute! They took some blood and spoke a lot of French words I didn’t understnd and told me I pulled tthe tendons in my hands and forearms. They gave me some pills and cream and a splint for one arm and we were out the door in an hour.
When I got back to the boat, all the work was done. All the tools were being put away and they were tossing us our lines. As I write this, I am smiling from ear to ear. We have worked so hard to get here. We will never give up. As of now we are back on the race course, going down wind at about 14 knots! With the help of some friends and some good sailing from us, we will be right bck in this race very soon. Thanks to everyone for your support.”
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November 12th, 2013 by admin