Jérémie Beyou is a shaken man. He, above all the sailors that were with him in the leading group until a couple of days ago, took the greatest precautions in the storm that decimated the fleet at the beginning of Vendee Globe race. He said then: "I’ve reduced sail all round, perhaps a little too much. I’m careful for the boat as well as for myself. It’s important not to break anything."
Now he is heading for Brazil with two spreaders dangling from his mast. They whirl round and round, threatening to damage the mast, but he is powerless where it comes to a fix. "The sea is choppy, with a 4 foot swell and little uncoordinated waves, the wind is on the beam, blowing at between 15 and 20 knots, and I’m sailing with 3 reefs in the main and the ORC (the smallest headsail), with the keel to leeward. It would be a real exploit to climb the mast right now: imagine a 3-metre long rod weighing 10 kgs, which is banging against the sail and turning on itself… It’s as dangerous as the sail of a windmill." Jérémie told his shore team this afternoon."
This picture from a few days ago, with Jerémie sitting on Delta Dore, contentedly surveying a glassy sea, as he traversed the Doldrums, illustrates how uncertain life is in an event like the Vendee Globe. There must be some other worried skippers, for leader Gitana 80, Generali & BT all have the same rig as Delta Dore. This pic by Jérémie Beyou. The stories are on SA Sailing News (brought to you by Velocitek) and more Vendee Globe pix are here.