Fast Sleeping Bags and Wet Boxers
The racing is so tight in the Vendée Globe – as illustrated by yesterday’s near collision between Vincent Riou and JP Dick – that one might easily lose sight of the crucial domestic side of things. It would have been a shame, for instance, to have missed out on Yann Eliès’s adventures today – the young Breton, who moved into second place behind Sébastien Josse the other morning, was in particularly good spirits when he answered the race organisers’ call. "Things are pretty good here, I’m doing 18 knots in my sleeping bag while Marcel is doing a great job at the helm." Marcel being, as you all attentive readers will have guessed, Yann’s autopilot, the heir of a long family of Marcels who started working for Yann during his Figaro years – the story doesn’t say if the name was chosen in order to pay tribute to a certain Mr Marceau, who just like an autopilot, could move around for hours without uttering a single word…
But let’s move on. Yann went on to explain that the water around his boat was getting colder, which made escapades out of the very fast aforementioned sleeping bag more and more hazardous. "I still tend to leap out on deck without getting dressed when I just need to take a leak at the back of the boat, but it’s not a good idea as last time I tried I got my boxers really wet. I’m done playing that little game, which we kind of initiated aboard Orange during the Jules Verne Trophy: some of us had to cross the net between the two hulls to go and take our meals, and the fun part was trying to do so without any foul weather gear." The anecdote probably has brought back fond memories to Sébastien Josse, leader of the Vendée Globe, who was also part of the Orange crew during the 2002 winning Jules Verne Trophy! If at the time you would’ve told those two that they’d be respectively be first and second in the 2008 Vendée Globe at some point, they undoubtedly would have signed for that future with both hands. Way to go, boys! – Jocelyn Blériot.