We know Sam is most everyone’s favorite, but you’ve gotta spare a thought for the other Vendée chick, Dee Caffari. Would you want to be facing the worst storm of the race, with a mainsail that looks like this? Actually, it looks worse now and is streaming taffeta, because since Dee took those pix it’s disintegrated more in the last storm.

She’d been sailing with four reefs, but went back to three to try to make it round the Horn before the next big one arrives. Even if she does, there’s trouble ahead because, in her own words “The Andes normally stop the worst of the lows and they slide south and away to Antarctica, but this little puppy seems to jump right over the top and is set on finding us. The question now is how to avoid the worst of the wind.” According to Meteo France, the worst is 85 knots.

More Dee sail pix here.  Take a look, then join in the thread on Ocean Anarchy. Amongst other things, anarchists are wondering why Jonny and Dee have had these catastrophic mainsail failures and Brian Thompson, with the same sails, hasn’t. Some quality control issues from the Evil Empire, perhaps?