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Big Pimpin'

Speed, reliability, skipper comfort… so far it’s all going the right way for Sam Davies’ third Vendée Globe programme

‘I spent five days non-stop in full foulweather gear and my Musto kit was amazing,’ says Sam Davis, when discussing the first five days of the recent Route du Rhum. ‘It was absolutely epic weather, some of the worst conditions my boat has ever faced,’ Davies adds, recalling the storm that crushed part of her hull and knocked her out of the race along with almost half of the fleet.

There’s a crucial correlation between comfort and speed, which sailors ignore at their peril. It has ever been thus, but today’s singlehanded ocean racers are on a steeper learning curve than ever as they push the outer limits of physical and mental endurance while battling the violent motion, brutal shock loads, deafening noise and utter fatigue of bashing and slamming a foiling Imoca 60 through heavy weather at full tilt. Read on.