The press release below is a measure of how effective at-sea communications have become. Here is Bruce Schwab at sea aboard his ocean racer Ocean Planet sending out an email about the progress of the Vendee Globe race boats. A far cry from voyaging days of yore when you went offshore with an SSB and perhaps made contact one or twice a voyage. Now we have folks at sea sending out press releases. Who knows what kind of technology for communications will be available in ten years?
From the press release: We are now finally entering the west Atlantic Tradewinds, After a day and a half of slow motorsailing from Bermuda. Very nice to have the engine off and moving at 9+ kts after crawling at 6kts under power! However the light patch of high pressure did make it easy to putter our way eastward for a nice reaching angle for the rest of the trip.
Our position at 10:30am eastern time is 29 10N, 62 00W, now heading basically straight south to Antigua.
We have been enjoying some nice meals, and also eating up any news bit we can about the Vendee Globe. It sounds like there has been total carnage, with a third of the fleet having had major issues!
The biggest surprise is race favorite Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia having to return to fix an engine problem. But look for him to catch back up. Heartbreaking news for Canadian Derek Hatfield, who has some electrical problems forcing him to turn back.
Here is short summary…be sure to check the Vendee website for the latest:
“Of the 30 skippers who started the VendÃ©e Globe at 1302hrs on Sunday off Les Sables d’Olonne, Alex Thomson is the seventh to have been forced to turn back to the VendÃ©e start port (as of a few hours ago: add Marc Thiercilen who lost his mast early today).”
Severe weather on the Bay of Biscay, with big, confused seas has hit the fleet. In the afternoon of Monday 10th November and evening winds are reported to have reached 45 to 50 knots.
Summary of the entrants who have had to return, or are making towards Les Sables d’Olonne:
DominIque Wavre, Temenos II: had an electrical problem and returned to Les Sables d’Olonne. He returned to the race course late in the evening of Sunday 9th November.
Bernard Stamm, CheminÃ©es Poujoulat: had a collision with a cargo ship, returned to Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 9th/10th November. Damage to bowsprit.
Michel Desjoyeaux, Foncia: electrical and engine problems following a leak from a water ballast tank, expected to arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne during the night 10/11 November.
Jean- Baptiste Dejeanty, Group Maisoneuve: damage to deck reported during the morning of Monday 10th November. Arrival expected in Les Sables d’Olonne on the morning of 11th November.
Derek Hatfield, Algimouss Spirit of Canada: electrical problems during the afternoon/evening of Monday 10th November. Expected to return to Les Sables d’Olonne during the morning 11th November.
Yannick Bestaven, Aquarelle.com: dismasted reported during the evening of Monday 10th November. Arrival expected Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 11th or 12th November.
Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel: dismasted during the evening of Monday 10th November, arrival could be in Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 11th to 12th November
Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss: structural problem in the evening of Monday 10th November, arrival predicted in Les Sables d’Olonne during the night of 11th/12th November.
The Vendee Globe start line remains open during 10 days after the start. The competitors can cross it until Wednesday, nov 19th – 13:02 french time For more information: http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/”
Be careful out there guys (and gals), there is a long way to go!!
Best wishes to all from the OP Caribbean Run Leg 2 crew:
Bruce Schwab, Skipper