Stamm hits UFO

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Bernard Stamm, racing in the Southern Ocean and approaching Cape Horn, hit an unidentified floating object early on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 6 and lost his port side hydrogenerator. His second hydrogenerator is reportedly also broken and not generating electricity. Without the ability to make electricity and with limited fuel for generating electricity, Stamm must look at ways to drastically reduce his electrical consumption. 

From the Vendee Globe press release: Due to previous energy-related issues, Stamm no longer has sufficient fuel onboard. Stamm informed his team he was shutting down all energy-consuming devices to conserve what little energy he had remaining for the autopilot. Stamm was 1060 miles away from Cape Horn at 7.30 am(French time).
Cheminées Poujoulat Sailing Team is currently examining all available solutions, such as, finding a sheltered area where Stamm could consider re-fuelling as the current situation jeopardises the yacht’s safety.
There are possible shelters located after the Cape Horn. The weather conditions are tough with changeable winds, rough sea and cold temperatures. Ice has also been detected in the area.

Bernard Stamm requires electrical energy onboard to power:
– The autopilot, a capital tool when sailing solo

- Water maker (The team has no idea how much water he has left)

- Reception of weather files (the current conditions are difficult) and ice data (ice has been detected in the area)

– The central navigation computer showing wind direction and speed, boat data (speed, heading, position) and maps

- Position lights

- The AIS showing marine traffic

- The radar   

- Moving the keel

– The VHF  

- Communication

- The mini-lab

On the French web TV show Vendée Globe LIVE today, Régis Rassouli  from the sailing team of Cheminées Poujoulat confirmed the situation was very worrying.
“We’ve been in touch with Bernard, he told us he had to shut down everything because there is very little fuel left on board.
"He was a little bit more than 1,000 miles away from the Horn when it happened. The weather is bad, there is ice in the area, it’s a very tricky situation. So we’re working on several possibilities to find a shelter or get additional fuel. We’re checking the weather and it’s stressful because we know Bernard has no way to receive weather data any more. The boat and Bernard’s safety are clearly jeopardized.”

By Ocean Navigator