Rescue Plan For Stricken De Pavant Is In Operation
French skipper Kito de Pavant was enduring an anxious wait this afternoon aboard his Bastide Otio after he struck an object which destroyed his keel housing, ripped off his aft keel mountings and left the appendage supported only by the hydraulic keel ram.
De Pavant, from the Occitanie region in SW France is placed 10th in the Vendee Globe round the world race some 120 miles to the north of the Crozet Islands. He reported a significant ingress of water, flooding the engine compartment. Race Direction have been working closely with the MRCC authorities at Gris Nez to organise a rescue.
The MRCC have been in contact with the Marion Dufresne, the 120m long research and supply vessel of the TAAF (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises) which supplies the remote French archipelagos of Crozet, the Kerguelen, Saint Paul and Amsterdam islands. The Marion Dufresne was reported to be around 110 nautical miles away and had an ETA in the area during the early part of this evening with a plan to evacuate the skipper by rigid inflatable boat when daylight occurs around 0200hrs UTC.
Alain Gautier, the Vendee Globe Safety Director, explained: "We're hoping they will arrive at around 1700 UTC, but by then it will be dark there, so iti is down to the commanding officer of the ship to decide what sort of operation to carry out. They are likely to want to wait until day breaks at around 0100 UTC to launch a RIB to recover Kito. It will all depend on the conditions.
We can imagine that the Marion Dufresne will position herself windward of Kito to try to calm down the seas. But she's not that big a boat, so we don't know if that will be enough to ensure a safe operation. Sunrise is at around 0130 UTC, but they may wait a while for the weather to ease. Already the winds will not be as strong during the night. Our goal is to get Kito aboard the Marion Dufresne. It will be up to Kito's team to deal with the boat, but that's not going to be easy in that zone. Meanwhile he has called us when he finds the time. After the shock this morning and the obvious disappointment, we can see that he is more in control of the situation now."
De Pavant, 55 years old had battled through more than 48 hours of strong winds and big seas and was racing with a double reefed main making around 16kts in 40kts of wind and 4-6m seas. The popular skipper has been forced to retire from two previous Vendee Globe races, in 2008-9 when he was dismasted 18 hours after the start and in 2012-13 when he retired into Cascais after a collision with a trawler.
UPDATE AT PRESS TIME: Kito has been successfully rescued and is aboard the ship Marion Dufresne II.
The Indian Ocean Living Up To Its Reputation
While the leading competitors are anticipating the weather conditions they will encounter in the Pacific Ocean, the ones at the rear will sail in their first low pressure system on Wednesday.
Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss continue to sail quickly in front of the depression which concerned Edmond de Rothschild yesterday. The wind should shift West for them during the day. They may take advantage of this shift to jibe and sail further South.
For Edmond de Rothschild, conditions are improving. The strongest zone of wind and especially very heavy seas is moving away towards the Northeast. Sébastien Josse should find more clement conditions from tomorrow.
The respite will be short-lived for SMA and Maître CoQ with the arrival of a new depression from tomorrow morning while Yann Elies, Jean-Pierre Dick, Jean Le Cam and Thomas Ruyant are sailing in the same system.
Musto Kit In The Vendee Globe
We here at Musto are huge fans of the Vendee Globe and the excitement that comes from watching a person pit themselves against the ocean, pushing themselves to the absolute limit to try and achieve something less than 250 people have ever done. Compare this to around 4000 people who have summited Everest, or the 536 who have been into space. It truly is a unique undertaking and one of the most mentally challenging races in the world.
One thing that is noticeable in the 2016 edition of the Vendee Globe is the sailors' choice of kit. Our HPX, top of the range offshore kit has given the competitors a performance edge by keeping them protected on the inside so they can be stronger on the outside, and has the durability to last the whole length of the race.
Our HPX drysuit offers all the manoeuvrability needed to sail these demanding boats effectively, whilst not sacrificing anything when it comes to comfort and staying warm and dry. After all, this is a race of pure endurance. Testing the sailors' capacity to think longer, sail smarter and keep on going right to the very end by not giving them the chance to miss that final crucial weather system or opportunity that could be the difference between winning and losing. The impact of Musto toward these performance parameters is clear to see, with almost 60% of the competitors choosing our kit to get them around the world - including all the front runners.
Leopard 3 Set To Take Monohull Line Honours
At 1200 UTC Mike Slade's British Maxi, Leopard 3 was 240 miles from Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada and expected to take Monohull Line Honours at around sunrise on Wednesday. Leopard is nearly 600 miles ahead of their nearest rival, Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verder's Dutch Maxi Marten 72, Aragon.
Leopard is all but assured of the IMA Trophy for Line Honours and is estimated to be leading the fleet after IRC time correction. However with the trade winds re-establishing for the fleet further out to sea, Aragon still has the potential to post the best corrected time under IRC to win the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. Infiniti 46, Maverick still has 1,000 miles to go, but the radically designed flyer is showing her potential, surfing down Atlantic swell at high speed.
Swan 82, Stay Calm is just over 1,000 miles from the finish in Grenada and the British Maxi's closest rival is Anatoli Karatchinski's magnificent 112ft Baltic, Path.
Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron's Class40, Campagne de France has a impressive 200 mile lead in the Class40 Division. However, a close battle is raging behind them between Catherine Pourre's Earendil and Laurent Pellecuer's, Second Chance.
Phuket King's Cup Regatta 30th Anniversary
Phuket, Thailand: Kevin Whitcraft's THA72 team took another double win today, winning their first race against Ray Roberts' rival team by two clear minutes in the first race of the day (IRC0). The second run was a leeward waltz for them. In IRC1, the familiar silhouette of Mandrake III skippered by Nick Burns (representing Hong Kong) took the day's honors with a win and a second place finish.
Nick's crew of 11 consists of sailors from New Zealand, Australia, The Philippines and Hong Kong. Tomorrow should be another good day for them if conditions avoid middling. Mandrake does best in light or heavy winds, having recently had 790 kilos removed from her keel - Nick is hoping for a similar day tomorrow.
Belinda Cooper's Aussie team on Senga capped off a stunning early run so far with another win today. The gorgeous, modern racing cruiser Shatoosh (again from Hong Kong) was fastest in Premier Class, beating out Thai registered Pine Pacific, a regatta victory stalwart.
Full real-time racing results are updated at kingscup.com/result, with final results TBC at time of writing.
The 2016 Phuket King's Cup Regatta competitive classes include Keelboats and Multihulls and International Dinghy Classes. All participants, local and international sailors and organizers join in 89 seconds of silence to mourn the passing of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the opening event. There will also be the "Sail Pass" ceremony off Kata Bay, in honor of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.
Nicholas Heiner Follows Famous Dad Into The Finn
Former Laser world champion Nicholas Heiner is competing at his first international event in a new class he hopes to medal in for the Netherlands at the Olympic Games, just like his father did 20 years ago in Atlanta, USA.
Nicholas recently embarked on a Finn campaign and the Sailing World Cup Melbourne presented by Land Rover is his first international event since transitioning out of the men's Laser.
"Olympic gold and winning the Volvo Ocean Race, that's what I want to achieve," the younger Heiner's bio reads. Dad Roy went close to achieving the double with his 1996 Atlanta bronze in the Finn and victory in the VOR in 2005-6 on board ABN Amro, his third and final time. Now Nicholas is chasing the same dreams.
Roy Heiner was part of three Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races from 1997 to 2006 and part of the winning ABN Amro crew in the 2005-6 around-the-world-race. He is a four-time Olympian, twice in the Finn and twice in the Soling, and the last Dutch sailor to medal in the Finn class.
The Finn division began their pointscore yesterday, Tuesday December 6.
Ten races are scheduled through to Saturday followed by Sunday's medal race on the Stadium course off the St Kilda Sailing Precinct and visible from the St Kilda Sea Baths and Historic St Kilda Pier. -- Lisa Ratcliff
Super is not as over the top an adjective for the level of the TP52 racing that we are about to witness in 2017 as it perhaps was in 2013. Back then it was more an indication of ambition than a reality. 2017 brings a six-event no-discard series spread over two continents with at each event 12-14 top-notch TP52s fighting it out with a level of evenness that you will struggle to find in a one-design fleet; yet each TP52 is individually designed, built and optimised and is always 'in development' to address real or perceived weaknesses.
The status quo is constantly challenged and as a consequence we witness ever-changing relative performances between the boats till the final race of the year. If it was the hardware only it would be complex enough, but of course how the teams work is equally important – and as complex as the science behind the equipment.
Will we see the same teams and boats as we saw in 2016 when we start 2017 with Quantum Key West Race Week? The simple answer is no.
Rob Weiland's full article in the January issue of Seahorse: www.seahorsemagazine.com
French Skippers Dominate Entry List For 2018 Golden Globe Race
Salon Nautique de Paris: Nine French skippers head the 30-strong entry for the 2018 Golden Globe Race starting from England in June 2018. The 30,000 mile solo, non-stop round the world race is being staged to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9 which led to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston becoming the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world.
The French entrants are:
Jean-Luc van den Heede (71), five-time circumnavigator who holds the record for the fastest solo west-about non-stop circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents
Eric Loizeau (66) A veteran of two Whitbread round the world races, and a former French Yachtsman of the Year
Lionel Regnier (55) who has made 23 Atlantic crossings
Antoine Cousot (45) who has sailed the equivalent of three circumnavigations delivering yachts to all corners of the globe
Phillipe Peche (54) a two-time holder of the Jules Verne trophy for the fastest non-stop sailing circumnavigation
Patrick Phelipon (63), who like Loizeau, is one of legendary French yachtsman Eric Tabarly's sailing disciples.
Loïc Lepage (60) who has more than 20,000 miles of solo sailing under his belt including three trans-Biscay and four transatlantic crossings
Arsène Ledertheil (58) currently No 2 on the Wait list
Francois Gouin (56) currently No 3
Professional sailors and adventurers dominate the entry list but competitors also include a farmer, furniture maker, foreign exchange trader, engineer and two teachers who represent 12 Countries: Australia (4), Brazil (1), Estonia (1), France (9), Ireland (1), Italy (2), Norway (1), Palestine (1), Russia (1), Switzerland (1), UK (5), and the USA (3). Their average age is 48. The youngest are 27 (one British woman, an American and a Swiss entrant). The oldest is 71 year-old Jean-Luc van den Heede. All have considerable short and single-handed sailing experience
The 2018 GGR will be run under the auspices of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club based in Tonga. His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulukalala of Tonga is Patron of the Race.
1987 Fastnet Winner Racing For Ireland Finally Gets Full Recognition
Nearly thirty years ago, the growth of sponsorship in sailing could result in a confusion of results if rules from the era of total Cornithian participation were applied with precise regard for the last letter of the law writes W M Nixon. Thus although there were many sponsored entries racing in national teams in 1987's highly competitive Admiral's Cup for which the Fastnet Race was the climax, the peculiar reality was that none of them was eligible – because of being sponsored – to win the Fastnet Challenge Cup for the overall winner.
Friday December 2nd would normally be a day on which people start seriously anticipating Christmas. But for those for whom Irish Independent/Full Pelt was a very special boat at the centre of an unusual but successful crew-merging project, Friday December 2nd 2016 was the day on which the current Commodore RORC, Michael Boyd, and the 1987 skipper of Irish Independent Tom Power, jointly hosted a lunch in the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire to honour the memory of Ed Dubois and to celebrate the sportsmanship and goodwill of Stephen Fein and Jo Richards in throwing themselves so completely into campaigning with a crew of Irish strangers who had become close friends by the time the series was completed.
An official stamp of approval was put on it all by the welcome presence of Janet Grosvenor, Assistant Secretary at the RORC in 1987, and key administrator of the Admirals Cup. And thanks to links with Irish Lights, a new trophy – made from a prism from the light on the Fastnet Rock – was presented to Stephen Fein and Tom Power, complete with the names of the crew.
WM Nixon's full story in Afloat: www.afloat.ie
Classic Yacht, Clair De Lune, Sinks Off The Coast Of Brisbane
The crew of Clair De Lune have been rescued by the Brisbane Water Police after the classic yacht hit Flat Rock in the early hours of 4 December 2016.
Officers were called out at around 2.30am local time to reports the vessel was taking on water a couple of kilometres north of North Stradbroke Island.
The yacht's 70-year-old skipper and 23-year-old crew member deployed a life raft before being rescued.
The skipper of the Clair De Lune is reported to have been sailing the yacht back to Tasmania.
The 25-foot yacht is believed to be the same vessel designed by the English born boat designer, Bert Samuel Woollacott.
Woollacott, who settled in Devonport, New Zealand in the 1920s with his family, was known for building yachts that could be sailed with a minimal crew.
On the Woollacott Association website, Clair De Lune is listed as a Nada design and was launched in 1959.
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The Last Word
Wine is sunlight, held together by water. -- Galileo Galilei