Vendée Globe

Twenty days of sailing in the 2020 Vendée Globe Solo Round the World Race so far and in the past few days there have been some big stories. 

Race favourite, Alex Thomson, on HUGO BOSS,  had some structural damage to the bow of the boat. He spent a couple of days repairing the damage whilst falling from first to 11th. Then in the middle of the night he hit something and broke one of the rudders. He  has given up and is proceeding to Capetown. Big disappointment for him. 

In the lead is Charlie Dalin on APIVIA. he is still some 500 miles west of Capetown and leading by 250 miles. Close in 2nd, 3rd & 4th are Thomas Ruyant on LINKED OUT, Kevin Escoffier on PRB and John Le Cam on YES WE CAM. they are within 25 miles of each other.  These lead boats are making about 20 knots. 

The boats sailed down the east coast of South America and are now crossing over and will pass to the south of Capetown. Only 18,000 nautical miles to go. Only. 

Here is a report from Samantha Davies  on board INITIATIVES COEUR , one of six women in the race. She is currently in 11th place. 

“My feeling was correct as rapidly I encountered the first big gust – 40 knots of wind. The sea state has built. When the breeze goes from 25 to 40 in the middle of the night for the first time, you get caught by a big surprise! So a little “wipe out” (thank goodness the A7 was already furled!) and Initiatives Coeur lay flat on her side with a nice cold wave breaking over her!

Ease all the sheets and back on our feet (that too is a scary maneuver as you have to bear away but not too far so as to avoid a Chinese Gybe on the way out!)

So then the tricky bit is to find a trim and sail set-up for 22 to 42 knots of wind speed! That’s not easy, when you are sailing solo and you need to rest a little and not stay all night in the cockpit with the sheets in your (cold) hands! It’s a frustrating compromise with a lot of time “down speed” and other heart-palpitating moments of extreme acceleration down waves with a little too much wind.

Inevitably, I did a few more little wipeouts, but the night is over, nothing is broken and the average

wind speed is starting to drop… later I should be able to deploy a bigger sail and get going a  bit faster. The albatrosses that are gliding around in my wake are having fun! In the meantime, I am going to put a thicker pair of socks on because my feet are blocks of ice!

Bonne journee!”

Better these sailors than me. 

Just saying…

Across the Equator

It is the 10th day of the Vendée Globe Race and Alex Thomson on HUGO BOSS is the first to cross the Equator. He is in the lead by 70 nautical miles.  At the back of the pack is Fabrice Amedeo, 1760 miles behind the leader.  

Yesterday, Jérémie Beyou on CHARAL, restarted the race from France after completing major repairs. He is 2839 miles behind. It will be a long lonely trip for him. 

Only 21,000 nautical miles to go for the leader. 

Just saying…

Sailing South

Seven days ago 33 high tech sailboats began the Vendée Globe Around the World Sailing Race.  Already the lead boats are off the coast of Africa sailing in good winds and warm weather. Englishman Alex Thomson on HUGO BOSS is in the lead making speeds of over 20 knots. He sailed over 380 nautical miles in 24 hours. Chasing him in second place is Frenchman Jean Le Cam on YES WE CAM.  

Late in the week the boats made it through a pretty serious storm. The Japanese boat tore its mainsail and the skipper is trying to make repairs to it now. With warmer weather the sailors are getting some sun, enjoying a good meal, showering, and making repairs to the gear as needed. With the wind behind them live is easier. One skipper reported that he slept for seven hours last night. That’s the beauty of a good autopilot.

Jérémie Beyou on CHARAL is back in Les Sables d’Olonne surveying the serious damage to his boat and decoding if it can be fixed fast enough to rejoin the race. He is a week behind the fleet so it’s unlikely he will restart. 

Here is an interesting article about a husband and wife who are competing in this race.

One week of sailing. One week of adventure. Only 22,400 nautical miles to go. 

Just saying…

Brisket Burger

White Spot have been hyping their new BRISKET BURGER and last week I had a chance to try one. I love brisket and I love burgers. What could be the downside?

Well, the price for starters. $18.99 for a burger and some fries is a little steep even if it’s great. The Brisket Burger was good but not any better than a White Spot Legendary. My advice. Give it a pass. If you really want brisket try the Texas BBQ truck on the Coombs Highway or Smokin George’s BBQ joint on Mostar Road in Nanaimo.

Just saying…

And It Begins

And they are off!  On Sunday, 33 skippers including 6 women started the 2020 Vendée Globe AROUND THE WORLD sailing race. Singlehanded. No stops allowed. 24,000 nautical miles. The boats left the French Coastal town of Les Sables d’Olonne under light winds. By late afternoon the lead boat, CHARAL with skipper Jeremie Beyou, was making 27 knots followed by Charlie Dalin on APIVIA in second with Briton Alex Thomson gradually winding up the potent HUGO BOSS in third. 

Quite a start for a race expected to take 2 1/2 months. Already one boat had to return to port for rigging repair while another crossed the start line early and received a 5 hour penalty. 

These are very high tech high speed 60 foot racing sleds capable of running at 30 knots for several hours. It will be an amazing test of equipment and skippers.

You can follow the race on  the Vendée Globe App or at

Just saying. 

Vendée Globe 2020

On Monday, November 8, the 2020 edition of the VENDEE GLOBE Around The World sailing race begins from the French town of Les Sables d’Olonne.  This race is the Holy Grail of Solo Sailors. 33 boats are registered for the race that will sail down the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, across the Southern Ocean passing south of Australia, rounding Cape Horn, then climbing up the Atlantic back to France. The course is 40,000 kilometres and will take the fastest boats about 75 days to complete. 

The current record dates back to 2016-17 and is held by the Breton Armel Le Céac’h, who completed the 24,000 nautical miles (over 44,400 kilometres) in 74 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds, after an interminable battle with the Brit Alex Thomson, who secured the second spot.

Most of the skippers are French but there are four Brits, one Italian, one Swiss, one Japanese, one German, one Fin,  and one Spaniard.  6 of the sailors are women

The boats are high tech sailing machines, 60 feet long, weighing 9 tones, and capable of maintaining 30 Knot speeds for extended periods of time. 

Single handed! No Stops! This race is Epic. If you are interested in following the race you can download the VENDEE GLOBE 2020 App from the App Store for free. I will post regular updates on this Blog which interested parties may enjoy. Here is one of the boats.