First Woman to Finish

Six courageous women started the Solo Vendée Globe Around the World Sailing Race in November. Four of the Six are still in the race and crossing the finish line today 9oin a very credible 12th place is French Woman Clarisse Cremer on BANQUE POPULAIRE X. Quite an accomplishment for the 31 year old who only started competitive sailing about 6 years ago. Her time was 87 days, 2hours, 24 minutes. 

Women still in the race are Pip Hare in 20th, Miranda Merron in 23rd, and Alexia Barrier in 24th. Samantha Davies dropped out for repairs near Capetown and has continued to sail the route but is no longer in the race. Isabelle Joschke had severe damage to her rudder and sought safe harbour in Brazil. 

Next boat across the finish line will be Jérémie Beyou on CHARAL in 13th. He has 800 miles to go. 

Just saying…

Vendée Globe Winners

Yesterday, January 27, 2021, Charlie Dalin on APTIVIA was the first across the finish line in Les Sables-d’Olonne on the west coast of France. 80 Days, 6 hours, 15 minutes overall time. BUT, Dalin did not come first. Yannick Bestaven on MAÎTRE COQ IV crossed second but was granted a 10 hour 15 minute time allowance for his efforts to assist in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier. So Bestaven’s official time was 80 days 3 hours 44 minutes for First Place. In third place with 80 days 10 hours 25 minutes was Louis Burton on BUREAU VALLÉE 2. All three skippers are French.

So 80 days at sea, alone, covering 29,000 nautical miles (33,372 land miles or more than 53,000 kilometres). Dalin averaged an extraordinary 15.13 Knots! In a 60 foot sailboat, alone. 

7 boats have now crossed the finish line with 18 more still in the race. The last placed boat still has 6800 miles to go. 

An amazing race. I’m not sure if the skippers are courageous or crazy. What an adventure!

Here are the top three.

Sprint to the Finish.

About 4 days and 1400 nautical miles to go in the epic Vendée Globe Solo Sailing Race. At least for the top 6 boats. APIVIA, skippered by Charlie Dalin is leading, followed by Louis Burton on BUREAU VALLEE ll,  who is just 34 miles  behind.  On board SEA EXPLORER, German skipper Boris Hermann is 3rd, just 60 miles from Dalin and Thomas Ruyant on LINKED OUT is still a strong contender in 4th, 91 miles back as these boats approach the Azores. 


Theoretically any of the top 6 could win this race.  Jean Le Cam on Yes we Cam is is in 8th 380 miles from 1st but he has a 10 hour credit as a result of taking time out of the race to rescue Kevin Escoffier, whose boat sank in early December south of Capetown. That 10 hours is likely the equivalent of about 150 miles. So Le Cam is still a contender. 

The last boat in the fleet, skippered by Ari Huusela of Finland has yet to Round Cape Horn. He has 7800 miles to go to the finish. 

The next few days will be exciting to watch. Stay tuned. 

Just saying…

All About Hashbrowns

I love Hashbrown Potatoes. It’s true. I especially like them with Bacon or Sausage and eggs for breakfast or brunch. My favourite hash browns are  the finely shredded style most often served in restaurants. The little cubed ones or the smashed ones (at the White Spot) or the thicker shoestring style are not for me. The best restaurant hashbrowns I’ve had recently were at Ricki’s All Day Grill in Parksville. Finely shredded, spread out and fried on both sides. Excellent. 

My Friend Mike, an excellent chef,  recommends making your own from scratch. That’s probably the best way to go. Shred a potato on a cheese grater, soak in water, squeeze out the moisture in cheesecloth. Seems like a lot of work. I may try it one Sunday morning when I’m ambitious and want to impress my favourite girl. But in the meantime it’s going to be frozen. 

In recent months the food stores I visit regularly have not had the finely shredded hash browns which is very disappointing. What’s the matter with McCains and Cavendish? There is a market for them. At least a market of me.

I saw these in Costco and decided to try them. Apparently they are dehydrated so you add hot water to the carton, let it sit for 12 minutes, drain and cook. I tried them. Pretty good but even though they claim to be real potatoes the fact that they are dehydrated seems kind of Fake to me. Maybe I should get over it since I think the 33 sailors in the Vendée Globe Solo Sailing Race have probably been eating dehydrated food for the last two months. So I may give them another go. 

But yesterday I saw several brands of hash brown patties in the freezer section and decide to give them a try. I hesitated at first since this product reminded me of the ‘Sunshine Breakfast’ on BC Ferries. 

Last night was the test. I cooked some beautiful asparagus, topped it with perfectly poached eggs drowning in Hollandaise, accompanied with two of the hash brown patties. About 15 minutes in the oven at 450. Easy as can be. To my delight I loved them. 

So if you want easy to cook hash browns, I suggest you try these.

Just saying…

Close Encounters

The leader . Charlie Dalin.

After nearly 70 days of racing over 24,000 nautical miles of water, the top 6 boats in the Vendée Globe Solo Around the World Race, are within 100 miles of each other. That is simply amazing. Any one of those skippers could win this race. They are off the coast of Brazil getting close to the equator with about 3700 miles to the finish line. Below is 3rd placed Boris Hermann.

Meanwhile, there are 5 boats that still have not rounded Cape Horn. The very last sailor is 7500 miles behind the leader. Four of the 6 women who started the race are still in it.  Unfortunately for Isabelle Joschke, who was competing very well in 6th place, damage to her keel was so severe she had to abandon racing and head for a safe harbour in Brazil. Best placed woman today is Clarissa Cremer on BANQUE POPULAIRE in 12th. 

With the leading boats so close together the lead will most likely change many time before the finish. 

Just saying…

Climbing the Atlantic

Eighteen boats in the Vendée Globe Solo Sailing Race have now rounded  Cape Horn and are beginning the climb up the Atlantic. Twenty Six out of 33 starters are still in the race after 65 days of racing. 

The leader today is Charlie Dalin on APIVIA and he off the coast of Brazil with 5900 miles to the finish. But the top eight are all within 100 miles of Dalin. So it’s still anybody’s race. The first boat should cross the finish line in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France in about 2 weeks. 

Englishwoman Pip Hare passed Cap Horn today after dealing with significant rudder problems on her boat. She is in seventeen place. The amazing Jérémie Beyou on Charal, who started the race 5 days late is in sixteenth but close to moving up to fourteenth. Considering that when he departed France he was 2800 miles behind the leader and 1000 miles behind the last placed boat, he has had an amazing sail being the fastest from Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn. 

Here is Pip Hare rounding Cape Horn.

Here is a link to the tracking map.

Just saying…


The first two boats in the Solo Vendée Globe Round the World Sailing race have now rounded Cape Horn. Frenchman Yannick Besthaven on MAÎTRE COQ IV, is the #1 boat and has 6800 nautical miles to the finish line in France. Second around the Horn was Charlie Dalin on APIVIA, just 68 miles behind Bestaven. 

Six women started the race and Isabelle Joschke was running in 6th  position 650 miles behind the leader She must be quite a sailor. She has slipped back to 8th. 

The last boat in the fleet is now 6700 miles behind the leader. No chance for him to win. The lead boats will be home in France sipping Cognac and noshing on Escargots before he rounds Cape Horn.

The Leader

In 18th place is Jeremie Beyou, on board CHARAL, who restarted the race 5 days late after making repairs. Upon his restart he was 1000 miles behind the last boat but amazingly made up the time and miles and started overtaking other boats in the South Atlantic. He is now about 300 miles behind 15th placed Englishwoman Pip Hare as they approach Point Nemo, a remote island in the South Pacific. Those skippers are about 2500 miles behind the leaders. 

These boats are often sailing at speeds in excess of 15 knots. Remember these vessels are 60 feet long and being sailed solo, no crew. How these skipper manage to sleep is beyond me. 

Click on this link to see the map.


Here are some great shots of some of the boats

Just saying…

Hello, Southern Ocean!

32 days ago 33 sailors left France in the VENDÉE GLOBE Round the World Race. All the boats have now passed the Cape of Good Hope and are in the Southern Ocean. The lead boat, skippered by Charlie Dalin, has covered almost 11,000 nautical miles with 13,700 to go. The leaders are now almost off the south coast of Australia. Close behind Dalin are 4 boats within 200 miles. 

6 of the boats are out of the race. One boat dismasted, one retired with a damaged rudder, one lost all his Navigation electronics, one with keel damage and one hit a 30 foot wave at 27 knots, broke the boat and sank. The skipper, Kevin Escoffier was rescued by another racer,  John Le Cam,  and eventually transferred to a French Warship. Here are the retired boats of Alex Thomson and Samantha Davies tied up in Capetown.

One amazing story is that of Jeremie Beyou, on CHARAL. On the first day of the race his boat was damaged and returned to France for repairs. 5 days later he restarted. He was 1000 miles behind the fleet. In the past day, near Capetown, he caught up and has passed two boats. 

It’s an epic race, an amazing test of the boats and the sailors. 

Just saying…

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…