Friday, 20 January 2017

Unfinished business.... me and Lymington (or perhaps not...  ), but unfortunately it was not to be for Alex Thomson in the Vendee Globe - despite making up the better part of 900 miles between the south and north Atlantic, instrument issues in the last couple of hundred miles with his wind kit - which he feeds to his automatic pilot for sailing to a wind angle, and also a steering issue, meant that he only managed to sleep for four or five hours in the last 48 (and when he crossed the line he's been up 24 hours straight) and the lead slipped away from him...

Despite that he took two records in this race - furthest 24hr distance (which he actually did twice, but the first time not by enough to be counted as a new record), and also fastest to the equator in the Vendee Globe...  he was 100 miles ahead when a collision with something under water took off one of his foils so this makes the result even more stunning...  and he's already talking about the next race!

Someone on the pontoon managed to get a shot of the broken foil

He comes across as a really nice bloke, so congratulations to him on his second and also Armel on his first - and look who was there on the pontoon to meet him - superb sportsmanship and a lovely photo..

Well done Alex!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017


Must be in to the last 48 hours of the race, and I'm not sure I can put up with the tension....

So Alex has been in a drag rag race with Armel le Cleac'h for the last 10 or so days...  from one end of the Atlantic to the other and they are now within 500 and a bit nautical miles of the finish line, but they're doing 10-20 knots depending on wind strength/direction so I think they'll be in by end of Wednesday...

… Alex's eaten another five miles out of the lead since last night, when I last looked, and it looks like they’re going northerly as the forecast shows winds blowing direct from Sables, but look at the speed comparison! Going to be stupidly close…
Piccie courtesy Vendee Globe site [clicky] 

...and just in case it's not been noted

"Between 0700 UTC on 15 January 2017 and 0700 UTC today, Alex Thomson notched up 536.81 nautical miles on Hugo Boss, beating the previous world record for the greatest distance sailed solo in 24 hours. Thomson sailed Hugo Boss at an average speed of 22.36 knots (!!), and his 24-hour distance beats the record of 534.48 miles set by French sailor François Gabart in the 2012-13 edition of the Vendée Globe".

By the by he's also got the record for the fastest sailor to reach the equator since the Vendee Globe started....

Oh, and all of this with one broken foil! Astonishing, even for an unashamed Alex fan-boy like me...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

...and they're off... (job #20- Service Life Jackets)

Not exactly the most scintillating of posts, but at least it means I can report that the behemoth is not dead, just moribund...Someone clearly found a working electric cattle prod, as work has started (at last!) on the winter job list.. 

#20- Service Life Jackets - Done

Unpacked, checked for wear, cylinders weighed and checked against previous year (same), then finally manually inflated, and left for 24 hours...

...still up, so deflated, check the cylinders are firmly screwed in, then jacket's folded, repacked - jobs done..

#12 - Replace the cockpit hatches

I took the old hatches, traced round them on to the remaining hardwood ply I had from last time, and cut out the two new replacement hatches with the trusty jig saw... I remember it was a right pain last time, with not a straight edge to be seen, this time it was better, I put the blade on maximum speed and locked the power on so I could move round the cutting area more easily without stopping the saw.. still not perfect, but better than before! 

These are now sitting in a warm dry space to dry out before I one, check them for size, and then two, give them a coat of epoxy...  no mucking about this time - they're going to be bullet proof when I attach them

#4 - Cabin lights..

Somewhat irritatingly my soldering iron that I only bought last year refused to warm up..  this is what comes I guess of using cheap... either way the light strips I bought came with one set of wires already soldered, so I attached spades to all of these (to make it easier to take them out should I need to at a later date), I then quickly tested them from the car battery just to make sure they are working..  they were, and very bright.. My plan is still to mount them under the shelves in the cabin as downlighters, one on the port side (short shelf) and then two on the starboard side, with the fourth one in the forward cabin..  if they work out, then at that price I may well get a few more..