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Discussion Starter #7
ETA Rio is Wednesday. (Eight days out of Brest.) Gitana is putting in to Salvador for repairs en route to Rio. Macif heading for repairs in Rio. Hitting things at 40 knots apparently does things to rudders. This will enable the other two boats (Sodebo & Actual Leader) to pass them. The Rio-Capetown leg looks to include upwind work and icebergs to avoid.
 

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ETA Rio is Wednesday. (Eight days out of Brest.) Gitana is putting in to Salvador for repairs en route to Rio. Macif heading for repairs in Rio. Hitting things at 40 knots apparently does things to rudders. This will enable the other two boats (Sodebo & Actual Leader) to pass them. The Rio-Capetown leg looks to include upwind work and icebergs to avoid.

Not surprising those boats (and crew) are taking a pounding. May be a tactic would be to allow the leaders to beat their boats up by going all out. When they have to stop for repairs then the guys in the back just cruise into the lead. :) Still would hate to be on board when one of these boats hits a sleeping whale or cargo container even a tree at 40 knots.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
One of the videos (Macif’s, I think) includes an OFNI (objet flottant non-identifié) alarm going off. Macif is getting a replacement rudder from the old Banque Populaire boat, flown in from France. Gitana has issues with one of their foils delaminating. Hugo Boss, in the Transatlantic Jacques Vabre last week, lost their keel.

We had an America’s Cup foil designer (hydrodynamicist) give a talk about foils at our club. Cavitation at high speeds can cause incredible vibrations - think of your Laser centerboard and rudder at speed, and multiply that by 187 or so. He showed us videos of foil tips disintegrating. You don’t necessarily have to hit anything. Just go so fast it sets up vibrations. The thing shakes apart.
 

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For an hour or two or until something breaks. :)
Honestly, I've watched all the videos of this event that I can find an my general observation is how comfortable the ride looked even in extremely rough conditions. IMHO the fact the boats sail with a crew of 2, plus a media person that is not allowed to assist in sailing the boat is indicative of the vessels sea kindliness.

The videos indicate they enjoy a smoother ride than anyone on several Gov Cups I can think of. Blasting along at 30-40+ knots through 12 foot seas, standing flat footed and waving at the camera while getting a blast of spray is way better than getting pounded to the point moving to do anything becomes an act of will like on a monohull beating into a the Chesapeake chop.

I'd love to sail on one of these monsters.
 

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Honestly, I've watched all the videos of this event that I can find an my general observation is how comfortable the ride looked even in extremely rough conditions. IMHO the fact the boats sail with a crew of 2, plus a media person that is not allowed to assist in sailing the boat is indicative of the vessels sea kindliness.

The videos indicate they enjoy a smoother ride than anyone on several Gov Cups I can think of. Blasting along at 30-40+ knots through 12 foot seas, standing flat footed and waving at the camera while getting a blast of spray is way better than getting pounded to the point moving to do anything becomes an act of will like on a monohull beating into a the Chesapeake chop.

I'd love to sail on one of these monsters.
Media person? So that's how they are getting all that great drone footage while underway. I just looked at some of the latest footage and the conditions looked excellent and indeed quite fun as compared to the start of the race where they were taking a pounding.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
More recent onboard video of Sodebo does not look as smooth:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=fuuM-VnWmQM&feature=emb_logo
(though this was apparently taken when they were backtracking)

LeBlevec, on Actual Leader is quoted in Voiles & Voiliers:

"These are the worst conditions since the start and not far from the worst I have encountered in multihulls. With each wave, one has the impression that the boat will be demolished, it is really not fun, I have no pleasure to navigate in these conditions, it is really hyper hard. We have a small thirty knots of wind, it is not that which is problematic. What is problematic is that we have the waves against us, not very big, but it is a sea completely disordered. The boat jumps on all the waves, we get shaken, it's hell, we have to stay permanently, it's really super complicated, besides, we mistreat the boat, it's very unpleasant. “


Seems like this is why they held up/stood by/waited/treaded water - whatever you want to call it - for a bit before setting out definitively for Capetown. No point in bashing yourselves and the boat to pieces if it isn’t going to help get you there any earlier than the guys who wait for the bad weather to pass and then set out, going faster and not having to make more repairs.
 

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More recent onboard video of Sodebo does not look as smooth:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=33&v=fuuM-VnWmQM&feature=emb_logo
(though this was apparently taken when they were backtracking)

LeBlevec, on Actual Leader is quoted in Voiles & Voiliers:

"These are the worst conditions since the start and not far from the worst I have encountered in multihulls. With each wave, one has the impression that the boat will be demolished, it is really not fun, I have no pleasure to navigate in these conditions, it is really hyper hard. We have a small thirty knots of wind, it is not that which is problematic. What is problematic is that we have the waves against us, not very big, but it is a sea completely disordered. The boat jumps on all the waves, we get shaken, it's hell, we have to stay permanently, it's really super complicated, besides, we mistreat the boat, it's very unpleasant. “


Seems like this is why they held up/stood by/waited/treaded water - whatever you want to call it - for a bit before setting out definitively for Capetown. No point in bashing yourselves and the boat to pieces if it isn’t going to help get you there any earlier than the guys who wait for the bad weather to pass and then set out, going faster and not having to make more repairs.
Even with the pounding hulls it still looks less physically uncomfortable than a beat against tide and wind on a monohull on the Chesapeake.

Now the mental stress of considering the very real possibility the boat is going to break in pieces in horrible conditions miles from shore and help and knowing you are pushing the boat harder than you ever have while you are struggling to do all you can to lessen the abuse...yeah, I get they are not having fun at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gitana hitting 30 knots every now & then in 6’ (2m) seas, while Actual Leader trails, at 24...

Something seems to be going on with Sodebo; change of course southward & speed much lower: 9 knots
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
They hit something Sunday night/Monday morning (about 00h30 Paris time Monday) going 35 knots. Took out their starboard rudder. They were going to check it out further in the daylight.
Three of the boats have had problems with appendages so far. Perhaps not surprising, half-way through a 14,000 mile jaunt. Lobster pots snag lots of boats with less mileage than that.
 

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They hit something Sunday night/Monday morning (about 00h30 Paris time Monday) going 35 knots. Took out their starboard rudder. They were going to check it out further in the daylight.
Three of the boats have had problems with appendages so far. Perhaps not surprising, half-way through a 14,000 mile jaunt. Lobster pots snag lots of boats with less mileage than that.
I wonder if their is a lot more debris floating around in the Atlantic from the hurricanes in the past few years. All circulating around in the gyre.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sodebo has withdrawn. The damage they have prevents them from going full-bore without possibly destroying the boat in the process.

Weather systems are giving the three remaining boats different options to try, with Macif taking what looks like a flyer out towards Brazil. After several slow days, she’s now traveling at 27 knots on an almost direct course back to Brest.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
First boat is in this morning! 29 days for a 14,000 mile double-handed jaunt. That averages out more than 20 knots, including their “pit stop” in Rio for repairs, and not taking into account the actual track they took, which was probably longer than 14,000 miles. The other boats are expected to finish later this week - they only have about 1300 miles left. Seems like they all know what they’re doing.

https://www.brestatlantiques.com
 
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