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The bikes are just to power the winches, not power the boat.

The electrical power for most of the boats comes from towed generators. But keep in mind these generators are optimized differently that the ones most cruisers use. First they run the batteries down to ~20% since the cost of new ones is immaterial to the boat program, and only charge to 80%. So the generator only operates at bulk charging ranges. This means they can throw huge amounts of power at the batteries for short periods of time, accept that the batteries will have shortened lifespans, and not worry about it.

The hydro-gens are optimized for this. High speed running above 20kn puts out a lot of power, which allows for smaller props, short times, and unlike a lot of cruisers these boats use lowered shaft drive gens, not towed behind.

Here is a nice article about the hydro-gens... Not really relavent to this post, but it has some nice pics of the installations. http://www.vsail.info/2013/01/08/be...roblems-date-from-months-before-vendee-globe/

And here is the actual generator the Mod70's are using
http://www.wattandsea.com/en/racing-hydrogenerator . Keep in mind these are expected to operate continuious lay at speeds in excess of 15kn boat speed, and up to 30kn. So the vpp's they use allow optimization at any speed.

And here is a nice article about the bike being used on Spindrift (131' Tri) as well as a video about the bike they are using. http://www.spindrift-racing.com/2014/03/spindrift-racing-series-40-metres-solo-episode-6-the-bike/
 

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It looks like Spindrift keeps closing the gap (down to 120nm) and so long as BP doesn't sail into better conditions may be able to chase her down. There is no question that Spindrift is the faster boat, but with a lead already established BP may be able to gain an advantage in conditions...

I wonder how much BP's handeling ability played a part in getting thru the storm helped. Given it takes almost an hour to reef Spin, there is a real possibility the boat had to be intentionally de powered more than the early conditions dictated for safety.
 

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PCP,

also remember he has only spent a few months on BP. He was selected as the emergency skipper when the original one pulled out for health reasons. Of course it is his seventh time doing this race, so it isn't like its his first time out on these boats.

It's an amazing win, glad he did it.
 
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