IMOCA 60 Class
75 year old Robin Knox Johnson has moved onto third place in the Rhum Class. Let's hear it for the old guy!!!
Gabart's Route du Rhum was carefully modulated. He proved on the Vendee Globe that he is an innately fast, confident and hard driving skipper, belying his tender years in the class. This time he lead since Cape Frehel just after start line on Sunday November 2nd and was never passed.
After less than 24 hours racing he was already 3 miles ahead and in control of a pack comprising Beyou and 2004-5 Vendee Globe winner Vincent Riou and Marc Guillemot. Riou was a closer contender before he had to retire with structural damage to his mainsheet track while a combination of small problems hobbled the challenge of Guillemot (Safran) who finished third in 2010. South of the Azores, Beyou cut the corner back to the north-west and closed the gap to less than 20 miles, but Gabart was able to extend on the SW side of the Azores high when he manoeuvred into better breeze and progressively opened out on each position report.
When he crossed the finish line off Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe this Friday afternoon to win the IMOCA 60 Class in La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe, Francois Gabart completed a vey rare back-to-back solo ocean double, adding the Route du Rhum solo Transatlantic to his 2012 victory in the Vendee Globe, the solo non stop around the world race.
Just as he won the legendary Vendee Globe at 29 at his first attempt, the youngest ever winning skipper, so today he also added the Route du Rhum title on his first time in the four- yearly solo race from Saint Malo to Guadloupe.
Remarkably just four years ago he was in Guadeloupe to greet and help Michel Desjoyeaux. In the intervening period he launched his IMOCA 60 project, sailed only three solo races and won all three.
In Class 40 Alex Pella is still holding that lead of about 73 miles on Kito de Pavant.
And in the Rhum Class Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is now up to third place on Grey Power.
Robin J K
Curry Night on Grey Power
We are getting more squalls now, usually with rain. The wind rises and veers, usually about 2 points of the compass ( 22 1/2 degrees), but we did have one very heavy rain squall where it shifted 5 points and for a while we were steering 260 degrees on the port tack,so, since I cannot set wind control of the compass I have to stay ready to turn downwind or we would be knocked on our side. So I camped out in the cockpit, throwing my bed through the hatch every time it rained. These squalls will increase as we approach the Windies, and present a problem as far as sail setting is concerned, in the squalls we have too much sail, but between them them, when the wind subsides, we have too little. This is the weak point on this boat as with everything so big, a sail chage takes time, sometimes longer than the gap between the squalls and calms, so one tends to be cautious and inevitably lose speed.
We are now in the Tropics after all but its a pity man cannot work out how to get this rain land 2000 miles east of here.
Busy night for shipping as well, as I saw 3 ships so we must be on a shipping lane. There may have been others when I was dozing but none came within the safety zone on my plotter which sets off an alarm, either from radar or AIS. INTERESTING FACT
I forgot my seabird book which is annoying as there were two small black birds, the size of petrels, with a flash of white beneath the wing on the body, dancing around the boat. Probably chasing flying fish which have been jumping out of the water at our approach and then gliding along the top of the surface. They don't actively fly, but they build up speed in the water, launch themselves into the air, and then their extended pectoral fins act as wings. Its when they climb too high they land on deck and then usually die.
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Cake Running Out on Grey Power
Another cockpit night with squalls coming through. One wipe-out, bottom rising and sailing fast over on our side until he managed to get across the cockpit and let the mains sheet go and get the Auto pilot back on. We had too much canvas up for anything but a very small angle right downwind just trying to stop Mura getting too far away. I took in the first reef to make the boat more manageable, but we are still getting bursts of over 20 knots speed on occasions.
Under 1000 miles to go to the finish just after 1500 your time yesterday That is a straight line though, and we shall have to put in a gybe. Its the timing of that gybe which will matter from a tactical perspective.
The official time on the boat is now 3 hours behind the UK. TY his is because I am more than 45 degrees west longitude, so the sun rises 3 hours after the UK. Just as it rises about 20 minutes later than London in Cornwall.
I doubt the cake will last to the finish. Its a quarter disappeared already!
:hothead: :hothead: :hammer: :hothead