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Any one else watch the Vendee. I've been watching pretty consistently since early 90s.

Exciting stuff, crazy adventures. I have read some of the books (Godforsaken Sea), I have gone to see participants speak at boat shows and been aboard one of the boats.

Any way, I have read expectations that a foiler might win this year?

Any one else watch the Vendee globe race? I think I will be checking in daily. Race starts in about a week.
 

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Should be interesting! If the foilers don't hit things and can keep their foils on...

The "Village" has been closed for Covid, but the site continues with announcements... in English, even!
 

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How do you watch? I've seen snippets of this and the Volvo, but they've felt like highlight reels on the news the next morning. I'd give it a try, but it's a serious question. Do you watch a daily recap?
 

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Boats will likely be using drones to take videos and downloading them onto the site. Singlehanded, there might not be daily updates. Windshifts, sail changes might keep people occupied. There's also usually a tracking page that shows relative positions and speeds.
 

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Reading above that there is a foiling boat in the race, I wonder how that works single handed. No way it stays up on foil, while sleeping. Right? Also, am I right to assume these boats are permitted to have computerized tech that will adjust an underwater plane to assist in the foil?
 

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Reading above that there is a foiling boat in the race, I wonder how that works single handed. No way it stays up on foil, while sleeping. Right? Also, am I right to assume these boats are permitted to have computerized tech that will adjust an underwater plane to assist in the foil?
On most of the new generation IMOCA 60s, the autopilot does better than the human. They stay foiling while sleeping. The foils are designed to maintain stability (their angle of attack is not adjustable per se).

I confess I will be glued to the tracker until Hugo Boss leads them home 🙂
 

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They stay foiling while sleeping.
I think I'd want a seat belt in my bunk, in the event the bow stuffed along the way. This stuff is crazy.
 

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I don't think the boats are full foiling. They can skim off the aft quarter, with like 80% of the hull out of the water. The class rules don't allow for T shaped rudders, and I don't think they can automatically adjust the fail rake, so there's no way to keep full stable flight. In practice, it looks like they keep everything forward of the foils out of the water at decent speed in flat water. I'm also told that they have a better ride in steep waves.

Per @Minnewaska's statement, they sleep with their feet facing forward in case they hit something. When Hugo Boss hit something in their Atlantic race, they said they were lucky not to have broken any bones.
 

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Doesn't everybody sleep feet forward unless they're in the quarterberth? The IMOCA 60's aren't going to be as fast as the Maxi trimarans of the Brest-Atlantiques race, but they're not slow.
 

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Doesn't everybody sleep feet forward unless they're in the quarterberth?
Underway, yes. Very, very few people make passages they must sleep underway.

Come to think of it, my fav nap spot in the cockpit, if making a long day passage, is head forward, but there's a long way to go for my head to hit anything and quite unlikely that my wife is going to t-bone anything in daylight.

Speaking of quarter berths, I was sleeping in one alone and got a muscle spasm, in my ham string. The only way to stop it is to stretch the muscle out of the spasm, but there was not enough room to straighten my leg and bend that far. I also couldn't get out, without making the spasm worse. It was like 10-15 min of hellish torture.
 

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Just found this. North Sails has produced a series of videos on the Vendée Globe. Quick interview format with some fantastic camera shots of racers under sail. Here's the first one:
 

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Boats will likely be using drones to take videos and downloading them onto the site. Singlehanded, there might not be daily updates. Windshifts, sail changes might keep people occupied. There's also usually a tracking page that shows relative positions and speeds.
I would think a drone would have trouble keeping up with one of these boats.
 

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You may be right. Drones managed to keep up with the maxi foiling tris on the Brest-Atlantiques up to what looks like about 20 knots: Vidéos, photos et audios. But the boats in that race reportedly carried several drones... just in case. Other videos of the tri's seem to switch to hand-held shots on board when they get going over 25 knots. Boats in the Vendée Globe aren't in optimal heavy air yet, but are positioning themselves to take advantage of Tropical Storm Theta if they can. Should get interesting soon! One boat had its rudder hit something and is returning to France.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
These daily updates by Alex Thomson are entertaining. Seem to be about a minute or two in length.

 

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One boat dismasted: Corum L'épargne heading to the Cape Verde Islands. Good thing it happened before they got to the Southern Ocean! Charal restarted today after fixes completed. 32 boats. Some approaching the Equator about a week after they started. Foilers don't seem to be outpacing all the standard boats at this point; winds have not been optimal for them. Web TV - Vendée Globe
 

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Alex Thompson still #1, but says he's worried since he and many of the competitors have the same mast as Corum L'épargne...
 
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