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Author Topic: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races  (Read 85706 times)

Offline hajduk

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Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #435 on: November 30, 2020, 05:26:02 pm »
Le Cam is famous to take «seriously» les plaisirs de la vie in consideration on his boat! Some nice bottle of wine and some good meals for ex.


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Offline goosehd

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #436 on: November 30, 2020, 06:41:51 pm »
More news:


Two Other Skippers Have Been Requested To Head To The Zone
30 November 2020 - 19:30 •

Race Direction have requested that Boris Herrmann and Yannick Bestaven alter course to head to the zone to help.

Offline Giles

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #437 on: November 30, 2020, 07:43:20 pm »
JEEZ.....
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline goosehd

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #438 on: November 30, 2020, 07:58:14 pm »
This doesn’t look good....they have just requested another skipper to the area. 

Race Direction have requested that Boris Herrmann and Yannick Bestaven and also Sebstien Simon alter course to head to the zone to help.

Offline Aetas

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #439 on: November 30, 2020, 08:13:13 pm »
Told my kids not to worry, because Cam was very near.
 But to request  three skippers into the zone doesn‘t sound harmless.
Fingers crossed …

Offline goosehd

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #440 on: November 30, 2020, 10:09:04 pm »
Taken and translated from a French news article:

By Sandrine Lefèvre

On 30 November 2020 at 5.49 p.m., amended on 30 November 2020 at 10:35 p.m.

A long wait on the Vendée Globe. On Monday at 10:30 p.m., Kevin Escoffier, a refugee on his liferaft off the cap of good hope, was unhearsed. While Jean Le Cam has been sailing in the same area since 5 p.m. to try to lend him a hand, several skippers have confusing themselves to help him.

On Monday in the early afternoon, while on his way to the Cape of Good Hope in a formed sea, Escoffier triggered his beacon of distress. It was 14:46 in France, when the skipper of PRB sent a final message to his team down, warning that he had water in his boat. As soon as he was alerted, the race management asked Jean Le Cam, who was sailing at about twenty miles (37 km) to assist him.

A very dreaded area

On the spot, the dean of the race saw Kevin Escoffier on his lifeboat and then unplored his engine to recover it. A technical problem on Jean Le Cam's boat prevented maneuver. Soon, the race management asked Boris Herrmann, Yannick Bestaven and then Sébastien Simon to take place to help him. Their arrival in the area was planned around 11 p.m. Rescue could last all night, or even until early morning. Sea conditions are dangerous.

Offline goosehd

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #441 on: November 30, 2020, 10:41:19 pm »
Taken from the Vendee Globe website:

2200hrs UTC NEWS UPDATE
Race Direction of the Vendée Globe requested the assistance of three competing skippers, Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco), Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC) to help Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) in the mission to retrieve solo skipper Kevin Escoffier from his life raft after the 40 year old from Saint Malo had to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB this Monday afternoon after activating his distress beacon.

Escoffier was racing in third place on the 22nd day of the solo non stop around the world race, at some 840 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, when his PRB got into difficulties and he was forced to take to his liferaft.

He alerted his technical team at 1346hrs UTC this afternoon, telling them he had significant amounts of water coming into the boat and immediately triggered his yacht's distress beacon. PRB was positioned at 40deg55S 9deg16E at the time the distress beacon was activated.

Race Direction of the Vendée Globe alerted MRCC Cape Town and CROSS Griz Nez who have been collaborating in a rescue operation. The skipper closest to Escoffier’s position, Jean Le Cam, who is competing on his fifth Vendée Globe, immediately responded to the request to divert to Escoffier’s position.

Guided by Race Direction Le Cam arrived on zone around 1615hrs UTC and quickly established visual and voice contact with Escoffier who was in his liferaft but he was unable to retrieve him in the big, 5m, seas and 20-25 knot winds. 

As he was manoeuvring to prepare to get closer to the liferaft Le Cam lost sight of the liferaft and could not establish radio contact nor to pick up the signal from the AIS the range of which was reduced by the heavy seas.

He lost sight of Escoffier in the dying light but has continued to try and locate him, Le Cam is communicating regularly with Race Direction and the rescue authorities. The three other skippers are now in, or are approaching the search area.  The positioning of Kevin Escoffier's personal beacon (AIS MOB Man Over Board) emits HF radiowaves and will only be detected in the local zone.

The four skippers will follow a protocol established by Race Direction in coordination with Jean Le Cam. They will approach with three reefs in the mainsail and the engine idling. A grid search area for the zone has been established and will be carried out by the four IMOCAs who are set to provide assistance.

The PRB shore crew said that besides his AIS Mob, Kevin Escoffier also means to signal his presence in the liferaft. Daybreak tomorrow morning is around 0340hrs UTC in this zone and the search will be ongoing.

This press release has been drawn up jointly with the Vendée Globe and Team PRB.

Offline goosehd

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #442 on: December 01, 2020, 03:09:57 am »
Good news and quite possibly one of the best stories of 2020: (taken directly from the Vendee Globe news feed)

After eleven and a half hours in his liferaft since being forced to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB in strong winds and big seas 840  nautical miles SW of Cape Town, Vendée Globe skipper Kevin Escoffier was dramtically rescued by fellow competitor Jean Le Cam at around 0118hrs UTC this Tuesday morning.

Escoffier was racing in third place on the 22nd day of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race in 25-30kts SWly winds and big seas when his boat nosedived into a wave and, he reported after his rescue, literally broke in two, giving him minutes to grab his survival suit and take to his liferaft.

His boat’s emergency distress beacon was automatically activated. The emergency signal was transmitted to CROSS Griz Nez which immediately alerted Vendée Globe Race Direction in Les Sables d’Olonne.

At the same time 40 year old Escoffier from Saint Malo, a very experienced southern ocean racer who has won the crewed Volvo Ocean Race and held the Trophée Jules Verne record for the crewed  speed record round the world, called his technical team with the terse message "I need assistance. I am sinking. This is not a joke."

Race Direction called on Jean Le Cam, the racer closest to PRB’s position, to divert his course immediately to the zone. The veteran 61 year old who is on his fifth Vendée Globe race, arrived at around  1615hrs UTC and located Escoffier’s liferaft, establishing visual and voice contact despite the big, unruly seas and winds gusting to 35kts.

But Le Cam's repeated initial efforts failed and Race Direction had to escalate the operation.

Remarkably it was hours later,  only when Escoffier appeared in the background of a video call that Le Cam had left running through the entire proceedure, that Race Direction fully realised Le Cam had rescued the stricken solo racer.

Le Cam recalled “Because I had a good position. I told him I will be back there was no need to rush things. I had just the main with two reefs in 30-32 knots with the rough seas it was not easy to manoeuvre. I came back to the spot where I left him but there was no one there.” Le Cam reported early this morning, “ I went there (looking for him) five or six times which means I had to tack five or six times because of the mishaps that happened all the time, the sea state and so on, I ended up going backwards and lost sight of him.”

Because of the pitch black night and the bad wind and sea conditions, Race Direction requested three other skippers to divert to the rescue zone, Germany’s Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco), Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC).

Race Direction drew up a search protocol using Meteo France’s MOTHY (Modèle Océanique de Transport d'HYdrocarbures). drift prediction programme and engaged the three solo skippers in a triangle search pattern. They had intermittent distress beacon signals which appeared to follow no pattern.

Race Director Jacques Caraës explained, “We always had a signal. The only position we were getting was the MOB but we did not know if it was attached to Kevin as it appeared to be quite random and moving a lot from one place to another. And so we did not know if the EPIRB was in the liferaft or close to the boat or what. At some point we thought we thought the EPIRB could be in the liferaft, it could be with him, the EPRB could be drifting in the water or it could be attached to the IMOCA (yacht). And so it was not easy. But when we saw that the EPIRB position was lining up with the drift prediction track we sent Jean to that point.”

“We had organised a triangle search scan pattern with Yannick Bestaven, who went seven miles away, then Boris was closer and Sébastien was closer. They did seven miles across by 0.3 of a mile apart on each scan. They sailed with three reefs. Jean Le Cam recommended that because it was a battle. The wind was dropping a bit. But at the beginning when Jean saw Kevin the weather was bad. Jean did seven scans.”

Speaking on a video link this morning a relieved Le Cam said, “I arrived, it was all good, I saw him. Kevin in his liferaft. Because I had a good position. I told him I will be back there was no need to rush things. I had just the main with two reefs in 30-32 knots with the rough seas it was not easy to manoeuvre. I came back to the spot where I left him but there was no one there.  I went there (looking for him) five or six times which means I had to tack five or six times because of the mishaps that happened all the time, the sea state and so on, I ended up going backwards.”

“I told myself I would stay on standby and wait for daylight. Then I thought that in the dark it might be easier to see his light. One moment when I was on deck I saw a flash, but in fact it was a reflection that glinted off a wave. But the more I got closer to the light I saw it more and more. It is amazing because you switch from despair to an unreal moment in an instant.”

“I put myself to windward of him, I saw Kevin. Kevin asked me ‘will you be back?’ I said, ‘No we are doing this now!’ Then at one point the boat was falling backwards  too fast in reverse and he was just there, two metres off the stern, and thank goodness I had prepared the red life ring that is usually in the cockpit. I throw it to him, and he catches it.I threw him the life ring. And he caught it and then he managed to pull himself in to catch the transmission bar (rudder link arm). And that was it.”

Escoffier described the moment the boat literally folded from the bow, “You see the images of shipwrecks? It was like that, but worse. In four seconds the boat nosedived, the bow folded at 90°. I put my head down in the cockpit, a wave was coming. I had time to send one text before the wave fried the electronics. It was completely crazy. It folded the boat in two. I’ve seen a lot before but this one…”

Caraës praised his team and the collaboration of the rescue authorities and Jean-Jacques Laurent the CEO of PRB, a long time sponsor of entries into the Vendée Globe who was at Race HQ all night, assisting and supporting the mission,
“It is the outcome we were hoping for. It was pitch black, not easy conditions but finally the outcome is almost a miracle. It was not easy to pick Kevin up in the middle of the night, Jean is an extremely experienced sailor and he always followed our instructions to the letter. And we were lucky enough to have experts helping us on all sides, Meteo France with their drift simulation programme that corresponded with our EPIRB tracking. But we had lots of unknowns, lots of different positions. We had to be positive all the time and believe in things. We were lucky, luck was on our side. It is a very happy outcome and we at Race Direction are very happy.”
 

This amazing rescue reverses roles played out between 5th and 6th January 2009, during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. Vincent Riou, the then the skipper of PRB, rescued Jean Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA 60 which had capsized 200 miles west of Cape Horn. Le Cam was trapped inside his upturned VM Materiaux for 16 hours during which time it was not known for certain  if Le Cam was safe inside his boat or not.

Asked this morning if he was scared or worried during his ordeal in his liferaft Escoffier replied, “No. As soon as I had seen Jean I was sure I would be saved.”

« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:14:43 am by goosehd »

Offline Giles

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #443 on: December 01, 2020, 11:12:53 am »
Jean obviously has not been able to get to a dentist recently  :D :D

"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline steelworker

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #444 on: December 01, 2020, 11:56:35 am »

Astounding. What a feat. It sounds like they're in a cement mixer.
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Offline Graeme

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #445 on: December 02, 2020, 01:27:47 am »
Jean obviously has not been able to get to a dentist recently  :D :D

It would be considered outside assistance, and he would be penalised for it! :-X

I am very glad that Le Cam rescued Escoffier.

A friend from Brest used to sail with Jean Le Cam back in the seventies or eighties. He told me that they did Cowes Week one year, and there were in a pub where some young people hanging out, I can't remember if they were mods or rockers, but I have a feeling they were causing a bit of trouble.

My friend turned around to see Le Cam pouring a pint of beer down the trousers of the ringleader. A fracas ensued!

Offline Giles

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"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline goosehd

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #447 on: December 03, 2020, 02:08:03 pm »
Agree, what a mess.  I'm hoping that Alex can make it the rest of the way to the Cape unscathed. 

Offline Giles

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #448 on: December 03, 2020, 02:13:07 pm »
He's not that far away, he's doing over 300nm per day.  He's on a beam reach which is the easiest/fastest point of sail, and it looks like he will be on a beam reach all the way to the mainland.  Just don't friggin hit anything.....
"OK face up to it - you're useless but generally pretty honest and straightforward . . . it's a rare combination of qualities that I have come to admire in you" - Geo 2011

Offline Graeme

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Re: Our Mate Alex Thompson’s Races
« Reply #449 on: December 03, 2020, 10:31:24 pm »
The Vendée Globe is a war of attrition. I can't remember the statistics, but I think that you can expect at least a third of the fleet to retire.

I'm sorry to hear that Sam Davies looks to be out of the race. She seems to have been unlucky getting projects off the ground, despite having a decent record in competition. :(