Hello everybody


Just through the first front, all good here next to my favourite wing man Damien. I’m happy to have found him, because yesterday I thought I had lost more miles than that…
It all started the night before… first of all I had a water alarm from the bow. Obviously I had to slow down to check and the alarm was right - loads of water. So pump out and see where it’s coming from. Luckily it was from a blown seal around my J3 ram. Easy ish fix: unscrew, replace seal, add Sika for good measure, re-close and seal tight. Job done, time to accelerate again !

On my way back from the bow I took’ the time to check the foil ram, as I had been loosing pressure and unable to keep the rake on. Disappointing to find oil dripping from a busted hose. So next mission - make a wedge to mechanically fix at an « average » rake. The making bit I could do more or less at full speed (being very careful with the power tools!) but I had to slow down again to install the wedge and sika it in place. Job done!!

Unfortunately (or maybe it should be fortunately!) whilst in the foil case working on the starboard foil, I gave a quick check on the port side and disappointed to see a turninblock on the foil down system had been ripped off the bulkhead (damaging the foil down line in the process.)  So, another job to do… My super team got thinking on how to sort something out for this one and so I decided it was time to eat something and get some energy ready for the foil down repair.

(Obviously, all this is being done whilst trying to maintain the boat at 100% speed with the right sails and trim!).
As I sat down, sandwich in one hand, electrolytes drink in the other…. BANG!! A huge explosion and the sound of ripping ropes and the boat slows down… I drop the sandwich and drink to run to deal with the problem…

The attachment for the tack of my gennaker had blown up, the tack then ripped off, ripping everything along its way, and the sail then was left flailing out to leeward! I quickly bore away, harness on, grabbed some rope, clips and bits and ran forward and managed to get a « leash » on the base of the sail that I could use to winch it back forward… success! I got the sail under control and managed to switch furlers and winch the tack back on my second tack line.

Then, I had to clear up the mess. The pulpit had been ripped clean off, the KJ jammer ripped off the deck, broken lines to untangle. I cleaned up and fixed my lifelines to the stem fitting on the bow, and now I will have to be extremely careful manoeuvring on the bow.

This was a long « down time » going slow again… and I still hadn’t done the foil fix.. finally it was night before I managed to fix a « B system » for the foil down. But all good now.

I was KO last night after all that. A bit frustrating, but this race is all about pushing and  testing our boats to see where we still have to make improvements, with a view to the Vendée globe, and I am definitely adding things to that list! So pretty happy!

Also, the positive point is that after all that I didn’t loose too many miles and I still have 100% of my boats potential for the remainder of the race!!
Now I need to catch up on some rest and some food (need to make another sandwich hahaha!)
Bonne journée!!