Golden Globe Race. Difficult conditions for the competitors, Damien Guillou left

220426 – Lorient – Training for the 2022 Golden Globe Race, skipper: Damien Guillou ©Yann Riou – polaRYSE / PRB

Heavy weather and heavy seas affect the competitors as a train of depressions advances over Europe. Damien Guillou, the skipper of PRB back in Les Sables for repairs was able to set off again this Saturday.

While the four leaders are converging on Cape Finisterre from the North and East, Tapio Lehtinen’s strategy is paying off.
More headwinds next week along the Portuguese coast, difficult progress towards Lanzarote.
The new start date in September for the Golden Globe Race did not make the start from Les Sables d’Olonne any easier. It is a period of weather transition on the Bay of Biscay and the route to Lanzarote is uncertain as the fleet suffers a train of depression heading towards Europe.
This means strong headwinds and choppy to heavy seas for participants trying to get out of the Bay of Biscay. The fleet split into two groups early on, with a western option to catch today’s rotation and make a direct route to Cape Finisterre, and a southern option along the coast of Asturias and Galicia in sheltered waters and calmer winds. Arnaud Gaist, who was heading north, changed tack in the afternoon and sent a message to the organisation: “all is well on board Hermès Phoning”.

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The result will be known tomorrow Friday when Tapio Lehtinen, the only sailor to have persisted in the western option, will converge with Pat Lawless, Simon Curwen and Abhilash Tomy who lead the southern option towards Cape Finisterre before the descent along the coasts of Portugal. Case to follow as a new week is announced. Participants share their frustration with PC GGR in most of their communications.

Guy deBoer got seasick and cut his leg, but he continued on his way. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / Etienne Messikommer
Favorite Damien Guillou arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne on Friday to repair a regulator base which has become loose in heavy weather. is distributed. After spending the night from Tuesday to Wednesday in heavy seas to try to repair, he had no choice but to return to Les Sables d’Olonne.

Damien left the pontoon in Les Sables d’Olonne at 2:45 p.m. today. Serene, rested, all smiles, the skipper of PRB showed the same determination that drove him last Sunday at the start with all the competitors in the Golden Globe Race. He is therefore setting off again in the race since the condition to be able to continue his round the world race without GPS, solo, non-stop and without assistance was to cross the starting line again before tomorrow, Sunday 4 p.m. ” It’s all good ! I’m going back ! It’s repaired and reinforced so nothing to worry about. The wind conditions will be quite light at the start with a few transitions to manage. But overall, I’ll be able to progress downwind to Cape Finisterre. It’s the exact opposite of the conditions we had for the start. »

This will undoubtedly bring back memories to the inhabitants of Les Sables d’Olonne who saw Michel Desjoyeaux return in 2008 after 200 miles for repairs, before winning his second Vendée Globe. Time will tell, and the boats in the two events don’t have much in common, but the headwinds that await the fleet next week could well be the occasion for a great comeback!

The strong headwinds and the sea put a strain on the boats and the sailors. Leaks, shorts, radio and WeatherFax problems were mentioned several times. Guy deBoer got seasick and cut his leg, but he continued on his way. Ertan Beskardes hit by a wave fell into the cockpit, unconscious, injuring his arm. He contacted MSOS 24 doctors from the GGR. Today he sent a message of encouragement: “All is well on board, we are making slow progress, the weather is good, the food is superb“. Edward Walentynowicz, who is otherwise doing a good mid-fleet race, informed GGR PC today that he is considering retiring and will call wife and team manager Magda to discuss his options before making his decision. He remains in the GGR and will receive an 18-hour penalty.

As the lead boats head out of the Bay of Biscay, the fleet still receives regular forecasts by HF, VHF radio and weather fax to work out their route and strategy, including Separation Scheme passage choices Traffic (DST) from Cape Finisterre, before heading for more headwinds along the coast of Portugal this weekend, as a depression forms over the Azores. This week is tough, and the next few days will certainly be interesting, as the sailors leave the Bay of Biscay for Lanzarote. Hang on!

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Golden Globe Race. Difficult conditions for the competitors, Damien Guillou left