Sunday, January 4, 2009

Updates from Vendee Globe Race

Sam admits one little fear
"Yesterday I passed a special mark in my personal voyage around the globe. Eleven years ago, Royal and SunAlliance was dismasted at 52S 129W during our Trophee Jules Verne record attempt. I was ony 23 and unknowingly on the adventure that would pave out the path for my carreer. I think I was almost too young really - I remember suffering so much from the cold, fatigue, fear and discovering how to go way beyond my limits for the first time. We all learnt so much on that record attempt. In fact we were sailing our catamaran to record pace when we were dismasted which made the blow even harder to swallow. We had been hit by a huge wave, residual from the 60-knot storm we had recently ridden out. We had all promised that we'd be back, and this is my part of that promise, eleven years on! Ever since the start of this Vendee Globe, there has been just one little fear that I have not talked about to anyone because it is stupid - and that is to get beyond the longitude of our dismasting, safe and well. So, now it is done - Roxy has passed over 129W and I have toasted our mast, and given Neptune some chocolate. I feel like a little weight has lifted off me and I can now really aim for Cape Horn!" - Sam Davies (Roxy) in her daily message

Weed in the cockpit
"Incredible! I knew Moitessier grew lentils or peas, to get his supply of vitamin C to ward off scurvy, and that others are seaweed to fight against boredom. I've seen weed growing on the transoms of boats where the water can be stagnant. But this is a first, there's weed in the cockpit on the floor. I can't tell you what kind or variety, but it's definitely not paint or dirt. It just shows that we're in the wet all the time and it never dries off. I'm going to call in the surgeon to fit me out with gills considering the circumstances. But meanwhile this is going to have to dry out. If all goes well it will be a question of hours now..." - Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) in his daily message

Tricky conditions for Aviva
"It has been a difficult past 24 hours. The wind has been gusting 47 knots and in the lulls been as low as 22 knots and the sea has been huge having a large impact on the speed of the boat. Poor Aviva has been over powered at times and hugely under powered at times. It has been difficult progress but we hope the worst is through now as the gusts have not exceeded 37 knots recently but I can tell you the waves are still massive. We can be screeching along at 25 knots or stuck between waves at 9 knots of boat speed. So a little uncomfortable and it has meant a restless night for me so I will be trying to sleep some more when I can and that will be easier when the wind stops whistling through the rigging." - Dee Caffari (Aviva) in her daily message this evening -