Vendee skipper Sébastien Destremeau on Merci laid his boat down on its side to make the mast climb easier to fix his anemometer.
Destremeau had sufferd continuing problems with a malfunctioning masthead anemometer, and twice climbed the mast, but to no avail.
After a long conversation with his brothers last night, they concluded that the best thing would be to lie the boat down on its side to make the climb easier.
In other words, to set the sails against the sea and let the keel hang as much as possible.
Thursday morning there were 25/30 knots, so it was not possible, but by the evening the wind dropped below 20.
The sea was still choppy and it was going to be rough up there but the idea was to go up on the mainsail and not by the mast which is extremely dangerous to get knocked about on.
As a result, with the boat lying down it was a bit like walking on the mainsail which was above the water.
It was quite impressive, but it worked very well.
Destremeau was able to reach the top without hurting himself too much and discovered that the anemometer wasn’t broken but just disconnected.
So, he reinforced it and came down almost as if on a slide down the mainsail.
He was so happy that this job was finally done that he celebrated had good meal of beef and carotts!
Miranda Merron yesterday had to deal with a sudden loss of hydraulic oil in her keel rams as, it turns out, a tiny seal had broken.
In consultation with her partner Halvard Mabire the British skipper managed to refill the oil reservoir and all is good again on board Campagne de France.
Other news is that Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss has reached Cape Town, to officially announce his retirement.
“My arrival here in Cape Town marks our retirement from the race. To everyone who has sent messages – a huge thank you. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received. It means so much to us, it really does.
“Right now, I’m looking forward to a shower, some sleep and getting home to my wife and my beautiful children”.
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 27 – Fri 4 Dec – 11:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 16,351 nm to finish – sailing at 17.8 knots
2nd FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 142 nm
3rd FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 203 nm
4th FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 374 nm
5th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 386 nm
6th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 396 nm
7th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY – 451 nm
8th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 457 nm
9th FRA Isabelle JOSCHKE – MACSF – 550 nm
10th FRA Giancarlo Pedote – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 557 nm
23rd GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 2287 nm
27th GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 3090 nm
Heading to Cape Town:
14th FRA Sebastien Simon – ARKEA PAPREC – 1174 nm – Foil Damaged – sailing at 8 knots
15th GBR Sam Davies – INITIATIVES-COEUR – 1234 nm – Damaged – sailing at 7 knots
Retired: Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Escoffier, Alex Thomson