The latest race news from the race

Skipper's log: Sam Davies (Britain) and Paul Meilhat (France), Initiatives-Cœeur (IMOCA)

Skipper's log: Sam Davies (Britain) and Paul Meilhat (France), Initiatives-Cœeur (IMOCA)

Eight days ago, on the first night of the TJV, in 30+ knots of wind, our big gennaker (or A3 in sailing terms) blew out. 

It was the only old sail left in my sail wardrobe and had passed a “health check” earlier in the year but sadly we missed some signs of ageing and that has cost us some miles and a lot of energy in this race. 

The first rips in the sail were reparable, but just that in itself is a huge mission as you have to drop the massive (300m2) sail, unfurled, on the deck, rinse it, dry it and stick it back together. All this whilst racing at 100% of course. We managed this part, with a lot of energy and a good weather window in the high pressure. Unfortunately in doing so, we realized that ALL the seams were about to blow and this big gennaker was not going to help us much in the race. 

The unfortunate part is that we needed that sail for a big part of the next few days but knew it wouldn’t hold out so we had to sail compromised with other sails remplacing thé injured one, alternating between spinnaker and small gennaker. A frustrating and physically tough job but we managed Ok and didn’t loose too much. 

Then one section really called for the sail so we crossed fingers and put it up, our repair held out and the sail worked for 4h until it finally breathed its last breath and let go. 

Luckily our spinnaker and our A7 are doing a marvelous job to replace the gennaker and finally we are at a point in the race when our rivals will drop their gennakers and we will find ourselves back on a level playing field again, hopefully until the finish! 

And obviously, the project Initiatives Coeur is here to save lives, and the reality check of living with this amazing charity gets us through our moments of frustration and reminds us how lucky we are out here racing across the Atlantic. So on that theme, we will do what is best for the old A3 and donate it to make some special TJV 2019 handbags and sell them to raise more money for Mecenat Chirurgie Cardiaque. 

Bonne journée! 
Sam and Paul