At 9.30 utc | pos 41*08 S 073*04 E | heading ENE | speed 14,5kn

In News Archive by No Way Back4 Comments

Again an eventful night. Whilst asleep got hit by a mighty squall which propelled the boat with full sails well over 24 kn. Not totally under control, but much worse: instruments were completely off the track.
Whatever they were indicating was complete nonsense. Purely by luck I had left the pilot on compass mode, which I normally do not do when going to sleep. Now it saved the adventure ! Otherwise the boat would in that mega squall have done a pirouette and there would -at best- be no rig left, probably much worse!
I got the JT furled and the J3 as well and waited for the situation to calm down. As there were no stars, no moon, just blackness it was not pleasant….What there was, was a a lot of water !
Anyway, got in touch with the Magician (Antoine Mermod) and we went through the whole line of connections, back-ups etc, eliminating one by one sources of misfunction.
Finally we concluded the pilot is receiving -from time to time and very suddenly- wrong information about the wind. That happens like a gunshot so suddenly and so quick and without any warning, so the pilot just follows the wrong information immediately, sending boat and skipper on a path to hell.
Very scary!
But IF we are now right and know the source of the issue then we can hopefully work around it. For the moment I will enter the info by hand. No problem on the long staright stretches; it gets hairy whilst tacking or gybing and that usually happens in frontal, brutal conditions.
We’ll see.
And when it gets calmer …when ???…..maybe I can repair it. But takes some work at the mast and it must be dry and stable for any chance of succes.
Well, soon to switch to wind mode to see if the theory holds. Not looking forward, because it is piping up again, I just put in R2 and have J3 up .
But as it will from now increase to 30-35 kn I must straighten my back and DO IT.!!
Have a good day.


  1. Jan

    Back into floating workshop again, hope the weather and sea conditions allow you to work safely on the mast soon.
    Good luck and take care!


  2. Betty Monteyne Plooij

    Ook in België volgen wij uw reis op de voet 🙂
    Als Nederlandse (met een zeeman als vader) ben ik er trots op dat er een Nederlander aan deze race deelneemt !
    Behouden vaart,
    Betty Monteyne Plooij

  3. Maryse Chapron

    Hello Pieter
    I knew you were crazy but not to that point no !!! I can not believe it !!! THE Vendée Globe !!! ouahouh !!! and with a new boat with a foil !!!!
    Bravo !!! bravissimo !!! I am sure you have very difficult days (I am following the race) .
    Keep well
    Warm regards

  4. Cees H. Helfrich

    Van harte gefeliciteerd met deze geweldige prestatie !!!! Heb bizonder veel respect voor U als zeiler en ook als ondernemer.
    Hoop van ganzer harte dat U gezond en wel bent gefinisht. De allerbeste wensen en goede gezondheid voor U en uw echtgenoot,
    kinderen en family. Take care !!

    Met groet,
    Cees H. Helfrich

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