Vendée Globe  
93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

VG Week 7th. SOH Ship’s log – Nándor on the Pacific ocean – VG live with Nándor Fa – HAPPY WINTER HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS, Joyeux Noël

25th Dec. early morning -SOH77  is sailing 8th. Nandor’s message is:  “No wind, time to check many parts of the boat and sails, to repare what are necessery. I can take a short time to enjoy my presents from my family and friends, thank you for all of you the nice surprises. The Pacific seams more dificoult than the Indian ocean. I am slowed down now and try to find better solution temporerily with a northerly direction to find better wind. I hope It takes not too long and I can sail again.”


VendéeGlobe onboard_photo©NándorFa_SoH77 25th Dec 2016

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#VENDÉEGLOBE 24th DECEMBER Spirit of Hungary PACIFIC OCEAN

HAPPY WINTER HOLIDAYS, MERRY CHRISTMAS,

#SpiritofHungary #FaNándor #SOH77 Here we are 

17-23 Dec. Two skippers are trying to reach land, Thomas Ruyant has made it, he’s safe! Bravo Thomas! But what’s going to happen to sma? Bonne chance Paul! Bon courage Stéphane !

23th Dec. VG LIVE TODAY with Nándor Fa at 13:00 French time

VG live TODAY at 12:00 UTC with Nándor Fa Spirit of Hungary skipper and invited Nandor’s guest in the studio, his szponzor fom the #ZOLTEK – Didier Ecabert – Zoltek Co. Vice President European Business and Supply Chain Management.

The ZOLTEK carbonfiber company was the first sponsor and carbon supplier to inspired Nándor Fa to build a new 60 foot in Hungary, the founder of ZOLTEK, former owner and CEO Zsolt Rumy (USA) visited several times Nándor during the
boatbuilding in Hungary.

VG live with Nandor Fa available to replay here:


The Vendée Globeée LIVE of the 23th December / Vendée… by VendeeGlobeTV

Fa Nándor official FB site, daily update: https://www.facebook.com/SpiritOfHungary

VG TV LIVE http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/web-tv

29 IMOCA boats started on 6th. November 2016 in the Vendée Globe. There’s been a series of damages in the fleet … “I’m thinking about my fellow skippers who are in trouble…dramatic.”

The Pacific did not throw a warm welcome, its name didn’t quite match its behavior. Nandor’s first Pacific night there was extremely difficult.

SOH77Ship’s Log 22th-23rd December

22nd Dec. 12:30 UTC, in the night,

The night brings what it always brings: increasing wind, active clouds and rain, which always arrives with 10 knots plus. During the day, grey and dark grey are shifting each other, I almost need headlight when working during the day. Dark grey rain clouds are hanging down onto the surface of the ocean, where they’re running with the wind, and everything happens unbelievably fast. Clouds come and go, they run over us and disappear, giving their place to the next ones.

I was just thinking about how one learns to live much more economically out here. You only move as much as you have to and you use just enough of everything, only the amount necessary. This relates to everything including water, toilet paper, tissues, sometimes I even limit my thoughts so that I don’t overthink for no reason. It just strains my nerves, which is unnecessary. Kitchen paper is a good example for all this. When I tear off a piece, it starts on the chart table as a cleaning cloth for my glasses. After that it continues its career by cleaning the camera lenses, the computer’s keyboard, the monitor, and then it becomes a tissue. Only after that does it go into the trash. Even such a tiny little piece of paper carries several functions before having been thrown out.

The wind decreased, but the waves have not calmed so the boat is always dancing. Every move onboard requires significant efforts. Despite all this, I decided to take down the broken reacher. I fought with the task, it took serious energies from me. I put it away, I won’t use it anymore. The problem is not that it’s a little bit broken, because that could be fixed. The major issue is that its structure is coming apart because it’s a very old sail. This is my only sail that we already used during the Barcelona World Race back in 2014-15. It seemed to be in perfect condition when I checked it, that is why I didn’t order another one before this race. Now it could only be used as an umbrella or be recycled to become a bag. This is the second one of my sails, whose career has come to an end. I still have 6 sails. I went to the bow to see the little rip on the solent, I couldn’t go out there until now. It required some reparations, so I took needles and thread with me. In the meantime, the bow was dancing on the waves. I managed to pierce my own hand too, which I didn’t even feel at first because my hands were so senseless from all the sea water and cold. I only realized it when I saw the blood.

I was hoisting the A3, when I saw that we were about to pass the Campbell island. It wasn’t safe to pass above it with the A3. I hoisted it anyway, then I furled it in and rolled back the solent. After having passed the island I changed it for the A3 again. 

SOH_VG2016_Onboard©NandorFa_SpiritofHungary_23_12_2016_Campbell_Island1

At the 53. latitude in the South by the border of the ice exclusion zone, it’s always cold, even during the day. Not even the occasionally appearing weak little sunlight can warm us up. It’s only good food that matters as inner heating. I cooked a nice big lunch for myself to bring back some energy, now I feel much better. Here I eat much more calories than back home, and these meals contain much more energy than a normal meal on land.

Tactically, the coming days are going to be difficult, and we are going to go slower until the 27th. Then I’m supposed to have another train to get on. Until then: patience and a lot of work.

Position on 23rd dec.: 10:10 UTC, 52° 56′ S, 170° 40′ E, Tomorrow is Christmas!


SOH77 Ship’s Log 20th – 20-21th December

20th Dec. 20:20 UTC I’m just over my most difficult night in the race so far. The night is over, but the struggle is not. It was pitch-dark, I couldn’t see anything. Not even the tough rain clouds that were approaching me. I only realized them when a 40-knot gust knocked off the boat. I jumped to furl up the reacher, with which we’ve been progressing perfectly until that moment.

I was still winching the sheet when another sudden gust hit us and made the boat gybe. I was in hell. The main was laying on the backstay above my head, so I couldn’t ease it. Everything was flying back and forth inside the cabin. Then a huge wave covered us from the back, which did not stop before the cabin and one of the doors was open – luckily just one. I pushed the middle button on the keel control and tightened the other backstay, then I released the first one. By the time I was finished with the whole chaos, the wind had decreased to 17 knots, we almost stopped. I furled the J2 and sat down on the beanbag. Just a few minutes later I was alarmed by a loud noise and the boat being knocked over again. I jumped immediately and started to furl the reacher but a part of the sail was tangled. Then I realized the corner of the sail was broken. I furled it up anyways and unrolled the J3. Safety is first!

I crawled into the cabin, soaking wet, trying to change my clothes on the ground. Then I sat next to the kitchen to eat something. As I was sitting there, the boat suddenly stopped in a wave and my flying in the boat was stopped by the chart table, having my ear knocked to the edge of it. My ear was beating like if it was broken, just like the time when I was a wrestler.

This was the icing on the cake, I shouted swearing, I was so angry… Then I ate something, pulled myself on the beanbag and then blackout. At dawn I was awakened by huge silence. I got up to see what’s happening, every single part of me was in pain. Somehow I got to the door and confirmed that everything was all right, we were sailing in the right direction. It just seemed too silent after all the hustle.

After breakfast I saw that the accumulator’s power was too low, so I started the engine. A few minutes later I heard a hissing sound. I already knew what it was: The engine was cooked. I grabbed the tools and started to repair it. It took two hours. After that, the engine had an even more beautiful voice than before.
So, this is how I entered the Pacific on 20th December at 09:30 UTC.

Position: 21st dec., 09:45 UTC, 48° 22,9′ S, 154° 58′ E, we are all right.


VG News THOMAS RUYANT -“EVERYTHING HAS BEEN MADE SECURE”
TUESDAY 20 DECEMBER 2016, 12H53 The coastguards have reached Thomas Ruyant’s boat and two sailors have gone on board with a pump. Thomas told his team that he now hopes he can save his boat. They hope to reach Bluff at around 2100 UTC.

VG LIVE – Today at 13:00 Nandor Fa – SOH77 was the LIVE guest of Andi Robertson – VG RaceHQ

http://dai.ly/x55s1ya

19-20 Dec.

Vendée Globe Dec.20. 05:00 Bon Courage Thomas Rouyant. He is closer and closer to New-Zealand. Bon chance Thoma et Stephane! Fingers crossing for your succesful landing.

Vendée Globe Dec.20. 08:00 UTC – BON COURAGE THOMAS ROUYANT, BON ROUTE STEPHANE! HAVE A SAFE LANDING! ??

Spirit of Hungary is just in the middle of the theoratical distance of the Vendée Globe – 50% – but it is long, and we have more 50% so go ahead Nándor, GOOD LUCK! ????

VG official News today’s morning : FA 60 MILES FROM THE PACIFIC, LE CLÉAC’H 1300 MILES FROM CAPE HORN. ? ? ❄️? http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/17303/fa-60-miles-from-the-pacific-le-cleac-h-1300-miles-from-cape-horn

HAVE a SAFE RACE FOR EVERYONE, #THANKS A LOT for the #VGRACEDIRECTION team their FULL TIME ATTETION and COORDINATION FOR THE SKIPPERS!

WE ARE WITH YOU THOMAS and the Souffle du Nord team!


Nándor Fa skipper’s message  “By my routing  I am sailing 250 SM  far under that area of Thomas accident. All my thought are with him”

Vive et Bon Chance Thomas et Stephane!

All the information: vendeeglobe.org

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18. Dec. 22:40 UTC, in the morning.

My wind has slowed, so I hoisted the whole main and rolled out the reacher. I’m really worried for Thomas Ruyant. He’s boat is seriously damaged, it’s dramatic.
The whole day we’ve been sailing against violent waves, which weren’t generated by this wind, they are coming from elsewhere. Basically it’s a very bumpy ride, which is topped with occasional K.O. hits, which we do not like but we endure. I’m sitting here in front of the computer, having to stabilize myself very strongly so that I don’t knock my head against it. The routing directs me up to Tasmania, from where I could run down below New Zealand with good winds. The beginning is a little slow, as I’m sailing downwind and the seas are slowing the boat too, but later it seems favourable.

My eye was caught on a dark spot at the top of the main sail, by the end of the top spreader. I quickly reached for my binoculars to see what’s up there. It was an abraded spot. I couldn’t tell from where I was standing, whether it was broken or just bruised. These things have to be taken seriously, especially before entering the big desert ocean. My first thought was to climb up, but among these seas, alone, no.The other choice was to bring down the sail. But I was sailing in downwind and didn’t want to stop. Step by step I winched down the main, while we were sailing at 15 knots with the reacher. It was quite sunny, so I decided it’s the perfect time to repair it. But first I had to cancel my phone vacation with Paris.

Thankfully, the sail wasn’t so harmed as I thought it would be, the fiber structure wasn’t damaged, only the outer protection layer. I washed it carefully with acetone and put a layer of dynema on it. Once the sail was down I examined the halyard too, because normally it’s always inside the mast where I can’t see it. It’s the most important halyard, it would be a disaster if anything happened to it. It’s all right, I didn’t see any sign of fraying. I started to winch back the main. To bring it down and then up, it took about 3 thousand spins on the pedestal all together. I was done with it by sunset. I’m really happy, but tired.

Position: 19. Dec., 12:10 UTC, 47° 33′ S, 138° 50,6′ E, we’re all right.


17th December 16:15 UTC, in the night.

I can see Thomas Ruyant on my wind chart as he’s battling with the elements SE from Tasmania. He has a tough weather there, about 50 knots. I cross my fingers for him and hope that he can get out of there without any damage. As I see he still has 15 hours, which are all about fighting and survival, rather than sailing.

I received heartbreaking news this morning: 80 miles ahead of me, Stéphane’s dismasted. We’ve been sailing hand-in-hand for more than a week, doing a private match race along the whole Indian Ocean. Sometimes he was faster, especially when there was an A7 ride, sometimes I was faster when there was tougher weather and I could push.

Now I’m all alone. The Bureau Vallée, Louis is 600 miles ahead, Conrad is also 600 miles behind me. This southern world had really dispersed the fleet, and it’s far not over, we haven’t reached the half way yet. Racing with Stéphane gave me motivation, which I’m going to miss a lot. I know, this happens rarely that boats can move along the route together. From “my fleet”, only Louis is ahead of me. He still has a similar boat to mine, maybe a bit faster, but all the rest ahead is space technology, who I cannot beat by just sailing.

They are either the last generation birds with the wings, or the nest before that – designed by LPVP Verdier -, which are super light and fast. Oh, and there’s Jean Le Cam, who’s a separate establishment within the fleet.

It’s a cold cloudy weather, the barometer fell so suddenly I could almost hear it knock on the floor. It went from 1020 hPa to 1000 in two hours.

Now on a longer section the ice border is more to the south than before, the area is less threatened so we can sail more southerly. It’s good that we have bigger space to move, we can bear off or get close to wind more easily. Tactically, the Pacific Ocean is going to be more complicated, we have enough space to be looking for the useful breezes.

From one moment to the other my GPS signal was gone. This has happened before, but back then it disappeared from the Adrena (the program), and now it’s gone from it’s own B&G system. This is a bigger problem, as probably the antenna went wrong. We did a concilium with Peter, I’m sure he was very happy for me at 4am. We figured out where, how and what needed to be fixed so that the spare antenna would be connected to the system. We were pounding among 6 metre high seas and 36-40 knots of wind, with more than 20 knots boat speed. It was the optimal weather for connecting cables and fixing instruments. First of all, I had to take out water from back there, where the cable box is located. And then I went in with a bunch of tools, paper, pen, and started to examine the area. I immobilized myself and started working. These cables are about a millimetre thin and the connection switches are the size of a bean, and all this is given within the earlier mentioned weather situation.

An hour later I crawled out of the hole, looked at the monitor and there it was, I could see my boat on the chart. Yesssss! I was really happy, even Peter at home was cheering. We did it! Now I deserve a nice lunch meal.

Towards the night, a very low rain cloud approached me and made the wind slow down. I waited, thinking I would unreef the second line at 30 knots. I went out and saw that the main was breathing too much, so I pulled on it. After that it seemed enough, there was no need to unreef. Half an hour later 40 knots of wind was roaring again. We’ve been sailing this way ever since, running in the night.

Position: 18th Dec., 11:50 UTC, 47° 33,4′ S, 130° 50′ E, We’re all right.

Nandor and Stephane exchanged emails after Stephane has dismasted 

F.N.: Hi Stéphane,

My heart is breaking, that is so unfair from your fortune. I really enjoyed sailing with you since a long time. That inspired me, day by day, to stay close to you as much as possible, and sometime catch you in a lucky wind situation after the Horn, may be.

I wish you the very best, safe trip to Australia, and see you in Port Olona next year.

A friendly hug from Nandor

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S.LD.: Many thanks Nandor,

I really appreciate sailing with you. It was very good for staying motivated, and try to reach the best speed all the time.

Today was an horrible day, so difficult to clean the rig with the swell and the wind.

Now my next destination is Melbourne, this is the end of my Vendee Globe but not the end of the adventure : Australia is very far with only the boom as a mast.

Take care,

Stephane