Escoffier's Rescue, Mission Accomplished. Yes He Did!
After eleven and a half hours in his liferaft since being forced to abandon his IMOCA 60 PRB in strong winds and big seas 840 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, Vendée Globe skipper Kevin Escoffier was dramtically rescued by fellow competitor Jean Le Cam at around 0118hrs UTC this Tuesday morning.
Kevin Escoffier (PRB) Activates Distress Beacon. Jean Le Cam Alters Course To Assist
Kevin Escoffier, 40, who is racing in third place in the Vendée Globe solo non-stop around the world race, positioned some 550 nautical miles SW of Cape Town, has triggered his distress beacon. He was racing in a strong SW’ly air stream on starboard tack behind a weather front.
At 1346hrs (UTC), he managed to send a message to his shore team, explaining that he had an ingress of water into his boat. The rescue team (MRCC Cape Town and CROSS Griz Nez) is preparing an action plan in collaboration with his PRB shore team, with Jacques Caraës and the Vendée Globe Race Direction team. Jean Le Cam, the nearest competitor, has changed course to sail to the last position given by the boat when the beacon was triggered (40°55 S 9°18 E).
He is expected to reach the area at around 1600hrs UTC. More information to follow.
Kevin Escoffier (PRB) A Speed Problem of A Different Kind
Kevin Escoffier (PRB): This morning I had a small problem, my central GPS system went 'off the rails' and was showing speeds of 80 knots in my navigation system. As it indicated a false speed, the control unit thought I was 165 degrees to windward while in fact I was 140 downwind VMG. As a result, the pilot luffed up to go to tack with my big gennaker up, the J3, and the the second rudder up... So there, you can imagine! By the time I was able to sort it all out and get going again, Yannick (Bestaven) had slipped by in the good pressure. I had to do a bit of a re-alignment move and so I wasn't available for the 5 am radio session this morning! In the meantime I have switched to the 'spare' GPS. I'm going to try and find out where the problem is coming from. It's OK because we had just 15 knots of wind, but things are going to get fresher in the coming days and I do not want to have it happen again in the more challenging conditions.