Alex Thomson slutkörd – ger upp på målrakan

Gustav Morin

Gustav Morin


The Vendée LIVE of the 18th January / Vendée Globe by VendeeGlobeTV

Alex Thomson har tagit in starkt på ledaren Armel Le Cléac’h senaste dygnen och är nu bara är 34,8 sjömil bakom. Trots det sade han just i en livesändning från båten att han är dödstrött och inte orkar bry sig om målgången – bara han får sova!  

Alex Thomson är seglingssportens rockstjärna. Han syns och hörs mest och har alltid en stark och positiv ton, bildifierad av ett brett leende. 

I dagens livesändning från Vendée Globe fanns inga bilder. Men man kunde enkelt måla en bild av Alex som är högst ovanlig.

Vi fick höra hans stämma och den har aldrig någonsin tidigare låtit så nedstämd och sliten. 

Inte fått sova
Senaste dygnen har Alex Thomson haft problem med sina vindinstrument, vilket i sin tur påverkar en av båtens mest vitala delar – autopiloten. 

För att kunna segla en högteknologisk 60-fotare med bara två händer så krävs en autopilot som fungerar till fullo. I två dygn har Alex autopilot bara kunnat styra rakt på kompasskurs. Det kan fungera ganska ok om vinden är stabil och om man seglar undanvind. Nu är det bidevind som gäller och för varje vindvrid så måste kursen eller seglen justeras. 

Om autopiloten inte fungerar resulterar detta i att skepparen inte får sova en blund. 

Det är inte så svårt att leva sig in i Alex situation efter hans sista kommentar i livesändningen:

”There are no real options for me any more, I think my options have run out. It might be possible to catch a few miles but it’s difficult for me at the moment. Until I can get my autopilot driving on a wind angle it’ll be very tricky in the conditions I have. I can’t imagine another few days like the last couple of days. I don’t have any tension about the finish. I have tension about trying to make the autopilots work. I’ve got an anemometer in my hand and I’m trying to splice wires. I don’t care about the finish right now, I just want to sleep.”

Vendée Globe kortar livslängden
Bara för att ge en hint om hur tufft det är att genomföra ett Vendée Globe så sägs det att den höga stressen och stora sömnbristen som seglarna utsätts för under ett varv runt jorden i Vendée Globe-takt kortar livslängden med cirka fyra år. 

Raflande uppgörelse
Men även om Alex lät låg och hopplös under dagens livesändning och trots att han i princip redan räknat ut sig själv, så finns det ändå en liten chans att han kan vinna. Lokala bleken innan mål som Armel kan fastna är en möjlighet. En annan är alla risker som återstår i form av kollisioner med fiskebåtar, att råka korsa yrkestrafikleder eller att fastna i fiskeredskap. 

Se mer:
Alex Thomson om galna rekordet i Vendée Globe
Flottan tar omvägar för att undvika stor storm
Han har övergett sin båt i Södra Oceanen
Unika hårdvindsbilder från Södra Oceanen!
Flera brutna och halta i Vendée Globe
Kölskada i Vendée Globe

Pressrelease i sin helhet:

British sailor Alex Thomson today conceded that his chances of overhauling Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac’h on the home strait were slim, despite narrowing the gap to just 35 miles. In the last 24 hours Thomson, 42, has halved Le Cléach’s lead of 70 miles but as the pair prepared to enter the final 300 miles of the solo round the world race this afternoon he said the advantage was now firmly with his French rival.

Thomson revealed that for several days now he has been battling problems with the wind instruments on his cutting-edge 60ft race boat Hugo Boss, which in turn have prevented the yacht’s autopilot from working properly. In spite of knocking miles off Le Cléac’h’s lead overnight he said he had not slept for two days and was now dangerously tired.

Speaking to the Vendée Live show today Thomson said his thoughts were on getting Hugo Boss’ anemometers working again rather than the impending finish in Les Sables d’Olonne, France. ”I don’t think I can catch Armel,” he said. ”The routing is very clear – we will go nearly to the Scilly Isles, wait for a left shift and when it comes we tack. There are no real options for me any more, I think my options have run out. It might be possible to catch a few miles but it’s difficult for me at the moment. Until I can get my autopilot driving on a wind angle it’ll be very tricky in the conditions I have.

I can’t imagine another few days like the last couple of days. I don’t have any tension about the finish. I have tension about trying to make the autopilots work. I’ve got an anemometer in my hand and I’m trying to splice wires. I don’t care about the finish right now, I just want to sleep.”

Le Cléac’h, runner-up in the past two editions of the Vendée Globe, might now be odds-on favourite to claim his first race win but he was not taking anything for granted as he prepared to tack and head down the west coast of France to Les Sables. The race mantra of ’to finish first, first you have to finish’ will be ringing in his ears as he sails into his final night at sea in 74 days.

“For the moment I’m holding my own against Alex,” the 39-year-old Breton said, “but the final 24 hours are going to be complicated. I’m going to have to be careful as there are a lot of dangers – we have been seeing fishermen and cargo vessels since yesterday. I’ll be passing the tip of Brittany tonight, then going along the south coast of Brittany. I have to remain cautious to avoid doing anything stupid.” Le Cléac’h is expected to cross the finish line between 1300 and 1900 UTC tomorrow, barring any mishaps, with Thomson following suit around four hours later.

The race tracker will update hourly once the leader gets to within 100 miles of the finish, and live streaming will begin 30 minutes from the line. For more information on how to follow the arrivals click here http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/village-for-the-finish/how-to-follow-the-finish

Third-placed Jérémie Beyou said his routing software has calculated that he should arrive in Les Sables on Sunday evening, around three days behind the leaders. “Over the past few days I have been faster than expected,” said Beyou, whose podium position is secure for now with fourth-placed Jean-Pierre Dick trailing him by more than 1,000 miles. “The seas are not as cross and are more manageable. I’m trying not to think of the finish, as I still have the Bay of Biscay to deal with, and it’s not looking very cooperative, as there won’t be much wind, so I won’t be advancing very quickly.” Seventh-placed Louis Burton will be the next skipper to cross into the northern hemisphere. At the 1400 UTC position update he was just 20 miles south of the Equator.”

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