Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vendee Globe : round-world yachtsman declines help

situation 08:00 UTC

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The skipper is now anchored close to the secluded beach north of Dunedin’s Tairoa Head and has light winds, partial sunshine with the threat of some light rain, but temperatures are in the 20’s. 

Stricken sailor forced to Dunedin for repairs

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Bernard left Kaikai Bay at 2:00 local to move to the South East of the small island of Wharekakahu facing Allans Beach.
This new shelter will offer better protection against the winds blowing northwest in this area.

 From Otago Daily Times

A stricken yacht has anchored off the coast of Dunedin to make emergency repairs after being damaged during one of the world's most gruelling round-the-world solo yacht races.
Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm first attempted to make repairs to the hydro-generator and the central winch column on his yacht Cheminees Poujoulat in the Auckland Islands last week while racing towards Cape Horn, South America.

But finding a suitable place to anchor in a sheltered bay away from kelp beds and other seaweed proved too difficult.
So he headed for New Zealand, and anchored near Murdering Beach yesterday.

 Swiss yachtsman Bernard Stamm stands on the stern of Cheminees Poujoulat off Murdering Beach, near Dunedin, waiting for the swell to subside so he can make repairs to his hydro-generator before returning to the Vendee Globe 2012 round-the-world yacht race.

The vessel's 19m-long, 6m-wide hull could not be sailed into Otago Harbour because it needs deep keel clearance.

Mr Stamm was interviewed and photographed from a small boat yesterday afternoon after a friend emailed the Otago Daily Times about his plight.
He said the long sail north was a major detour in his bid to win the Vendee Globe 2012 round-the-world yacht race.
The non-stop race, known as the ''Everest of the Seas'', begins in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, and heads east via the capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn before heading back to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne.

 Kaikai's Beach, Murdering Beach
The bay south of Whare ake ake is called Kaikai after a Ngati Mamoe man dwelling there in a cave in the early days.
The proper name is Takeratawhai.
The cave belonging to Kaikai is now used as a sheep pen.
A heavy "tapu" rested on Murdering Beach until it was lifted by a North Island tohunga at the request of the Purakaunui Maoris.
The three bays south of Purakaunui have been the happy hunting-grounds of curio collectors, alas many not venerating the burial-places.
It has been estimated that 3½ tons of worked greenstone has been recovered.

Mr Stamm said he was leading the race when one of the brackets securing the hydro-generator on the hull failed.

The system uses motion through water to generate electricity, and without it, he does not have enough energy to power appliances such as lights, pumps, computers, navigation and automatic piloting equipment.

Mr Stamm said he was taking care to avoid physical contact with any other vessels for fear of breaking race rules, which state competitors will be disqualified if they receive help or equipment during the race.

 photo : Sophie Luther

While in the Auckland Islands, a Russian ship came alongside and offered fuel, but he rejected the offer because he was determined to continue the race.

He said it was a difficult choice, but he was guided by his ''sense of responsibility''.

Allans beach & Wharekakahu Island

Wharekakahu Island, near Cape Saunders on Otago Peninsula, with colony of Stewart Island shags visible near right-hand end of crest. The island is a predator-free nature reserve.
It reputedly has a colony of green-backed skinks (Oligosoma chloronoton)
photo : Tony Jewell

Mr Stamm said he had been at sea since November 10, and at an average speed of 14 knots, he still had about 40 days to go before he crossed the finish line.

When asked if he had had a shower since his departure, he shook his head and pointed to the sea before making scrubbing motions.
He often dreamed of having a cold beer.
He said: ''A beer would be nice now, but it would taste better at the end.''

Being at sea alone was lonely at times, but he was grateful he could communicate via his laptop with his wife and two children.
However, the damaged hydro-generator meant he has had to cut back on the amount of communication with his family.
He was looking forward to finishing the repairs so he could make contact with them more often.
He hoped to be back on the high seas some time today, he said.

Although Mr Stamm was only about halfway through the race, he said he was now more than 3500km behind the race leader and it was unlikely he could still win.
In his previous attempt at the Vendee Globe race, he had to retire due to damage, so this year's race was now more about getting to the finish, he said.

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