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Campagne de France Officially Retires..!

9 novembre 2017 Posted by miranda

Campagne de France Officially Retires From The Transat Jacques Vabre…

At 13h01 on Tuesday Campagne de France suffered damage to their rudder system requiring Miranda, Halvard and their Class40 Campagne de France to head for shelter to access the extent of the damage sustained. The duo have now officially retired from the Transat Jacques Vabre and have returned to their home port of Cherbourg. Below is more information on what happened…

Following a fantastic start and perfectly executed passage through the first of two violent fronts, Miranda and Halvard had positioned themselves exactly where they wanted. Halvard commented that they could finally “let go of the reins and head south at speed with good hopes of a strong position on the fleet with a small leeward advantage”.

Unfortunately, at 13h01 precisely, Campagne de France broached without explanation at first. Halvard had just passed the helm back to the autopilot and the boat was surfing at between 15 and 18 knots. Conditions were almost ideal except the sea state was still problematic. The wind came from the north west at between 22 and 28 knots with the occasional gust of 35 knots plus. Perfect for fast VMG sailing!

Miranda said, “Usually we are able to bring the boat back relatively easily however this time we had no response from the helm. » It quickly became apparent that the port rudder was loose and the top bracket had ripped off. The rudder was held in place by only the lower bracket and soon after that also became loose with the rudder repeatedly hitting the hull. Miranda continued to say “We had to get the situation under control, the rudder was a real danger to the hull and the spinnaker had exploded. We had to get that down and wanted to bring back the pieces by socking the spinnaker. As we tried the spinnaker luff cable wrapped itself around the forestay and the genoa, blocking the bucket of the sock with only half of the spinnaker enclosed. After more than an hour of struggling, things everywhere and two very tired sailors we managed to get everything on deck and focused our attention to the secured but damaged rudder. After some time we managed to dismount the rudder and bring it onboard. Immediately the boat became so much more maneuverable however we could only sail on one tack.”

The closest port was Brest. Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France headed almost due north to be sure they’d reach land. The return meant two things. One, a probable retirement from a race that both the boat and crew were preforming in, and two, a return to very harsh upwind conditions with an aggressive sea and gusts of 46knots.

Halvard had this to say:

“Now that we have regained control and are moving safely towards Brittany we are beginning to understand the extent of the damage and are now trying to understand why this happened.

It is difficult to know if the rudder bracket broke because we fell back onto it in the rough conditions resulting in an incredible amount of force causing it to fail? We have sailed more than 20,000 miles and a similar system is found on almost all ‘Machs’ so this is unlikely. We have also found that the link bar on the steering system is defective, which could also be the origin of our early exit. Either way and whatever happened the repair list is large:

– Top port rudder bracket has been torn off and is completely twisted. Impossible to fix at first sight

– Low bracket attached but detached from the rudder

–  Damaged to the rudders composite

– The rudder itself is damaged

– Link bar to repair

– Fixings lost at sea (its hard to keep everything onboard when disassembling a unit like this in heavy seas)

– Medium spinnaker is irreparable (may peace be brought upon it and thank you for the good times)

– The hull should be inspected although the only damage should be small impacts to the skin at worst. » 

Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France have now safely arrived into their home port of Cherbourg. They are both bitterly disappointed to have exited the race early but are pleased to be safe. The pair are relatively upbeat and are enjoying a small beer and some good food. The jobs list will no doubt grow in the coming days but rest assured that both are looking forward to a busy 2018. The additional time onshore will provide an opportunity to look at the boat in its entirety and perhaps find a little bit of time for themselves – stranger things have happened..!


Campagne de France Officially Retire

9 novembre 2017 Posted by miranda

Having now arrived safely in Cherbourg it is with regret that Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France have to announce their official retirement from the Transat Jacques Vabre. More information will follow soon. ...


Serious Damage onboard Campagne de France:

7 novembre 2017 Posted by miranda

Shortly after 15h00 Halvard Mabire spoke with Sylvie Viant and the Transat Jacques Vabre Race Direction. Halvard informed them of serious damage to the port rudder onboard their Class40 Campagne de France. The bracket holding the port rudder in place...


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1 novembre 2017 Posted by miranda

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