Skip to main content

Colman Finishes Epic Vendée Under Jury Rig

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

New Zealander Conrad Colman (who is also a longtime resident of the United States) has finished 16th in the Vendée Globe, after sailing the better part of the last month under jury rig: a truly epic effort. Despite his setbacks, Colman’s total elapsed time was 110 days 1 hour 58 minutes, meaning he still sailed 27,929 miles at an average speed of 10.57 knots.

conradfinish

After being dismasted in a storm late on the evening of Friday, February 10th, when he was in 10th place and some 250 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal, Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig that allowed him to sail the final 740 miles to the finish. At the time he was only three and half days out and already low on supplies. As a result, he was forced to last out his final days on the survival rations inside his life raft. On Wednesday he confirmed by radio that he had only two biscuits left.

Colman’s boat under jury right after the storm

Colman’s boat under jury right after the storm

As part of his heroic effort, Colman, who is a trained sailmaker and rigger, set one of the most efficient jury rigs seen in the history of ocean racing, working diligently and smartly to improve the sheeting angles and hence efficiency of the rig, which was constructed from his boom, part of his mainsail and his storm jib. Only Philippe Poupon and Yves Parlier have previously completed the Vendée Globe under jury rig (although a number of others, like Mike Golding and Loïck Peyron, have had to set up jury rigs to bring their boats back to shore).

Although his was one of the lowest-budget efforts of the entire race, Colman managed to also achieve his goal of becoming the first-ever skipper to complete the Vendée Globe using no fossil fuels, only renewable energies. To this end, his electrical power was all created using an innovative electric motor in conjunction with solar panels and a hydro generator

“The objective is to have it as a reflection of my philosophies,” Colman said. “Growing up in New Zealand I was aware of the hole in the Ozone layer there. I converted to become a vegetarian not especially because I care about cute lambs, but because I was more concerned about the global impact of the chain of food production and consumption. And so the project is a reflection of my ideals.”

Can a modern-day sailor be any more brave, or more cool? For additional details on Colman’s epic voyage, visit http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en.

February 2017

Related

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more

bermuda

How to Spectate on the Newport Bermuda

The biannual Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday with the first warning signal at 1 pm. Whether you’re tracking a loved one’s progress or just spectating an event that draws pros and weekend warriors alike, there are plenty of ways to stay up to watch. The starting line will ...read more

03-Hyeres-220429_SOF2022_SAILINGENERGY_1933_3184-copy

US Sailing Strikes Gold in Hyères

After being skunked or nearly skunked at multiple Olympiads, could the US Sailing Team (USST) now under the direction of Olympic veteran Paul Cayard, be finally turning it around? If its performance at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyères, France, where the team posted ...read more

P1480042

New York City’s Newest Fleet

120 children enrolled in Brooklyn Boatworks’ STEM and life skills-focused program launched their hand-built optimist prams on June 14 from Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The launch is the culmination of years of student work, with boats in process before the pandemic caused the ...read more

AdobeStock_197518370

Charter: Off the Beaten Path

So, you like to charter in the Caribbean with its warm waters, swaying palm trees, steady trade winds and strong rum drinks. What’s not to love? It can be easy, though, to get stuck in a rut when chartering year after year in the same place. Sure, the British Virgin Islands are ...read more