Stamm to refuel at Cape Horn
Vendee Globe skipper Bernard Stamm has announced that he intends to refuel his IMOCA 60 Cheminees Poujoulat at sea. This solution, the Swiss skipper and his team believe, will ensure greater safety for the boat compared to trying to make port without means of propulsion or navigation information.
At present Cheminees Poujoulat has less than 5% of her diesel remaining and Stamm has been forced to severely ration himself and this includes only one communication each day with his team.
The Cheminees Poujoulat shore team is now trying to set something up with the refuelling expected to take place somewhere in the vicinity of Cape Horn, which this morning is currently just over 300 miles away for the boat. The refuelling will take place between tomorrow and Thursday.
The vessel from which the fuel will be provided is by coincidence Pakea Bizcaia, the IMOCA 60 sailed in the last Vendee Globe by Spanish competitor, Unai Bazurko. Bazurko and Stamm raced each other in the Velux 5 Oceans. Bazurko is in Ushuaia on an environmental expedition.
In the meantime, to conserve fuel, Stamm is spending a long time at the helm and is extremely tired. Nonetheless Cheminees Poujoulat remains one of the fastest boats at present across the whole Vendee Globe fleet.
Taking on fuel will certainly count as 'outside assistance' and therefore despite all the jury machinations resulting in Stamm's disqualification and his subsequent appeal to be reinstated (that is still pending) Stamm's Vendee Globe, from a competitive point of view, will be over once he accepts the fuel.