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JEAN LUC VAN DEN HEEDE - Rustler 36 - Winner Golden Globe Race 2018 - Report on Hydrovane

“Suite à une préparation minutieuse, j’ai choisi l’Hydrovane pour m’accompagner dans ce périple…”

“… je ne regrette pas mon choix et je peux même dire qu’Hydrovane a une part de responsabilité dans ma victoire.”

Translation: “After careful preparation, I chose the Hydrovane to accompany me on this journey …”

“… I don’t regret my choice and I can even say that Hydrovane had some responsibility for my victory.”

Download Testimonial in French: Témoignage JL VDH

English translation:

For windvane self steering systems, the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE was a formidable test as these mechanical auto-pilots needed to work 24 hours a day (except when we were steering!) Several competitors experienced problems in this area [with their windvanes].

After careful preparation, I chose the Hydrovane to accompany me on this journey. Even with a capsize that caused a crack in the mast, the hydrovane survived unscathed. This device is certainly heavier than many others, but it also has a lot of advantages:

1 / It is absolutely reliable and I didn’t change ANY PART during this sail around the world, even after the capsize. Some bearings have a little more slack after this circumnavigation and now should be changed, which is normal!

2 / It allows to steer without touching the device since it is autonomous. This is handy when you want to leave the helm for a few minutes. Of course, when you steer yourself, you can better anticipate the movements of the boat.

3 / In heavy gales it did its job perfectly and if I capsized it was because I stayed too far across the wind and the waves.

4 / With a bit of practice of the settings, I spent 50 hours in a row under spinnaker.

5 / In the event of damage to the boat’s steering gear (whether it is tiller or wheel helm) it can be used as an emergency rudder.

So I don’t regret my choice and I can even say that Hydrovane had some responsibility for my victory.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wins Golden Globe Race after 211 days at sea - Rustler 36

Report on Golden Globe Race 1st Place Finisher!

“Jean-Luc Van Den Heede today won the Golden Globe Race after an astonishing 211 days and 23 hours at sea, in an incredible demonstration of seamanship.”

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wins Golden Globe Race after 211 days at sea

Helen Fretter
    • January 29, 2019

French skipper Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has won the Golden Globe Race, the ‘retro’ solo around the world race, in 211 days

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede today won the Golden Globe Race after an astonishing 211 days and 23 hours at sea, in an incredible demonstration of seamanship.

The French skipper sailed across the finish line under spinnaker, arriving back into a grey and damp Les Sables d’Olonne. Having completely run out of fuel, Van Den Heede then sailed up the famous channel of Les Sables under mainsail.

This was the first round the world race victory for the 73-year-old, who also set a new record for the oldest skipper to sail solo non-stop around the globe. He had led the solo race for almost its entirety, and finished with a margin of over 300 miles ahead of 2nd-placed Mark Slats.

Both he and his yacht, the Rustler 36 Matmut, appeared in excellent health after seven months of non-stop sailing. Van Den Heede was in high spirits on arrival, leading the crowd in song on the pontoons, and cracking jokes throughout the press conference. He gave no impression of being particularly tired or unsteady on his landlegs, but did say that he was looking forward to a bath, a steak and a beer – in that order.

First impressions of Matmut, meanwhile, were that the Rustler was in surprisingly good condition – there were no obvious barnacles (which have so plagued other Golden Globe competitors) on the hull, the deck was not green, the topsides were shiny. A little growth on the transom and some lines threaded around the port first spreader were the only hint of what the yacht and her skipper had been through.

The Golden Globe started on July 1 2018 with 18 entrants – of which just four are now still racing – and the hugely experienced Van Den Heede was among the front-runners from the outset. After fellow French skipper and early race leader Philippe Peche retired, Van Den Heede built an almost unassailable lead at the Cape of Good Hope.

While the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans saw multiple retirements and yachts rolled, dismasted and abandoned, Van Den Heede arrived at the mandatory pit stop in Hobart virtually unscathed. Matmut by then had a small leak to one porthole, but was otherwise standing up well to the rigours of prolonged Southern Ocean racing.

Before the start, Van Den Heede, together with his shore manager Lionel Régnier, had ensured Matmut was one of the most thoroughly prepared yachts in the race – including a shortened mast and all-new rigging and sails, additional watertight bulkheads, and upgraded deck gear.

But in November, in the middle of the South Pacific, Van Den Heede was knocked down in 65-knot winds and 11m seas. Although the mast held, a connecting bolt which attached the lower shrouds on the port side of the mast was damaged, leaving Van Den Heede unable to tension his rigging. He effected a temporary repair, initially planning to make for Chile to fix it, before deciding to continue racing, re-rigging ropes to support the shroud as he went – he climbed the mast seven times.

At today’s press conference he recalled: “For three days I thought about how to save the boat and so I ran off course. I started to plan my stopover in Chile … and then I said to myself: the mast is so… damn damn damn! I thought I was trying. We did have makeshift rigs, which were mandatory on board.

“Until then I have never abandoned a single race. But I admit that climbing a mast is no longer ok at my age. I climbed seven times! The worst thing was trying to undo the pins. It’s not easy in a workshop on land, but six meters high is a little bit ‘Fort Boyard’ [like the Crystal Maze]!”

Original Golden Globe winner Robin Knox-Johnston and race organiser Don McIntyre welcoming in the winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede

With Van Den Heede having to nurse Matmut up the Atlantic, especially on port tack, Dutch sailor Mark Slats was able to reduce his lead from nearly 2,000 miles to less than 100. In mid-January the tracker was showing the theoretical advantage at just 49 miles, although Van Den Heede was better placed to extract himself from the Azores High system.

But Van Den Heede was able to reassert his lead through the final weeks, and despite a challenging Biscay crossing that brought a final test of 50-knot winds and 7m seas, arrived safely into Les Sables this morning just ahead of the gale force conditions which began battering the Atlantic town as Van Den Heede spoke to the waiting crowds and press.

The race win sees Van Den Heede complete his sixth full circumnavigation (he has started 10 times) in the ‘retro’ around the world race which set off last July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Golden Globe.

The 2018-19 Golden Globe Race required skippers to recreate many of the limitations of the original around the world challenge, including no modern navigational aids, which made this Van Den Heede’s slowest ever circumnavigation at 212 days. Nevertheless, his Rustler 36 was a full 100 days faster than Robin Knox-Johnston’s original circumnavigation, the first ever single-handed non-stop around the world, in Suhaili.

This is also Van Den Heede’s first round the world race victory. He holds the record for the fastest east-west circumnavigation, set in 2004 at 122 days, and has twice returned to Les Sables d’Olonne to stand on the podium of the Vendee Globe  (3rd in 1990, 2nd in 1994). He also finished 2nd in the 1986 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race and 3rd in the 1995 BOC.

Despite the downpours and biting cold, the people of Les Sables turned out to welcome Van Den Heede home, lining the famous channel and waiting patiently in the rain to cheer his victory. He is a true local hero, and lives in a seafront apartment in the famous Vendée town.

Would he do it again? “After my second Vendée Globe, I said no, I will not do it again. Then after my four world tours, I thought it was over for me. Then I did it the other way and broke the record (122 days).

“Now I will not sail around the world unless someone makes a great thing that still interests me… But hey, no, I don’t plan to go around the world again. That said, my boat is for sale and I can do coaching… ”

Second placed Mark Slats is due to arrive on Friday, 1 February. He initially planned to put into La Coruna to shelter from the storm conditions sweeping Biscay, but sent a message by YellowBrick tracker today “HEADING FOR LSDO [Les Sables d’Olonne]. WEATHER SEEMS TO BE BETTER AND I AM HUNGRY”

Hallberg Rassy 42E - VIDEO in Italian

“My Hydrovane works magnificently.”

From: M. Bianchi
Sent: June 28, 2019
To: will@hydrovane.com
Subject: R: Hydrovane Installation

Hi Will,

My Hydrovane works magnificently. My Hallberg Rassy has crossed the Atlantic twice, to get to the Caribbean and to return, and has done so many miles, maybe 90%, with the windvane.

The only flaw is that, when the windvane is not in use and is locked and the boat is sailing, both sail and motor, the shaft has a lot of vibration. This led to the breakage of the stop pin.

Since then I lost the spare pin you sent me, now I need you to send me two new pins.

……

Do you have any suggestions for me to decrease the vibration of the rudder?

Thank you for your attention and best regards.

M. Bianchi

Contessa 35 - No Bullshit, Just Sailing: Erik Aanderaa - VIDEO

You Tuber Erik Aanderaa uses the Extendable ‘XT’ Vane!

From: Erik Martin Aanderaa
Sent: June 12, 2019
To: Will Curry

Hi Will!

Your adjustable vane worked perfectly all the way along Shetland – Faroe Islands – Norway in the usual bumpy and windy weather😊 And the video does very good online! Many ask about the Hydrovane!

Contact

Cross 42 Mk II Trimaran - Andy Turpin - Latitude 38

“From the list of Andy and Julie’s favorite pre-cruise upgrades: Hydrovane – This amazing, non-electrical, windvane steering device performed brilliantly, even in sloppy following seas.”

After 23 years of wishing bon voyage to Tahiti bound sailors, Puddle Jump founder Andy Turpin finally got to make the crossing himself. 

Download Andy’s article here:

Latitude 38 June 2019 -Pacific Crossing- Andy Turpin

 

Tayana 52

“Tango’s Hydrovane systems (Hydrovane, Hydrogenerator, and watermaker) make our nomadic life possible.”

From: jeh20011995
Sent: Tue, Jun 11, 2019
To: Sarah Curry

Ia orana Sarah,

Papeete is great! Tango’s watermaker has the new membrane installed. I haven’t run it yet because we are in Marina Papeete. I’ll run it in the next week or so when we journey to Marina Tiana for fuel before leaving for Moorea and the more westerly Society Islands. Thank you again for all the support. I’ve included some photos and I’ll mention the great support in our blog (www.sailblogs.com/member/jeh20011995)

Just for your info, with the new docks, good security, all the shops, chandlerys, and restaurants within a short walk, Marina Papeete is far better than Marina Taina.

Tahiti is our breath catching stop before we visit several remote islands & in mid July heading toward Tonga (swim with the whales), then New Zealand. We are thinking of waiting out the cyclone season then heading back to the Gambier & Tuomotus with a 2nd return to NZ before we decide the next step… probably getting into the Med.

Tango’s Hydrovane system (Hydrovane, Hydrogenerator, and watermaker) make our nomadic life possible. They are reliable, essential, and well supported when needed. Thank you again for great products and support. I’ve attached some photos for you.

John and Janet

CSY 44

“It has performed amazingly well.”

From: Neil Montague
Sent: March 22, 2019
To: Gloria Anderson; Will Curry
Subject: Re: Hydrovane shipment

Hi all

2 days of testing of the new Hydrovane. It has performed amazingly well. A couple of finished pics attached i will send a full report when I reach the Azores

Regards

Neil Montague

www.freeboardsailing.com

Contessa 32

“Die Hydrovane ist die beste Anschaffung überhaupt.”

“The Hydrovane is the best purchase ever.”

Wonderful report received by Tom Logisch, our German dealer:

Hallo Herr Logisch, ich schulde Ihnen noch ein paar Fotos.

Die Hydrovane ist die beste Anschaffung überhaupt. Steuerte selbst bei abenteuerlicher Kreuzsee an der norwegischen Westküste (dangerous sea areas) raumschots hervorragend.

Die Watt and Sea leistet auch gute Dienste. Nur die Aufhängung und das Festgezurre bei Nichtgebrauch nervt. Das könnte vom Konstrukteur verbessert werden.

Beste Grüße
Bernd Koltermann

Google translate:

Hello Mr. Logisch, I owe you some photos.

The Hydrovane is the best purchase ever. Steered even with adventurous cruise on the Norwegian west coast (dangerous sea areas), downwind excellent.

The Watt and Sea also does a good job. Only the suspension and fixing when not in use annoying. That could be improved by the designer.

Best regards
Bernd Koltermann

Baba 35

“It works fabulously.”

From: Kevin
Sent: June 2, 2019
To: Will Curry
Subject: Maintenance

Will,

I have the Hydrovane XT mounted to my Baba 35. It works fabulously. I have purchased the spare parts kit, but have never need to use any.

I am about to depart on a solo transatlantic from the southern Chespapeake Bay to Scotland. What do you recommend for gerneral maintence? Specifically, should I lubricate anything? I can’t find any maintenance information on the website. Can I use a waterproof dry lubricant like T-9 Boeshield to simply coat the parts as a protective measure?

I have about 5,000 miles on the unit now.

Kind regards,
Kevin

Beneteau Idylle 11.5

“…it is the most important piece of equipment that we have added to the boat.”

From: Marathon (sailmail)
Sent: April 13, 2019
To: Sarah Curry
Cc: Will Curry
Subject: RE: Problem with rudder lock

Hi Sarah: Many thanks for your message. Please feel free to use my words.

Wanda continues to do an excellent job and if anybody were to ask, it is the most important piece of equipment that we have added to the boat.

All the best

Nello
SV Marathon

Hallberg Rassy 352

“Att valet föll på Hydrovane beror på att vindrodret kan monteras off-center, dvs det behöver inte monteras mitt på akterspegeln, utan någon styrningsförsämring. Vi vill ha nedgången till badplattform och badstege fritt, så off-center är ett måste. Hydrovane kan även användas som nödroder om huvudrodret av någon anledning skulle gå sönder.”

Excellent Blog Post about the Hydrovane installation on SY Lady Ann, in swedish:

http://sailingladyann.se/blog/hydrovane-vindroder-monterat 

Southerly 135

“The Hydrovane worked perfectly all the time across the Atlantic.”

From: Ayache family
Sent: March 29, 2019
To: Sarah Curry
Subject: Quote, order and UK delivery of a “shaft bottom collar (new -s1)

Hello Sarah,

Thank you for your previous delivery of a stubby vane. The Hydrovane worked perfectly all the time across the Atlantic. I have now lost the shaft bottom collar (it was altready split when I bought the boat and this was bound to happen one day …).

I would like to order one (it seems that you now make them in stainless steel 🙂

Part No.26 bottom collar + Part No.46 shaft collar screw

Cheers
André

Roberts 38

“We are very happy and all our expectations have been met!”

From: Adrian Mythen
Sent: February 16, 2019
To: Will Curry
Subject: Azzan Installation Photos

Hi,

Apologies for the delay in sending some photographs through (see attached).

After a number of trials and tribulations the Hydrovane is installed and fully operational.

We are very happy and all our expectations have been met!

Many thanks for your support and follow ups, much appreciated.

Thanks,

Regards,

Adrian

Endurance 35

ARC 2018  “…a fantastic job especially in an awkward sea.”

From: Ian Reid
Sent: February 19, 2019
To: Will Curry
Subject: Maja

Will

FYI doing the ARC we didn’t touch the wheel once until we got to Rodney Bay…..Marge steered the whole way, mostly dead downwind, without error…a fantastic job especially in an awkward sea.

We call her Marge because the shape of the vane resembles Marge Simpsons hairdo!
Speak later
Ian

Ian A.M. Reid

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