Kevin Escoffier:

Kevin Escoffier::

There’s a lot of yacking by interested online sailing fans, but not much information. All we know for sure is:

* le Cam arrived on scene and reported that he’d seen Kevin in his liferaft, and was going to start his engine and attempt to recover him.

* Darkness fell with no public updates. There was some chatter about le Cam having had engine trouble, or having had problems maneuvering under power, but it’s not clear if that was based on actual radio communication or is just the Internet being chatty.

* The Vendée Globe race authority asked two more skippers (Yannick Bestaven and Boris Herrmann, the latter aboard Malizia, the same skipper and boat that gave Greta Thunberg her westbound trans-Atlantic ride last summer) to divert to the area to assist.

* Later the race authority also requested that Sébastien Simon divert to the area.

* Conditions are rough and windy, but expected to moderate somewhat by morning.

So that’s where we are. It sounds (though this is all guesswork) like PRB sank relatively quickly, forcing Kevin into his liferaft (hopefully in a survival suit). le Cam was unable to recover him before darkness fell, and presumably is standing by, hopefully in the vicinity of the raft, until morning, when another attempt can be made.

Some Sailing Anarchy discussion currently centers on the reaching-back-and-forth track of le Cam’s boat, with a mile or so on each of the legs, and whether that looks like a search pattern or just someone hanging around a known location without doing too many maneuvers. Who knows? (Well, presumably one or more people in the middle of the south Atlantic know, and maybe a few more people in radio communication with them. But other than that, it’s wait and see.)

Kevin is a badass, a pro sailor who’s been around the world multiple times. In fully-crewed races he works the pointy end of the boat, which is not a place for the faint of heart. But being in a liferaft for 12 hours in the Southern Ocean is no joke. All of them, but especially Kevin, are certainly battling fatigue and hypothermia.

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