Louis Balcaen / Team Brunel

gender Male
Night. Capey is getting his boots on (or off?) below. Sam: What's going on, Capey? Capey: Sail-change time. Sam: You were just sleeping pretty soundly... You pretty excited to go on deck? Capey: Yup. Capey at the nav station. Chart screen, which shows their position and other boats via AIS: even with Dongfeng and a few miles short of MAPFRE. Wind strength symbols appear to show them in a building wind, currently at 25 knots. Louis, getting ready below: Wish me luck, Sam. Sam: It's not easy, right? Louis: It's a very difficult peel. Lowering the jib in 25 knots. Whew. Wish me luck. Abby in the pit hoists the J2. Crew (Peter, and presumably Carlo on the bow) goes forward and the J1 starts coming down. Sam loses his balance in the hatch and falls. Sam, under his breath: "Fuck!" He gets the camera back on the crew on the foredeck. Looks like there are at least 4 people gathering in the J1. Stacking the J1 aft. Abby working in the pit. Peter, in the cockpit: Allright; J3 to deply in 2 [maybe? for double-heading?]. Grinding as the sail deploys.Louis, below: Pushing hard. 10 miles behind MAPFRE. Not ideal, but everything to play for. One big push to the finish, do everything we can to help Bouwe win his first Volvo. Sam to Carlo: How hard is everyone pushing right now? Carlo: Yeah, it's intense... Full on. Wind is always great, of course. The goal is to keep the two red boats behind us. It's tough. You can definitely notice a difference in the fleet the last couple of legs. We have to try. Louis changes into dry clothes, gets in his bunk. Cool maneuver with his boots to keep his socks dry. He laughs at Sam. "Such a struggle."Tacking with MAPFRE behind them. Three boats inshore of them. Bouwe on the helm. Stacking aft. Capey at the nav station: MAPFRE's planning to go between the two [islands]. Peter, from his bunk: Gonna be quite close with us. Capey studies the screen. You can feel Sam wanting to talk to him, but not doing it because Capey is visibly thinking. Capey keeps glancing up at one screen, then down at the other. He blinks in surprise at something. Peter gets out of his bunk. Capey: Fuck. He gets up. Sam follows him. Capey talks to Bouwe in the cockpit. Peter gets his foulies on, goes up. MAPFRE crosses them on starboard just ahead. Dongfeng and another boat is visible beyond them. Peter is confused: Akzo appears to be goose-winging the jib. Or maybe he's on the other tack; can't really tell. Vestas is parked up here. (We see Vestas.) Alberto: Tricky situation; there's a couple of big islands. We just lost a couple of dozens of meters to MAPFRE and Dongfeng, but I think we have a good opportunity to gain again. Capey and Peter look to port. Peter: Should we go here? Capey goes to the nav station. Capey agrees. Peter: Go now! He starts shifting the stack. Bouwe seems to be letting them make the call. Tack. Abby and Louis grinding in the pit. Nina talks about there being a fishing farm that's not on our maps, so it adds a little stress to the afternoon. Fish farm nets as they sail past. Three boats ahead of them in the afternoon light. Waves on a headland to starboard. Bouwe's face on the helm. Slomo shots of islands, another boat as they sail upwind with the J1. Slomo of Alberto trimming. Sunset. Kyle explains. They had a parkup, then Turn the Tide took off. We didn't do the best job in the islands; kind of got spat out the back. Akzo, MAPFRE, Dongfeng, and Vestas are all ahead of us now; Turn the tide is behind us. We were in a good position, but now our position isn't too good. But going upwind, with some good opportunities, some good splits.Capey looks at his tablet on deck, talks about Dongfeng and Vestas. Boats on the horizon behind them. Flock of 7 alcids (murres?). Bouwe: Just got passed by a flock of ducks. That says something about our boatspeed. Capey eats. Nina: Do you want me up Kyle? Capey: Yup; starting to move now. Bouwe, on the helm: Looks like it's filling in more and more. Capey and Peter talk with Bouwe about gybing. Peter looks like he just woke up: Looks like the best breeze up here (looks to port). A motoring sailboat passes a boatlength behind them. Peter: Pretty light in front. Peter's lobbying for a tack onto starboard. Bouwe: Tacking! Capey (under his breath): I think it's not the right thing, but... Kyle: Dongfeng's parked up at the moment... Better pressure at the moment. Drone shot goes under a bridge in a gorge. Capey: Just coming into the new breeze, the northerly. The quicker we get into that the faster we'll be off. Dongfeng's stuck, going backwards, hope for the best. Not doing that great out here either. But sort of going the right way. High drone shot. Peter: Got some wind. [Looks aft.] Other boats pointing odd directions. Sam: Any other boat who's position yo'd rather be in? Peter (after discussing Scallywag). No. Peter: We might have just taken the lead. Peter puts a hand in the camera: "Not on camera." [looks exactly like Pascal in that video from the end of Leg 9, though without the middle finger.] Peter: We're imitating Dongfeng. We're very open with our OBRs. Louis: have to say it in French or English. 'No camera.'Parade. Carlo gets water. Goodbyes. Louis smiles; someone makes a peace sign over his head. Dockout. Sam asks Bouwe how he feels. Bouwe: Just kick the butts of these two red boats. It's like any other race; you like to win. And I think we have a good chance of winning the next two legs. It's probably a must as well; let's put it that way.Title: "Word of the Day". Louiis: Intense. Capey: Great. Nina: Close. Carlo: Pancakes. Kyle: Matt Knighton. Bouwe: Foggy. Alberto: Pancakes. Pancakes, pancakes. Yeah.Capey, walking on deck: Gotta get through the ridge and then we'll be winning... Getting closer, which is good. Who needs a world record, when you can win the leg. Peter: It's a little annoying they're (Akzo) there, but at least they're close. Still trying to win the race that matters. Kyle, on the helm: It's light, it's pretty cold. There's only one thing that could lighten the mood, and that's having Matt Knighton as our OBR. Sam: So you don't want pancakes? Sam, below, makes pancakes. Peter, what are we calling this kitchen? Peter: Sam's Diner? Because he's American? We see a shot of the head, and the title on screen: "I also needed to make up for breaking the toilet legs during the level 11. downwinder yesterday" We see the whiteboard, which says: "Do not SIT on the toilet Hover! It's legs are broken. Port toilet wall broken. S.G." Carlo eats something. Sam squirts oil in an actual pan. He cooks a pancake. "For the spatula we've been using this paint scraper." He hands a pancake to Capey, who approves. He hands one to Peter, along with some syrup. "Thanks mate. It's not every day your OBR brings you a hot pancake on board." Kyle, off-camera: "Unless you have Matt Knighton on board." Peter tries it, gives a thumbs up. Sam: You don't taste the paint chips at all. Nina tries one: Best thing I've eaten since I left. Carlo, in his bunk: "Thanks. This is a wake up. It's going to be gone pretty quick. That's the only thing I'm sad about... Almost makes up for breaking the toilet Sam. Almost." He gives one to Alberto with tuna. Carlo: It's the best meal we've had on the boat. Only bad thing is we don't have a toilet. Abby likes it, Louis likes it. Louis: What a treat. Sam: What's going on with the racing right now? Louis: Well, we've sailed into the transition zone, so that's why everyone's in the bow. Kyle, on the helm: What? Is that for me? Delightful. Bouwe gets one with "Brunel" spelled on it with syrup. "Ooh, America! One bite for me, one bite for my daughter, one bite for my wife, and the last two for my dogs." Nina: We just got through the parkup. We lost the lead to Akzo, but we're close and we'll fight back. Bouwe: They got the breeze before us, which was painful, because we'd just got the bow out, and they got ahead of us. But have more wind, and will hopefully get in Monday night/Tuesday morning. We can have some more days off." Kyle takes the lazy sheet off the MH0 clew. Nina wears the horse head. Sam: Hey horse; what's the news? She whinnies.Louis: So, Carlo we call The Horsey because he's strong as a horse. He eats like a horse. And he acts like a horse sometimes. Shot below of Kyle (it turns out) with a horsehead on to mess with Louis in his bunk. Louis laughs. "I was not ready for that one." Louis tries it on. Kyle laughs. Kyle took out a very funny mask, so Horsey's happy today. Carlo comes out from below with the horsehead on. Peter: We seem to have a horse.Abby in the hatch: Last night sailing in 20-25 knots of breeze, doing 25+ boatspeed. Appears we must have hit something with one of the rudders, and broke the tiller arm. Abby and Louis in the stern working on repairing the tiller arm. "Try some mallet?" Abby taps with the mallet. Louis: I was off watch, and got woken up that we'd broken the tiller arm... Two boats have sheered. Came back with Abby and put the spare one on from the emergency kit. Nothing major, but probably lost a mile or so, sailing with only one rudder until the leeward rudder was fixed. Abby: At first light this morning we checked with the endoscope, and it looks like the rudder is not damaged. A reminder that there's lots of stuff we can hit.Alberto, in the cockpit, explains that they had a very bad night, and lost a lot of distance on TTToP and Vestas. Bouwe, on the wheel: Turn the Tide and Vestas made a very nice move and gained 20 miles on everybody... Just keep trying, trying to improve, sail against numbers... And hope soon we can crack the sheet a little. Below, Louis talks about trying to improve. In the cockpit, Alberto: The secret to going faster is a good engine and a lot of fuel. But don't tell anyone; it's a secret. Awesome low-altittude drone shots, slomo, from in front with a competitor behind them. Kyle, below: Today is ANZAC day. Nina: A good day to catch up wiht friends and family, have a few drinks. (She waves.) Peter: It's our biggest wartime memorial we have every year. Obviously a long way from both NZ and Europe, but definitely thoughts with them. Shot from the stern as they prepare for a maneuver. Drone shot with competitor behind. Kyle: King Neptune is coming to the yacht to visit Nina. Alberto: Nina's the one who's very excited. Nina: Can't even deal. The torment, with the equator and King Neptune, it's started already. It's gonna be three or four days. They're too excited about it. I'm very nervous. Bouwe looking serious as night falls. Peter: She reckons we could sell the hair we're gonna get off her head. Or donate it, to kids. It's up to her to decide. Nina: I don't think anyone will want it anymore [after all this offshore yacht racing]. Someone calls down below for a peel. Abby: Too many. Crew comes up, they hoist the new sail. (MH0?) Slomo of sunset. Nina: I wanted to say to Caitlan, that I'm really sorry if I don't have any hair when I'm maid of honor at her wedding. Maybe if Caitlin also pays to King Neptune, maybe he'll take only half the hair, or an eyebrow... Sorry Caitlin. Night time shot of stars.One word: Louis: Disappointment. Peter: Brutal. Kyle: Difficult. Carlo: Very disappointing. Sally: Risk? Alberto: I'm sad. I don't even know what to say. Everybody's disappointed. [He shrugs.]. Sunset. Capey at the nav station. Someone eating in the red light of their headlamp. Instruments. Kyle: We're still fighting. Stranger things have happened. Looks unlikely. Performance seems like it's been better this leg, but slipping away from us. It's tough. Sunrise. [Favoriting this because I just think Yann does a really good job with narrative, and his videos really work for me on an emotional level. I've felt this since the last edition of the race: His videos aren't just videos; they're powerful short films. All the awards for Yann.]Bouwe, at the nav station, talks about their strategy. Could see that they were falling off the pressure that the leading boats were in. So they went in stealth mode. Didn't lose too much distance because the boats ahead were sailing at a high angle to the finish. Peter on deck as they flop. Capey, below, talks about feeling bad. Thought they were through the lee of the island and moving, and they weren't. Night shots on deck, maneuvers on the foredeck as wind builds. Sally: This morning we had a huge sigh of relief when we saw that Dongfeng and MAPFRE chose to take the same direction we did. She talked about Bouwe coming on deck with that sched. Capey: At least the boats behind us weren't doing something different. Laying out the J1, peeling from MH0 to J1. Capey and Bouwe talk about strategic options at the nav station. Peter looks on. Louis watches from his bunk.Shots of instruments. Sally talks about instruments and what she looks at when she wakes up: Speed. Heel angle. The heel sucks. Canting cockpit floor would be fantastic. Peter, on the helm: Boatspeed and true wind angle are the ones you look at the most. Carlo: True wind speed. Louis: Polar percentage of the last 10 minutes. Kyle: Depends on your role, driving or on the main, differs. The number I look at the most is my watch. And distance to finish. Carlo: This is our fucking watch captain. Bouwe, below: Sailing is trimming and sails up and down. But numbers don't lie. If you have the answers it's in the numbers. Capey: Down here is where it really happens. Numbers down here. Boatspeed, windspeed, a lot of things to monitor. Bouwe: My favorite number is polar percentage. Always trying to beat that number. If you're at 103 a lot of the time, that will become your new target. Always trying to keep improving. Capey: Only one number as navigator, and that's position. Trying not to hit anything. And heading: Are we going the right place. Shots of the nav station computers, instruments, VHF with channel 16 showing. Computer screenshot: Adrena Pro Carbon Edition, with strip charts.Least-favorite thing about the leg: Carlo: going upwind. Kyle: The upwind start, going upwind in 40 knots. Alberto: The humidity downstairs. Bouwe: The rain. Alberto: The rain in the first days. Sally: The beginning of the leg. It was horrible. Rough, a little seasick. Enjoyed the most? Bouwe: When the northerly wind came in and we were sailing at 26 knots in flat water. Kyle: Being with the leaders. Louis: Being competitive. Sally: Racing against the other boats, quite close. Peter: The transition we went through with all four of the leading boats right next to each other. Alberto: I like days like this. Sunny days, nice, warm. Carlo: Sailing to Auckland. Alberto and Carlo below.Night shot. Bouwe's voice: "Slower than us, yes. Moving. And a bit lower." Peter on the helm. Capey's voice talks about MAPFRE. MAPFRE, a boatlength ahead of them, in a flashlight; they shine a light back at them. Peter, on the helm: "We had a good bit of fun last night. Got stuck a boatlength behind MAPFRE... Eventually managed to get over the top." Louis talks about how they got over them, but then they got caught under a cloud. Bouwe talks about how they took off with wind and they just couldn't get over to them. And TTToP came up and made a move on them as well. "Of course it's bloody annoying." They've made up distance on TTToP. Good pace. Shot of TTToP to weather. Drone shots from close aboard. Carlo, shirtless, works on the stack. Drone shot with TTToP behind them and to weather.Someoneon the bow (Louis?) hanks on the J1. Louis comes back to the cockpit. They hoise the J1, lower the J0. Crew works to secure the J0. Alberto grinding. Bouwe, below: "We seem to be going better." Bouwe at the nav station talks weather with Andrew. Bouwe talks about looking ahead. Jokes that Capey doesn't like looking seven days ahead. Talks about matching Dongfeng, with similar sail combination. Shot of another boat to port (Dongfeng?). Carlo talks about how it's different on this leg that they're holding onto the leaders. Going upwind isn't anyone's favorite. Talks about going away from Auckland. "Capey must have a very good reason... I'm happy but also frustrated." He laughs.Louis eats below. Someone (Peter?) is mic'd. Later, Louis is mic'd. It's pretty cool gettting good audio. Louis talks about the other boats, pulling away from them. Talks about sailing into the lee of Taiwan. "Always good to see them getting smaller, for sure." Going to sail into lighter wind, then increasing to 30 after they peel to the J2. Still fresh; only 24 hours into the race. Sally: The J1 peel is one of the hardest ones, and most annoying I think. On the bow getting hammered by waves. We see them in windier conditions, slomo of spray coming over the bow (with the J2 up). Sailing to weather in big waves and wind as the light fails. Epic stuff. I don't know quite what it is, but I love the cinematic look and feel Yann gets.Bouwe comes out of the cabin into the cockpit wearing a Santa Claus costume. He's holding a sack and banging on a teapot. Carlo watches from the shrounds. Santa: "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!" Santa gives a present (a card?) to Capey. Capey: "It doesn't look like I can eat this." Peter watches from the helm. Peter gets a (poorly wrapped) present. Abby gets a present (hers actually looks pretty nice). Santa gives Annie one present, then swaps out a different one and gives hers to Alberto. Louis, poking his head up from below, gets a "baby" one. Santa walks to the bow, then back. Kyle emerges from the cabin rubbing his eyes. Louis puts on reindeer+Santa hat sunglasses. (Assuming that was his present?) Santa passes out the final gifts: Cookies. "Sharing, sharing..." Santa removes his beard to enjoy a cookie. Carlo talks to Ugo: "You really miss out on the special days doing this race. So it's nice to be able to celebrate Christmas with Santa on the boat." Below, at the nav station, Santa/Bouwe types at the computer.Annie, with no foulies on below, puts her foot down and holds on, wincing, as she slowly adjusts her position to get out of her bunk. She says something to Abby, next to her. Lying down, she describes getting pushed into the guy wire against the back of the boat. Big pain in her right side, couldn't move her right leg. Couldn't stand up, couldn't crawl. Ice gate was coming up; guys had to drag her along the deck and put her in the bunk. Shot of them taking her foulies off as she describes the pain. "It's like a burning pain." Bouwe: "Suggest the only thing is get the gear off now, and get her in the sleeping bag." Later, as she's lying down, she describes the pain to them: "It's like a 6 most of the time. And then sometimes it's a shooting pain that's more like an 8." Bouwe: "Most important thing is get her down, even if the ice gate is coming up... Security first. Before any medication I just made a quick call... Because if there's any internal bleeding then of course you can do wrong things." Every 4 hours she's getting [something; presumably painkillers]. "But she's a tough cookie." Shot of Bouwe on the phone at the nav station, writing notes, crew pawing through bag for medicine. Bouwe talking to Annie in her bunk. I think they're talking about where the pain is. Bouwe: "It's basically on the [bum?], yeah? That's good, because I was worried at the time [something]." Annie: "It's my lower back." Bouwe pats her on the shoulder. Annie, in her bunk: "Since then for the last 24 hours I've been in my bunk. Bouwe called Spike [?] yesterday, I've been on painkillers, I've just emailed him a few hours ago to see if he knows what it might be and if there's any way to fast-track getting me back on deck. At the moment we're going along the ice gate and we're gybing a lot and I feel very bad that I can't help everyone with the stacking and gybing. It's hard to stack myself. The goal is to get back on deck as soon as I can. We're not even halfway through the leg yet, so, yeah. I really need to recover quickly." Carlo, below with Sudocrem (?) on his lower face, goes through a bag labeled "First Aid". Louis: "It's one pair of hands less on deck, so it's obviously much harder, there's much more work to do. So if you're with four persons on deck there's always one who can rest. So now it's 4 hours full on, grinding, trimming, driving. So then you suddenly realize how much Annie does. I really miss her in my watch for sure."Brunel flops in no wind. Carlo scoots out on the bowsprit with a hammer (?) to free something, presumably. Sails flop in the foretiangle. Closeup of the windspeed indicator reading 3kt. Below, Louis recaps recent weather. "This morning we had a transition; we even had a couple of hours with 0-5 knots of boatspeed." Now they have gybed and are sailing fast on port gybe. AkzoNobel is 10 degrees off their bow, still on AIS. Farther ahead are MAPFRE and Dongfeng. Shots on deck of them sailing on port, double-heading in strong wind. Spreader cam views of someone working around the mast. Closeups of the wheel, holding the mainsheet. Reefed main. Spray. Shot of a second (third?) reef being put into the main.Onboard before the start, Louis talks about being excited to be back in the race and looking forward to the Southern Ocean. Abby talks about how they've already got 30 knots, and they're all geared up for a night of slamming, banging in a big breeze. Footage of the start, racing around the buoys in close proximity to the other boats. Video has a glitch, with the video freezing at 1:00 while the sound continues, then sound drops out and we just see the frozen video frame for the last 48 seconds of the video.