Silence as he crosses equator

Vendee Globe sailor Jonny Malbon, skipper of Artemis Ocean Racing II, has crossed the Equator for the first time as a solo sailor. He was battling with malfunctioning technology which temporarily affected his ability to communicate the occasion with land.

Malbon has been spending many hours over the last few days trying to get his Fleet 77 up and running again. The important piece of equipment, which sends back video images and photographs, as well as receiving e-mails and weather information, has not been working properly since the weekend following a small malfunction.

As Jonny commented, “I have a problem with my charging system, which has caused a spike to the Fleet 77. The Fleet is no longer operational.”

His boat builder back in the UK, Ian McCabe summarised, “It seems we have a bug in the electrical system which has caused a spike or over load which has somehow by-passed our regulators (a unit to keep the power level constant) and has caused the power supply unit to the Fleet to fuse itself. We are working with Thrane and Thrane (the manufacturer) to overcome this problem. We are hoping that a solution will be found but until such time Jonny will have to use the iridium sat system for weather downloads and communications. This system is a lot slower and will not allow him to send videos from the boat and will also limit photos.”

“We hope this can be resolved but it is a complicated bit of kit and it may well be impossible for Jonny to repair with the limited spares he has on board. We are doing what we can.”

Jonny and the Artemis Ocean Racing team still believe the malfunction can be reversed and full working order restored to the Fleet 77 and his communications back to shore. He has continued to film and photograph his incredible journey as he takes on his first solo ocean race. Let’s hope we get to see all the images of Jonny paying homage to Neptune as he crossed the Equator once the Fleet is working.

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