Solo sailor Bernard Stamm had AIS track data on the ship he hit last night


Cancel that thought that poor Bernard Stamm being very unlucky to collide with a fishing boat yesterday on day 1 of the Vendée Globe. Make that very lucky to have lost only the bowsprit of his boat.

After checking the AIS tracker, which logs data from ships such as vessel name, type, MMSI, course, speed, etc, his crew has confirmed that the vessel he collided with was an 80m cargo ship from Malta. Stamm had a close call with catastrophe there.

Most of the IMOCA 60s have AIS receivers but not transponders so Stamm will have had information on the ship on his radar display but the ship might not have had data on his boat.

So while you wonder why the ship didn’t at least spot his active echo signal on radar, unfortunately it does a few questions about Stamm’s watch-keeping routine, his radar alarms and so on.

There will be some very wakeful solo skippers out there now.