Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Vendee Globe Race - The pressure is on

by Vendee Globe on 21 Jan 2013
Jean Pierre Dick, Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe © JM Liot / DPPI / Virbac-Paprec Sailing Team
Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) sustained its surging speed as he drew closer to pace-setters Francois Gabart (Macif) and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire). Meanwhile, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) was forced into a second trip up the mast in as many days following the loss of another headsail.

Di Benedetto had already lost the use of his gennaker, after going up the mast over the weekend to assess the halyard failure, when last night he ripped his spinnaker. It will have been enough to test even the bright spirit of the indomitable Franco-Italian skipper. It meant another dangerous climb 100ft in air on a heaving mast, in unsavoury wind and sea conditions for this kind of exercise – never savoury, especially alone. 500 miles northeast of the Falklands Islands, with 20-22 knot southwesterlies behind him, he spent two hours in the air to release the spinnaker halyard.

Di Benedetto said he was knocked around a lot during his climb but is fortunately not injured. His speeds may be for some time though without his two big sails and he was making just seven knots in the last hour.

The front of the fleet is already beginning to concertina as it approaches the Azores high.

Third-placed Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) should make significant gains today after being comfortably the fastest in the fleet overnight. Dick averaged 14.7 knots overnight and 15.4 knots in the last 24 hours in which he has covered 370 miles. He has closed 78 miles on Francois Gabart (MACIF), who is 474 miles ahead.

But significantly he is not drawing away from his British pursuer, Thomson, in the 17-18 knot northeast tradewinds. Dick is faster but their VMG to the finish in Les Sables are almost identical. Thomson is 265 miles behind.

Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) made no impression on Gabart’s lead overnight and is still 142 miles behind, but is set to gain on Monday as Gabart’s speed dropped to 9.5 knots in the last hour as he approaches the Azores high. Le Cléac’h was making 12.6 knots in the last hour.

The Unfortunate Five in the middle of the fleet are still being taxed in the South Atlantic. Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) and Mike Golding (Gamesa) are on a convergent path, with Le Cam, 85 miles west, only nine miles ahead. Golding averaged just 7.8 knots overnight but with a better VMG as they eke out the miles in the difficult northerly wind and choppy waters. In seventh, Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) continued to draw away from Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) and is 52 miles ahead. Wavre is 188 miles behind Golding.

Arnaud Boissières (Akena Verandas), hugging the coast of Brazil, albeit less tightly, has the best night, averaging 10.1 knots, with the most direct VMG.

Ahead of Team Plastique, Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives-core) and Bertrand de Broc (Your Name Around the World with EDM Projects) continue to enjoy the best conditions, backed by 17-18 knots Vendee Globe website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Pantaenius - Fixed ValuePhuket Raceweek 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Kids range