Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Vendee Globe - Fleet sailing to the beat of a different drum

by Vendee Globe on 1 Dec 2012
Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe © François Gabart / MACIF
In the Vendee Globe, as expected, the front of the fleet has compressed and the distances between the competitors has shrunk. Just seventy miles separates Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), François Gabart (Macif) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) François Gabart (Macif) has closed the gap to a very tight twenty miles. The chase continues between the eight leading boats but for the pack at the back, they are up against and speed is the on the menu to ensure they don’t get caught in the forecast high pressure over the next few days.

At around 7am GMT the fleet will pass by the island of Tristan da Cunha, a small piece of land, in the middle of the South Atlantic. The goldenboy, François Gabart (Macif), who is loving his Vendée Globe, sent this message: 'Dear inhabitants of the island of Tristan da Cunha, I hope to come on a cruise stop one day so we can become better acquainted. I believe that if you live on an island like this you will have lots of stories to tell!'

On a port tack, with a steady wind, between 17-20 knots the IMOCA fleet are sailing with good speed towards the Gate of Aiguilles, around 1200 miles away, and are expected to arrive in less than four days.

Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) had his foot to the floor last night, making 20 knots and banking him 456.8 miles. The magic of the Vendée Globe is in full swing as the skippers steal miles from the leader, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire). The roads are converging are they align back onto the great circle and shortest route: there is a 400 miles lateral gap between Virbac Paprec 3 and Banque Populaire but the distance this morning is more than 200 miles. Behind the top three (Armel Le Cléac'h, Jean-Pierre Dick and François Gabart), five hungry hunters are also bearing down on the front trio. Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) takes fourth place Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), while Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel), Mike Golding (Gamesa) and Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) are maintaining the speed on the dashboard at a steady 17 knots.

The pack at the back can’t dance to the beat of the same drum. Tail end Charlie, the salad growing, sea gardener, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) is the boat likely to be most effected by the predicted light airs as the wind eases off, while Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM), Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) and Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas) are being held back by a lighter wind that doesn’t enable them to catch the leader, who is advancing away from them. Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) is the one that got away, and he is making good speeds of 17.3 knots.

Last night, he sent this message to the race office, 'Being the fastest boat in the fleet for almost two days, catching up the leader by more than 200 miles and getting close to the guys in front of me. There is still good pressure and good wind, let’s see how long it lasts. In three days time we will have a pretty complicated situation; right now it’s difficult to predict which way to go through……there is still a lot of racing left and there will be more opportunities.' 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
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
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. 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 most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 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
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 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
Naiad/Oracle SupplierBakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100