Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Vendee Globe - Astonishing gains for Team Plastique

by Vendee Globe on 24 Nov 2012
Alessandro Di Benedetto / Team Plastique - 2012 Vendee Globe © Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Team Plastique
In the Vendee Globe, Alessandro Di Benedetto was supposed to be here just for the adventure, he has packed 130 days’ worth of food and has a salad garden dotted around his deck, but never underestimate a man who has sailed around the world in a mini – the 21 foot boat variety, not the car, but only marginally less incredible.

Sicilian by his father, French by his mother, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), the 41-year-old skipper holds many incredible endurance records, but the last few days have shown that he is no slow coach. Despite having a 14-year-old boat , the oldest boat in the fleet and the only one with a fixed keel – rendering him sedate in a fleet of flying machines - he has pulled back 300 miles in three days on the leaders and 500 miles on Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas).

In a race of attrition – and with six boats out of the 20 retired and the Doldrums punitively taxing half the fleet, the 2012-13 edition of the Vendée Globe is definitely that – Di Benedetto’s presence is starting to look like more than just an adventure. He is still behind at the back of the fleet, but he is now back in touch.

His videos home are of soldering, gardening or grinding in his pants off the Cape Verde islands, but once again this morning at the 0500hrs ranking (French time) he had the fastest 24 hour run in the fleet with 320 miles at an average of 13.3 knots. If he can have a Doldrums like Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) and Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives cœur) then he will bank many of those miles.

In 2002 Di Benedetto crossed the Atlantic in a 20-foot beach catamaran, in 2006 he crossed the Pacific from Yokohama to San Francisco, again in the 20-foot beach cat and in 2009-10 he completed an epic 268-day non-stop solo voyage in Hakuna Matata, the smallest boat – just 21ft (6.5m) - ever to circumnavigate the globe. All were non-stop, solo and without assistance.

At one point on the circumnavigation he severely damaged his rig in a storm and looked like he would have to head to Chile, instead he stunned everyone by jury-rigging his mast and rounding Cape Horn.

On the Pacific voyage of 68 days – a record - he spent 62 of them in a survival suit.

By comparison he looks like he is only holiday this time, but that is deceptive, he is sailing his 60ft yacht almost as fast as she will go. He will be in the Doldrums by the end of Friday and seems likely to just keep plowing on where others falter, dawdle or abandon.

The Front of the fleet continued to separate slightly on Friday morning but Francois Gabart (Macif) had made up ten miles on the leader, Armel Le Cléac’h, (Banque Populaire), to be 45 miles behind at the 0900hrs (French time) ranking. But Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), in sixth place, is still less than 100 miles behind the leader, with all six boat averaging 11-12 knots over the last 24 hours.

Mike Golding (Gamesa) leading Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) and Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) further west, closer to the coast of Brazil, has, as he feared, lost some of the miles he banked in the Doldrums and is 275 miles from the front.

Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) and Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives cœur),traded places overnight and on Friday morning in 10th and 11th after both lost their appeal and completed their two-hour penalty turns.

The nightmare continues for Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas), who is a long way out of the Doldrums but is still in a hole to the west, that Bertrand De Broc (Votre nom autour du monde) has dropped into too. Vendee Globe website

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250T Clewring J-classInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
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