Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

Vendee Globe - IMOCA skippers participate in the Azimut Trophy

by Vendee Globe on 2 Oct 2012
2012 Azimut Trophy Vendee Globe © http://www.vendeeglobe.org
Vendee Globe – From the 28th-30th September, IMOCA skippers were expected in Lorient to take part in the second edition of the Azimut Trophy (a 210-mile single-handed race) and Challenge (around Groix Island with a crew). It was the perfect change to get together 40 days before the start in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and face each other in a competition one last time before November 10.

The message was clear: The Azimut Trophy was not only a great opportunity to practice solo regatta one last time but also a fun event. The pre-start briefing saw Azimut founder Jean-Marie Corteville - aka ‘Steve Jobs’ according to Louis Burton – set the tone: 'The Azimut Trophy is a friendly race with a fun route and priority is given to relaxation and having a good time. This is why you won’t see an Azimut showroom or anything because our main goal is to have fun.' On the start line at 5.30PM, the seven competitors were looking forward to follow these guidelines and kill two birds with one stone: Enjoy themselves and train hard.

After the race, Armel Le Cléac’h totally agreed with the director of the communication company about the pleasant atmosphere surrounding the Breton event: 'Of course it is a race, with rankings and competition involved, but the atmosphere is so relaxed, no one is taking anything too seriously. It’s not the World Championships!'

The Banque Populaire skipper, who is basically the co-organiser of the race, appreciates the presence of the event in the IMOCA schedule: 'It’s now been a year since we launched that IMOCA race with Azimut as a practice event a few weeks before major races. Last year, we were preparing the Transat Jacques Vabre so we sailed the Azimut Trophy with two skippers. This year, it’s the Vendée Globe so we’re sailing single-handed. The idea is that we want a route that allows us to work on what we need to work on so that every skipper is satisfied.'

He actually designed the route himself, with the input of the other yachtsmen: 'I drew up the route with Azimut, after discussing it with each skipper, and we also had to take the weather conditions into account, with last-minute adjustments because of changes in the weather. We had all sorts of conditions and situations and everybody was happy. It needed to be an efficient training for us, that was the point, and we got exactly what we wanted.'

Jean-Pierre Dick eventually won that friendly regatta, proving too strong for the other competitors. The Virbac-Paprec 3 skipper actually covered the 210-mile distance in less than 21 hours, leaving his closest challengers 20 miles behind. 'The key moment was during the night, when I made a good decision, picking the right sail which, as the wind grew a little stronger, helped take the lead. I managed to glide ahead of the others and keep the lead all the way to the finish line. I’m really satisfied with the fact I was able to keep a good speed throughout the race, which is really good.'

Armel Le Cléac’h finished second, leaving Marc Guillemot and Vincent Riou fight for the third position, with the latter eventually finishing on the podium. Jérémie Beyou took the fifth place, less than fifteen minutes behind Safran while Louis Burton and Tanguy de Lamotte, respectively sixth and seventh, showed they may still be lacking single-handed sailing experience.

The mood was light and festive during the trophy ceremony, with Vincent Riou coming on stage while a Lady Gaga song was playing, Marc Guillemot asking the public to pay attention and listen or Louis Burton joining them with his baby in his arms and a bottle in the back pocket of his jeans. As for Jean-Pierre Dick, he spoke about the night he had spent under a beautiful moon while the PRB skipper explained how impressed he had been with the dolphins ‘making the same sound as they do in marine amusement parks’.

On the next day, Sunday September 30, Bertrand de Broc and François Gabart joined their fellow Vendée Globe skippers to participate in the Défi Azimut (Azimut Challenge) featuring the same yachtsmen except for Armel Le Cléac’h. Competitors had to deal with very weak wind conditions and, even though Macif won, Vincent Riou is still holding the round-the-Groix-Island record.

All skippers finished their speeches with warm thanks to Azimut for organising this two-fold competition, Trophy + Challenge, and set a date for the same time next year.

Jean-Pierre Dick: 'It’s definitely a very interesting training. You get to practice and do things that will be very useful in a month. It’s important to trust the boat and to keep learning, even after sailing around the world on this yacht twice, there are still things you can learn. It was my last training against other boats and after that, I’ll be pretty much on my own.'

Armel Le Cléac’h: 'The toughest part was dealing with sleep but this is very different from what we’ll experience on the Vendée Globe, where the race is obviously much longer and we’ll never stay an entire day without getting any sleep. The Azimut trophy has been a satisfaction when it comes to preparing for the Vendée Globe. The preparation period is coming to an end and this was a nice opportunity for me to sail alone and check that everything is fine.'

Vincent Riou: 'It was a fun race and a very close one at that. We’ve sailed a lot with PRB this year, and this was the last one in race configuration. It was a beautiful night, we had some very good moments. Everything was just perfect, I want to thank the organisation team.'

Marc Guillemot: 'It was a very pleasant race, even though it was physically demanding and intense. With such a major race around the corner, it’s always great to get such an opportunity to train.'

Jérémie Beyou: 'The conditions we faced weren’t difficult so I was able to check everything was ok. It was a nice race, without any pressure, and I’d like to thank Jean-Marie Corteville for his initiative.'

Louis Burton: 'What a pleasant rehearsal before the Vendée Globe! Bureau Vallée is doing just fine, I’m very satisfied.'

Tanguy de Lamotte: 'I’m really happy I could participate. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to race before the Vendée Globe.'

Standings:

1 - Jean-Pierre Dick – Virbac-Paprec 3, finished at 14h 16mn 19s
2 - Armel Le Cléac'h – Banque Populaire, at 14h 36mn 22s
3 - Vincent Riou – PRB, at 14h 40mn 51s
4 - Marc Guillemot – Safran, at 14h 47mn 18s
5 - Jérémie Beyou – Maître CoQ, at 15h 06mn 36s
6 - Louis Burton – Bureau Vallée, at 16h 52mn 35s
7 - Tanguy de Lamotte – Initiatives-Cœur, at 18h 01mn 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
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
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
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
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 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
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
North Technology - Southern SparsT Clewring AC72Schaefer 2016 660x82