Please select your home edition
Edition
Collinson and Co

Vendee Globe - Stable winds, good speeds and frustration

by Vendee Globe on 5 Dec 2012
Sunset view from on board Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe © Alex Thomson / Hugo Boss / Vendée Globe http://www.vendeeglobe.org/
In the Vendee Globe, still with the indefatigable Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire in the lead, the advantage continues to grow for the pace making pack this morning as they reach fast towards to the Crozet ice gate, the second control designed to keep the fleet north of the worst of the ice threat.

For the second group – that is Briton Mike Golding on Gamesa, Jean Le Cam on SynerCiel and Switzerland’s Dominique Wavre – there is a desperate realisation that, despite extreme fatigue brought on by the their toughest 48 hours of the race so far, they must redouble their efforts to stay in touch with the six leaders.

A high pressure ridge was already slowing them early today and they need to find the speed to escape if they are to remain in the same weather system as the pack they are chasing.

Reaching at some 18kts almost directly east towards the target, the Crozet ice gate, Armel Le Cléac’h seems to be on course to reach that waypoint some time tomorrow if speeds remain as high as forecasted. The top four in the 13 boat fleet have managed to maintain high averages in favourable winds of 20-22kts. Le Cléac’h had added another five miles on to his margin back to second placed Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac-Paprec 3 whose course is just 13 miles to the south of his. François Gabart was not polled on the early morning schedule but is known to be in good shape in second around 20 miles behind Le Cléac’h. And the top four IMOCA Open 60’s are still racing within 50 miles of each other.

Alex Thomson, the British skipper in fifth, has never fought shy of trying something different. He has taken Hugo Boss south of the leaders’ direct course to try and avoid the worst of what is expected to be a period of lighter winds which could prevail on the approach to the Crozet control gate. Thomson, some 171 miles behind leader Le Cléac’h had only lost a few small miles to the leaders overnight but will hope his lone investment pays off as he passes the gate more towards its eastern extremity.

These have been tough times mentally and physically for the chasing trio, the ‘three Musketeers’ Golding, Le Cam and Wavre. After a very hard 24 hours in potentially boat breaking, big, unruly seas in which it was hard to stay in control this trio are facing the frustrating prospect of being trapped by a high pressure ridge which had already slowed them this morning to some 13-15kts of boat speed. And already the gap between sixth placed Golding and Thomson has grown to some 360 miles.

'Very big waves today. The breeze is up and down between 12 and 24kts. The boat picks up on the waves, goes roaring off and then finishes with a crunch. Everything is shaken to the bone. It’s scary. Just seem to be waiting for something to break. With the boat slamming a couple of times a minute it’s hard to get weather in, to run routing, hard to do anything at all, even prepare a meal.' Noted Mike Golding late yesterday.

If Golding’s frustration that what he and his running mates had initially hoped would be compression into the leading pack is now set to be a potentially big loss of miles, for Spain’s Javier Sanso these are also testing times. Last night he expressed his hopes that he would finally wriggle free of the light winds which have plagued him and Acciona 100% Eco Powered for days, might finally be gone this morning seem unfounded as he was still making less than six knots and has averaged just 7.7kts over the last 24 hours.

The pleasures of the white heat of unrelenting competition among the leaders are still mirrored almost equally by those enjoying their ride towards the back of the Vendée Globe fleet. In ninth Arnaud Boissières on Akena Vérandas is well into a spell of faster sailing, as are Bertrand de Broc on Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM projects who is making nearly 20kts this morning, quickest of the fleet. And Italian Alessandro di Benedetto on his evergreen Finot design has the island of Tristan de Cunha as his next waypoint some 450 miles ahead of his Team Plastique. Vendee Globe website
Harken and Fosters -  Harken WinchesNorth Sails V GennakerBIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82

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
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 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