sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vendee Globe - Rollercoaster ride south is on for the leaders
Vendee Globe - Rollercoaster ride south is on for the leaders

'Macif, Francous Gabart'    Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©    Click Here to view large photo

In the Vendee Globe, the rollercoaster ride south is on for the leaders, as on the heels of strong breezes from the north, speeds for the pacemakers surged this afternoon, finally freeing them from the shackles of the high pressure ridge and a frontal passage, which combined to form the biggest strategic challenge of the solo nonstop round the world race thus far.

Speeds for the hugely impressive longtime leader François Gabart have hit 20kts this afternoon as he consolidated his margin at 52.5 miles, regaining 12 miles lost this morning against his key adversary Armel Le Cléac’h. He has been just a ‘click’ slower on Banque Populaire over the middle of the afternoon than his younger rival.

And the threat to Le Cléac’h’s second place from hard driving Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm on the powerful Cheminées Poujoulat – five miles behind - is very real.

Gabart’s strategy so far has shown a maturity almost beyond his tender years. Not only did his choice to stay south allow him to keep making miles down the race course while his rivals were slanted west to line up through light winds, a high pressure ridge and the depression, but the resulting angles he has sailed over the course of today and his greater distance from the low pressure centre appear to have blessed him with a less chaotic sea state which has simply allowed him to drive harder and faster.

In contrast, certainly through the early part of today, rival skippers were talking of big, unruly confused seas precipitated by the changing wind directions.

The comeback of the day though is that of Vincent Riou. The 2004-5 Vendée Globe winner has risen back through the rankings from ninth this morning to fourth this afternoon as his more extreme, early move to the west has paid a dividend. But though he has gained places, his ascent of the fleet has in no way dented his deficit to the leader. In fact, he has lost a further 20 miles.

The fast downwind conditions, another drag race with no immediate tactical choices, are set to last another 24 hours at least. But with the seas lining up in a more orderly fashion as they proceed south, the tempo will be high but much more acceptable than today’s succession of changes which have left many skippers wearied.

Meantime the race’s ‘Benjamin’ the youngest soloist, 27 year old Louis Burton, confirmed this afternoon that he will try and sail the 700 miles back to Les Sables d’Olonne with a badly damaged port shroud. The Bureau Vallée skipper struck a glancing blow off a fishing boat in the dark, early this morning in bad weather. The skipper of Bureau Vallée believes his ascent back across the Bay of Biscay will take him around four days. The race rules prescribe that the start line closes at 1302hrs on the Tuesday 20th of November. According to Burton his biggest hurdle is having to replace the custom shroud itself, the manufacture of which would normally take three weeks.

The weather is due to ease for his passage back to Les Sables d’Olonne but his immediate problem is that he cannot tack on to port and needs to stay mainly on starboard.

Louis Burton, Bureau Vallee -  Olivier Blanchet   Click Here to view large photo

Burton said: 'My main emotion is just shock and I am pretty depressed that I have to get back to Les Sables d’Olonne'

'In fact I was going through the front and had a couple of hours to go and had 30-35kts of wind. There was very poor visibility, rough seas and I had the radar and the AIS on. I was under the canopy to nap a bit and was making about 20kts. I turned my head and saw a medium sized trawler slide along the hull. I grabbed a light to inspect the hull in a panic to see if it was OK. I was relieved but then saw the damage to the shroud. I tacked on to starboard immediately and focused first on Lisbon looking to get to land as quickly as possible,' reported Burton this afternoon.

His challenge is arguably greater than that of Briton Mike Golding who lost his mast eight hours into the 2000-2001 race. He returned to the start port and stepped a replacement to restart seven days after the fleet.

Ranking other International :

8 Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss +147 miles to leader
11 Acciona 100% Eco Powered, Javier Sanso, ESP, + miles to leader
12 Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, SUI +198 miles to leader
14 Savéol, Samantha Davies, GBR, +287miles to leader
15Team Plastique, Alessandro Di Benedetto, ITA, +320 miles to leader
18 Energa, Zbigniew Gutkowski, POL, + 597.6 miles to leader

Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso, ESP, Acciona 100% Eco Powered: Today it is good. It has changed now with the front. We are getting close to the centre and so it is very busy, very busy. It is not too gusty right now, probably 12-18kts, 14-15kts on average, very cloudy. I am quite tired, since yesterday I changed sails many times from genoa to Solent, to one reef, to two reefs, to 32 kts, to Solent to full main and right now I am pretty sleepy. I happy with my race so far. I am not catching any miles, I have not really looked at my position recently. Right now the key thing is not to lose the pack, right now I am holding pretty well with them, and so it is just a matter of pushing a little bit when I can, but in general I am happy, very happy. It has just taken a little bit of time to get into the full racing mode, I have never had experience of this level before, and it is good. I am very happy with the performance of the boat overall.

Alex Thomson, GBR, Hugo Boss: It was another difficult night again last night, not helped by the fact that I am still not feeling great. I have been waiting for the front to come, sitting in an area of no wind. I was pretty close to Maître Coq last night so got on the radio with Jérémie Beyou and asked him to keep a look out while I tried to get a little sleep. I am still not into a sleeping routine. I managed to get another two 40 minutes kip, but that’s it. ' It is now squally conditions out here. It is eight to 30 knots and the sea is pretty lumpy so I am not sailing at 100% at the moment. Maître Coq sailed off with his J2 up and was faster than me, but I am happy to sail a little bit slower and more conservatively in these conditions to prevent any damage to the boat. I am currently making hay south. I am tired. But I am feeling good. And I managed to get all the jobs ticked off my jobs list yesterday… even with man flu! But my temperature is down and thankfully feeling a bit better today.

Bernard Stamm (SUI, Cheminées Poujoulat): What a chaotic sea, I feel like I'm in a roller coaster. I wasn’t expecting such conditions at this point. I hope it’s soon over because jumping over waves like this is difficult, I can’t stay up, and even squatting or kneeling is difficult. It's so noisy, it feels like someone keeps firing a cannon!

Dominique Wavre (taped, SUI, Mirabaud): The current weather is terrible, terrible rain. François Gabart is going so fast and making all the right choices. What a great boat and a great guy, he’s impressive. There’s still a long way to go. I’m behind, it’s tough psychologically, but if the wind is right, I could catch up in a few hours, you never know. In the meantime, I’m maneuvering a lot, it’s ok, I can deal with it. The boat was shaken a lot in the wind, I have bruises and a back pain. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take pictures.

Louis Burton, FRA, Bureau Vallée: My main emotion is just shock and I am pretty depressed that I have to get back to Les Sables d’Olonne. In fact I was going through the front and had a couple of hours to go and had 30-35kts of wind. There was very poor visibility, rough seas and I had the radar and the AIS on. I was under the canopy to nap a bit and was making about 20kts. I turned my head bit and so a medium sized trawler slide along the hull. I grabbed a light to inspect the hull in a panic to see if it was OK.

I was relieved but then saw the damage to the shroud. I tacked on to starboard immediately and focused first on Lisbon looking to get to land as quickly as possible. At dawn I took some photos and sent them to the technical team to give them an indication of the level and type of damage. For sure the damage is just too much to continue like this. There might be a way to get back to Les Sables d’Olonne and away on time, but we need to make a custom piece which will not be easy because it usually takes about three weeks.

For the moment I'm confident. I'm trying to get the boat back to Les Sables as quickly as possible, taking into account I can't change tack without the risk of capsizing I will try to get back to Les Sables d’Olonne as quickly as possible to save as much time for the repair. I am still 700 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne. The conditions will weaken as of tomorrow. The routing I have just now has me getting there is four days but there are tacks on to port which I cant really make and so I am not really sure how long it will take me. It hurts a lot because of the big investment for so long, with all the sponsors like Bureau Vallée, for the whole team. It is such a shock, a feeling of injustice. Of course it is part of the sport but a setback like this is not easy to deal with. You just don’t believe it will happen.

Mike Golding (GBR, Gamesa): It looks like five days down to the Doldrums entry point and it will be reasonably fast, but then it will soften down and we'll be back into more traditional North Atlantic sailing conditions. We are set here on an extended starboard tack, so a chance to settle down and once I have the boat back up to speed and out of the bad conditions, I'll be able to get some rest and eat. Put some fuel in the fires before the next installment. '[The Vendée Globe] it's always a shock to the system, what can you do to get over that? More sailing, one could argue, but the reality of it is nothing really prepares you for the fact you suddenly realise have this huge race in front of you and these boats are increasingly tough and powerful and everything is pretty heavy and the boat becomes less complicated, but that almost makes life harder. It takes getting used to and takes a while to settle down into a proper, sustainable rhythm. 'Alex [Thomson] is interesting, he is not a particular benchmark any more than anyone else. I always look and see where he is, what he is up to, just the same as everyone else.


Arnaud Boissières (FRA, Akena Vérandas): Last night wasn’t easy because the wind was so weak, I stayed up all night. Yesterday, I got to wear my swimsuit, the weather was so nice. Now I'm facing 2-meter waves and 20 knots of wind. I changed sails a lot, my wrists are sore, I can’t wait to get some sleep. I had time to check various things on the boat and I'm glad to say everything is fine on Akena Vérandas. I should be able to go south in two or four hours. I was quite close to hitting a cargo ship earlier today. I’m sorry for what heppened to Louis, he’s a great guy. I’m very careful.

Vendee Globe website


by Vendee Globe

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103791

7:03 PM Wed 14 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2012 Vendee Globe

Related News Stories:

15 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Safran out of the water, keel removed
15 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe: Collisions at sea - Every ocean racer's worst nightmare
15 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Updates from Mike Golding onboard Gamesa
15 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Gains and strikes as skippers enter day 5 at sea
14 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Productive third night at sea onboard Gamesa
14 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Race Village in Paris-Montparnasse inaugurated
14 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Macif continues to lead as waiting game evolves
13 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Bitter conclusion for Kito De Pavant
13 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - High traffic spells high alert through second night
12 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Emotional roller coaster ride continues
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World





























Team GBR’s Sparky on the Road to Rio (Part Two) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,


















Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,




















Sailing World Cup Hyeres- Top sailors to face off as Gold Fleet Racing
Anti-boating legislation debated in Florida House
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 Laser images by Franck Socha
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 Nacra 17 images by Franck Socha
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Mitakis lead reduced on day 2
Will late spring thaw spell trouble for boaters?
Byte CII Worlds and YOG Continental Qualifier at Riva del Garda
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Battle continues for U.S. sailors
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Qualification stage comes to a close
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 images by Franck Socha
ISAF SWC Hyeres - Nacra Silver medal debutantes continue to improve
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Cheers on the dock
Spindrift 2 criss-crosses the Bay of Biscay
45th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's record circumnavigation
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Sailors tweet about opening day
49er Blog: Glorious racing to kick start Hyeres World Cup
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Continuous close racing
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Fluttering flags whet sailors appetite
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 4 images by Jude Robertson
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Nacra 17 images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Laser images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Ioannis Mitakis leads Finns after day 1   
RC44 Cascais Cup - Fresh faces join the line-up   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Excellent racing on opening day   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Images by Yvan Zedda and Franck Socha   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 images by Franck Socha   
Hyeres World Cup: Kiwis lead but Outteridge Jensen back in 49er fray   
Belcher and Ryan lead from the start in Hyeres   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Race day 1 ready for lift off   
Clipper Round the World Race 11 - Tense match downwind racing on Day 2   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Day 3 an absolute gem   
Quantum Key West 2015 dates confirmed   
Flying Tigers 'Psych' - on Lake Lanier they pronounce it Zhik   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Anticipation intensifies as start nears   
Clipper Round the World Race - Race 11 start images by Chuck Lantz   
27th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2014 - Big breeze on the butterfly   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - Pryde and Joy for Hi Fi   
Clipper Round The World Race - A flying start on Day 1 of Race 11   
Cammas on Caudrelier – different styles, same objective   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US