Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Vendée Globe - Banque Populaire retakes lead

by Vendee Globe on 19 Dec 2012
BANQUE POPULAIRE - VENDEE GLOBE 2012/2013 © Armel Le Cléac'h / Banque Populaire
Vendée Globe skipper Armel the Jackal has taken the lead with 37 days, 20 hours, 70 miles to the longitude of Hobart. They call him The Jackal because of his relentless hunting exploits in French sailing races and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) is showing why in this Vendée Globe. After eating away at the lead Francois Gabart (Macif) took from him on December 11, Le Cléac’h had the final bite as they crossed the East Australia gate.

It may seem illogical or that it does not matter with more than half the globe still to sail, but try telling that to either man. They have been almost match-racing each other around the world and they and their teams will care a lot.

For Le Cléac’h, the senior of the duo by six years and in his second Vendée after finishing second in the last edition in 2008-09, it is about reasserting his authority.

The pattern of their approaches so far continued at this gate with Gabart ceding the lead as he took a longer, more northerly route. The two had indentical speeds – 17.3 knots - through the northern hemisphere night but their day but Gabart will have to sail more miles now as they turn south of New Zealand (800 miles east) and into the Pacific. At the 0400hrs ranking Gabart had sailed 14,248.56 miles compared to Le Cléac’h’s 13,868.16 miles. Nearly always Le Cléac’h has looked for the more direct route. Gabart is banking on picking up the forecast wind shift from west to north first. So, expect more match-racing today.

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) lost ground on the leaders but was making the best speed in the fleet – 20.4 knots in the last hour as he continues his match race with Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) on the longitude of Hobart.

Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel), in sixth, has been dealing with rough conditions and 40-knot southwesterlies. But he may be glad of it when he looks behind and sees that a small area of ??high pressure may block the road for Mike Golding (Gamesa) as he approaches the West Australia gate.

'The thing is just now is that it looks like Jean Le Cam will be able to hold on to the system for two or three more skeds (rankings), I have just run his routing and that’s how it looks,' Golding wrote. 'That is frustrating but I can’t do anything about it. I am under full main and Code 3, but at some point I hope there’ll be a payback.

'Last night was pretty full on at times. I had the boat up to 30kts on the surfs at one stage but the only trouble is you end up slamming into waves and that’s not good for the boat.

'But it is starting to feel pretty frustrating because we just never seem to have got going for any length of time. The weather behind is pretty slack. We will just have to look forward to the Pacific.'

It could be a moment for Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud), 190 miles behind and Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered), 350 miles behind to make significant gains.

Tanguy ‘Smoke on the Water’ de Lamotte has perhaps the toughest 24 hours ahead with shifting winds between 35 and 50 knots and a huge sea and up to nine metre waves forecast. If the Indian Ocean looked mild last week, de Lamotte will remember his first visit to it more keenly now as he goes into survival mode rather than racing.

Meanwhile Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), on his own in third, is 250 miles south west of the East Australia gate and in similar position to where the two leaders gybed north yesterday. 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
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
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 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
Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring CruisingBakewell-White Yacht Design