Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Vendee Globe - Battle intensifies in the Pacific

by Matthew Pryor / Vendee Globe on 20 Dec 2012
Armel le C’leach, Banque Populaire, Vendee Globe 2012 © Vincent Curutchet / BPCE
In the Vendee Globe, much like two boxers standing toe-to-toe and swinging from the hip, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and Francois Gabart (Macif) are trading blows with every ranking. Le Cléac’h landed one overnight – their day in the southern hemisphere - as they approached the Auckland Islands. Le Cléac’h is 2.5 miles ahead and just two miles northeast of Gabart.

Both skippers have held the lead for just 15 hours before being unseated in the longer stretch of nine hours between ranking.

Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), was slightly faster at the 0400hrs (UTC) ranking (averaging 19.3 knots to Gabart’s 17.8 knots over the last hour).

With both pushing each other like this and combined with a mixture of their skill, superior boat speed, the chances of the fleet catching them diminish.

They have a northerly wind of 30 knots, which will gradually turn northwest this morning. If the sea is relatively easy for the moment, with a four-metre swell rolling in the direction of the wind, the next few hours could be more uncomfortable as the waves will rise sharply as they approach the Campbell Plateau, where the sea bed shelves back, sometimes sharply from 5000 to less than 200 metres in places. Watch those nosedives you two.

After his successful trip up the mast, Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), was back up to speed and became the third boat into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, after crossing the 146°55' E longitude south of Tasmania.

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) and Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat), will follow him on today. Thomson extended his lead from 14 miles to 39 overnight, but both have slowed this morning and are losing miles to the leaders. Thomson was making 14 knots in the last hour and Stamm just 11.7.

After a slow 24 hours where it looked like he might be nursing a secret problem, Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel), in sixth, was back up to speed overnight, averaging 15 knots and stemming the flow of Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered). Nevertheless the four boats with Mike Golding (Gamesa) and Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) in seventh and eighth now have only just over 300 miles between them.

Sansó, in ninth, was 518 miles behind 48 hours ago and, but had closed the gap to 297 miles by Wednesday night. This morning it was 310 miles. Wavre, the most, the most northerly of the boats as the well as the oldest skipper in the race at 57, averaged the highest speeds in the fleet overnight – 19 knots.

Spare a thought for Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) - 600 miles from the Amsterdam gate and 4,197.4 miles behind the leader - whose unfathomable patience may be tested today as he is caught in an anticyclone while the other 12 all have strong wind. But it should pass in 24 hours. Vendee Globe website

Related Articles

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
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
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 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
Schaefer 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Floaters