sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vendee Globe - Final countdown underway
Vendee Globe - Final countdown underway

'Vendee Globe'    Olivier Blanchet

For the Vendée Globe, weather forecasts look promising for the 20 solo skippers who start the seventh edition of the 28,050 mile solo non-stop around the world race tomorrow, Saturday at 1302hrs (French time, 1202hrs UTC). The final hours before the start are never, ever easy to deal with.

As the final weather forecasts unite to give a clear picture of the first 24-36 hours at sea often it is the sheer malice of the Bay of Biscay in November which preys on the minds of the skippers. This time it seems like the skippers will be blessed with a relatively benign, fast passage across Biscay in a breeze which will make southwards miles increasingly easy. But there are two key traps – one possibly at the start – and one off Cape Finisterre which might precipitate a ‘rich get richer’ scenario.

The pressure this time is not so much contemplating potential early damage to boat or skipper, but early damage to race prospects.

A fast, clean start will be essential and there will be a definite need to be up among the ‘peloton’ the leading group through the first 48 hours or more or else it might be a long time before lost miles can be regained.

When the skippers met for their final official briefing today it was clear that small tensions were simmering. Gone was the bonhomie and humour of Wednesday’s press conference and in its place the sharp focus on the small details on what might go wrong as the fleet start leaving the dock Saturday, led by Bernard Stamm’s Cheminées Poujoulat at 09.30hrs, filing out through that huge wave of human emotion which is the legendary channel exit. They salute the farewells from the hundreds of thousands of passionate supporters who perch on every single vantage point in the narrow channel, but practical concerns were aired strongly at the briefing. Top of the agenda was the real prospect of the skippers wanting to tack early, to make a hitch to the west deal with the possible arrival of a weather front would offer a more favourable course angle offshore.

The crowds start assembling from as early as 0500hrs in the morning, booking the best . But some skippers will likely be awake before them.

'You always try to get a maximum amount of sleep on that last night but you never really do. Your mind is always racing with different things, mulling over what is going to happen the next day, the start. Ideally you get a good night’s sleep, but that never seems to be the case.' Confirms Mike Golding who will be making his fourth Vendée Globe start.

Start day is one of high emotion. The rookies might find it hard, but those who have lived it before know to keep their feelings in check. Jean-Pierre Dick, one of the French pre-race favourites talks of his ‘Terminator’ frame of mind, staying cool through the day and focusing only on the start an initial strategy.

'Start day is not my favourite part of the race.' Briton Sam Davies asserts, 'I will be really be happy when it gets dark and I can’t see anyone any more. It is part of the race, great for all the sponsors, supporters. It is not so much of an emotional rollercoaster, because you just cannot let it be that. Mentally we have to deal with it.'

'From early morning the skippers will have been up getting the most recent weather information. The previous night they will have spent time with those nearest and dearest to them, making sure they are with the right people, sharing time with them because the time on the pontoon is never easy and not the time to be saying goodbyes. You never really sleep because you are nervous. Then on the day you want to be as detached as possible making sure your head is in the right place. It is a big moment for the team but you tend to spend your last time with them on the boat before the start, but really you have your head in the sail plan and the weather files, you need to be focused. And the first night at sea is difficult with the possibility of fishing boats and traffic around so you need to be vigilant as well as sail fast.' Explains Dee Caffari, the British solo skipper who raced in the last edition.

The weather forecast promises a relatively easy start, some 15-18knots of wind, but the key question is the timing of a front which might pass over the fleet before, during or just after the start. That front will bring a shift in wind direction from SW to W and NW prefaced by some squalls and showers. If the front is late there is the potential to be pressed to the south early, towards the corner of the Bay of Biscay, or the alternative is to hitch west early to find the shift earlier and be able to sail a better angle towards the corner – Cape Finisterre.

Thereafter it should be a lifting breeze, that is one which allows the skippers to sail a progressively faster reaching angle as the wind veers.

At or around Cape Finisterre, the NW corner of the Iberian peninsula, there is likely to be a high pressure ridge which extends off the Azores high pressure system. This light winds hurdle will be easier for those who get there first, before it becomes wider. And beyond it, there is the promise if fast sailing down into the Portuguese tradewinds. So there looks to be a considerable benefit to be among the leading group.

They said...

The forecast is much better than last time, kinder to the boats. But I think the spectators might have a hard time. It is just a bit complicated for the start. I am not sure what time the front will go through. If the front is a little bit late that means the wind will be SW and not W NW so that would have us heading due south which we don’t want to do or we will have to tack. There is strategy to start with and part of that strategy will be whether you are brave enough to tack into a spectator fleet which probably has no idea you are going to tack.

If you don’t tack early then you can lose five miles immediately on your competitors. And if I do that I don’t think I will be stacked on to port, but it might be well worth taking that early hitch while the front is going through.

Then there is a ridge, and the question is where that ridge is going to be. Savéol is not the fastest of the fleet, and so that has always been something I worry about, a rich get richer scenario. And so I have been running lots of routings at different percentages of the polar performance to see if I makes a big difference going really fast or not, and I think it is a scenario where, maybe just to start with, but I think everyone will stop a little. We have to get through the ridge and I don’t think anyone will escape it.

Generally it is nice because it is not really strong, not boat breaking to start with. And physically I think it will break us in gently.

Start day is not my favourite part of the race. I will be really happy when it gets dark and I can’t see anyone any more. It is part of the race, great for all the sponsors, supporters. It is not so much of an emotional rollercoaster, because you just cannot let it be that. Mentally we have to deal with it.”

Sam Davies, GBR, Savéol

 

I will have a last lunch with my friends on the beach and then get on to the boat and into my bags and see what I have got and what I will use in the first part of the race. It is going to be a lot of emotion as I go up the channel and see all the crowd and my sponsors, guests and all my family. It will be quite intense for a time and then to suddenly be all alone.

Tanguy de Lamotte, FRA, Initiatives-Coeur

We are waiting for a NW’ly wind maybe before the front it will be a bit more W’ly. The question is the timing of the front and the position of the starting line. But in the morning the weather forecast will be more precise and there are the observations from the water. I think we will have all the information we will need. But there might be the problem with the spectator boats if we are on port tack. We have to be careful.

You have to stay calm. You have to try and share the moments with your family and sponsors but all the time there is focus on how you will start the race. It is quite difficult, but if you have lived it before then it is a little easier.

You have to be good during the first night. You don’t really have to be first but you need to be in the top group. Maybe you can get to be south of the ridge earlier than others, but the guys to the west or north west of you can better than you. What is important is to sail fast on the first night, and then on the first morning to get the new information.”

Jérémie Beyou, Maitre CoQ


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=103660

8:08 PM Fri 9 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:

10 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Golding aims for best possible start
10 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Guillemot and Safran ready to set off
10 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Mirabaud skipper better prepared than ever before
09 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Skippers come together for final press conference
08 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Skippers come together for final press conference
07 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Skippers aspire to expand race history
07 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - What is Safran's skipper taking on his journey?
07 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Golding and Gamesa ready to race
06 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Who will win the seventh edition?
06 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Samantha Davies ready for second participation
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Team Vestas Wind skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS) has flown back to a remote Indian Ocean reef to help oversee a complicated operation to retrieve his stranded boat after it was grounded there during Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race nearly three weeks ago. ... [more]  

Images from Mauritius as the Team Vestas Wind recovery crew prepare to depart for the Cargados Carajos Shoals, over 200nm away. The team have acquired some salvage equipment and will live aboard a chartered boat and attempt to float the boat over the reef and into the lagoon. ... [more]  

The skipper of Mapfre, Iker Martinez will leave the Campos managed Volvo Ocean Race entry for the third Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team cites a conflict between Martinez's Olympic commitments in the Nacra 17 and the Volvo Ocean Race, as the reason for the departure which the team says was a planned move. ... [more]  

The America's Cup Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. The appointment was tipped a month ago in Sail-World.com. Under the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, the appointment has to be approved by the majority of the competitors. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. This week's show is the 34th. Sailing news in sixty seconds-ish (2:46). Sail Sydney: Josh McKnight (Moth, 9:43), Tom Spithill (Moth, 12:45), Olivia Price & Eliza Solly (FX, 15:24) Tom Burton (Laser, 23:20) James Wierzbowski (Extreme 40's, 32:08) and much more ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race 2014: Isabelle Haudiquet was on the helm as the bright yellow hull blasted through the finish line. Having safely moored Bingo after 17 days at sea, the French crew enjoyed a cold beer dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Final part of a three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson tell what happened once the crew stepped aboard the local coastguard boat just after dawn, and subsequent trips back to the wreck. ... [more]  

2015 International 14 World Championship - Four-time World Champion, Britain’s Archie Massey, expects racing in the titles at Geelong, Australia, will be tight. ... [more]  

The most significant sailing performances of the year are being heralded by US Sailing with the announcement of the ten men and seven women who have been shortlisted for the 2014 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. ... [more]  

A successful medal haul for the Australian Sailing Team (AST) at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne with five gold, five silver and three bronze in the Olympic class program, plus two gold and one bronze in the Paralympic fleet. Hear what the sailors had to say about their performance, along with some great video footage of the week's racing on Port Phillip. ... [more]  

Bart’s Bash, the global sailing race that took place in 60 countries around the world, on September 21st, 2014 raised an incredible £366,391.95 for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. The race was held in memory of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, the Olympic gold medal sailor who died in May 2013. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic: As with every yacht participating in the race, staff from Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina greeted the French team on arrival with warm congratulations, a cold beer and a welcome basket from the Grenadian Tourism Association on behalf of the people of Grenada. The crew of five looked tired after nearly 17 days at sea, but owner, Frank Lang was full of praise for his crew. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Perpetual Loyal is no stranger to the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Winning line honours in 2011, they have continued to be a contender, especially in heavier breezes. ... [more]  

In a lot of ways, it was kind of befitting that the best conditions of the last day of the Sailing World Cup – Melbourne, were saved for the Women’s Laser Radial Medal Race. Apart from highlighting them in glorious sunshine, like Huey’s own spotlights, it also brought into frame that were only two girls 470 crews in attendance for the regatta. ... [more]  

The website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand, has been launched. The Finn class is eagerly anticipating a return to Takapuna Boating Club for what will be only the second Finn World Championship to be held in New Zealand. It will have been 35 years since Cam Lewis (USA) beat John Bertrand (USA) in a thrilling final race showdown in 1980, to take the Gold Cup. ... [more]  

Looking for a great Christmas present which you can buy with a few mouse clicks? Bob Fisher's books on the Round the World races, Farr 40's and the definitive America's Cup two volume set are still available, along with other titles from South Atlantic Publishing. ... [more]  

In January Nqoba, from Durban, will embark on his Yachtmaster qualification and will have none other than legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to ever sail solo, non-stop round the world in 1968-69, as his mentor as he takes the first steps to realise his dream of circumnavigating the globe at the helm of a Clipper 70. ... [more]  

IFDS 2014 Worlds: But as you reflect back on the year, we hope you will agree that week of competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia set a new standard for disabled sailing. It was the largest world regatta yet with 18 SKUD-18 teams, 14 Sonar teams and 49 2.4mR competitors and the largest number of countries participating. There were some challenging days finding enough wind to race. ... [more]  

The 2015 McDougall + McConaghy Moth World Championship is set to be even more of a spectacle this year, with the return of the Zhik ‘Mothapolooza’ which promises a potential head-to-head with teams of America’s Cup and Olympic sailors. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
Part 2 of three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson covers what happened from the time the Volvo65 hit the reef on the SE corner of the Cargados Carajos Shoals. ... [more]  

Last Saturday saw the third annual St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up organized by the St. Maarten Regatta as part of the Regatta Art Competition. Unfortunately, due to exams, not many children showed up. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has released the selection procedures for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team (Sailing) in the 10 events selected for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad will take place from August 5-21, 2016, and the sailing events will be based at Marina de Gloria on Rio de Janeiro’s harbor front. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - When the cannon fires sending the 118 entries on their way in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 70th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, two yachts will stand out, because they first competed back in the early days of the race. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race have announced from their headquarters in Alicante, Spain that an independent report has been commissioned into the grounding of Team Vestas Wind’s boat on a reef in the Indian Ocean. The report will be released during the Auckland stopover. ... [more]  

The French sailor scratches his newly shaved skin. He tentatively reaches towards a plate of fried chicken pieces. Still not sure. He rubs his chin again. He hesitates. Laurent briefly runs his eye over the other plates, but finally he can no longer resist the crispy fried chicken pieces. 'This is what I’ve been waiting for,' says the cheerful Frenchman. ... [more]  

Transatlantic Race: After time correction, Apollo 7 is leading IRC Two. Nigel's team included three close friends from his home town of Plymouth, Devon: Steve Wassell, James Slater and Mark Davies. Also on board were two offshore specialists: Dan Gohl, a past Class40 world champion and Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Record holder as well as Rolex Fastnet Race winner Brett Aarons. ... [more]  

The 2014 OK Dinghy World Championship opens at Black Rock Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Australia, on December 28th and so far there are around 80 entries, with perhaps a few more before registration closes. This 52nd OK Dinghy World Championship will be the third time that Black Rock YC has hosted the event, following 1982 and 1990. ... [more]  

Adelaide Sailing Club played host once again to the Melges 24 class for its 'Christmas Sprint Series', the third three day M24 regatta in five weeks held by ASC which, (in the same season the club is also hosting the M24 Australian Championship) says something about the power of persuasion, energy and organisation being put in to M24 class by its Australian Secretary Donna Evans. ... [more]  

The team, led by Jerome Clerc, will not compete on the 2015 Extreme circuit but intends instead to focus entirely on the Decision 35 Vulcain Trophy season in Switzerland. The professional sailing squad onboard Realteam capped a superb 2014 season with a third place in Sydney last weekend that put them on the third step of the overall Extreme Sailing Series Championship podium. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
Part 1 of three part interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson discusses the factors leading up to hitting the reef, interspersed with other research information, charts, video and images. Parts 2 and 3 will follow on consecutive days. ... [more]  

USA 4 Windsurfing campaign by USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign
Change is inevitable. No matter how hard you try to keep things the same, there comes a time when you must move on. The harder you resist, the more difficult the change. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bob Oatley’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race record holder, Wild Oats XI, is out of the water for a final modification after a high speed and rough weather training run off Sydney. ... [more]  

This is Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific from the 60s cartoon series, the Wacky Races. Of course, to Australians and a plethora of motoring enthusiasts the world over, the real life Peter Perfect will always be The King of The Mountain. RIP Brocky (Peter Geoffrey Brock). ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Big adventure comes to an end
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 15 December 2014
Comanche; Supermaxi Showdown VIDEO
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Final day
2014/15 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Jason Michas wins
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Yacana crosses finish line
2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Swiss team Alinghi wins
Extreme Sailing Series: Images from Act 8 + Series' Highlights video
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team - Leg Two review
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi crowned 2014 and Sydney champions
Extreme Sailing Series -Sydney Land Rover recognises talent
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Medal Race Images
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi dons ESS Crown, Oman Air wins award
18ft Skiffs: Rooklyn scores win in Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy
ISAF Sailing World Cup: Fan cranks up for final Melbourne day + Videos
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Day 1
Extreme Sailing Series: Delayed coverage - Day 4 +Audio *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng score another excellent result
Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Fleet rumbles in Miami
Extreme Sailing Series - The Wave, Muscat see championship bid slip
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - From acorns grow oaks   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel (NED) wins Leg 2   
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team wins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Day 3 image gallery from Sydney Harbour *Feature   
The Extreme Sailing Series™ - Action-packed day on Sydney Harbour   
Early Christmas presents for ISAF Sailing World Cup medallists + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 2 finish - Team Brunel wins from Dongfeng *Feature   
Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Day 1 overall   
2014/2015 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Images by Joy Dunigan   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage - Day 3 +Audio *Feature   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta kicks off with successful sponsor party   
Successful seventh edition of 2014 World Yacht Racing Forum   
2014 Star Sailors League Finals - Catching up with Robert Stanjek   
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne - Day 6 Preview   
Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 Photos and season highs and lows video   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg Two - Final fight to the finish + Video   
Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 - McMillan tops table in Sydney + Video   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi - Day 2: Extreme Sailing Series, Sydney   
ISAF SWC Melbourne - Top ten prepare for Port Phillip showdown + Video   
Extreme Sailing Series Act Eight 2014 – Photos by Andrea Francolini   


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.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT