sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vendee Globe - Fleet hobbled by high pressure and tension
Vendee Globe - Fleet hobbled by high pressure and tension

'Hugo Boss, 2012 Vendee Globe'    © Alex Thomson / Hugo Boss / Vendée Globe

On board the top eight IMOCA Open 60’s on the Vendée Globe solo ocean race around the world there is added pressure to absolutely maximise speeds over what might prove a key section of the three month race.

For both the leading group of five, and the so called ‘chasing trio’ behind them, high pressure systems are encroaching from the west and also possibly from the north east and threatening to stall their otherwise rapid passage east.

Race leader Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire leads the charge towards the Crozet ice gate, making nearly 20kts of boat speed in improving conditions.

'The seas are a little calmer, but the anticyclone is pushing from behind and so we cannot afford to hang around at all. We have to pass the gate before it (the high)gets to us.' Stated Le Cléac’h on the Vendée Globe Live programme at lunchtime today.


Vendée Globe Live (direct, version française)... by VendeeGlobeTV

Le Cléach has nicely managed to contain the four skippers which represent the biggest threat to his lead. François Gabart aboard the near identical twin Macif got to within 12 miles of Banque Populaire when their wakes crossed on opposite gybes at times today. Not surprisingly, for VPLP/Verdier designs built out of the same mould, speeds are very closely matched.



When he also spoke to Vendée Globe Live the obvious edge to the voice of Jean-Pierre Dick revealed as much about the stresses and strains of pushing so hard these past 36 hours in difficult sea conditions, as what he actually had to say. But Virbac-Paprec 3 is very much in touch, 33 miles – or about 90 minutes are present speeds - directly astern of Banque Populaire this afternoon.

'It is windy with big seas. The swell is not just big but the wave directions are quite crossed and so when the waves pass the bow and pushes it, the boat just stops. There is a lot of noise and it is very uncomfortable,' Dick explained, struggling above the cacophony of wind and waves.

Around 158 miles behind the leader, stress was also evident when Hugo Boss’ Alex Thomson called in today. Through the main part of the day he has pretty much held his station relative to the leader – only losing two or three small miles to Banque Populaire – sailing his lone southerly route, one which the British skipper considers his only option. To him, he said, there are no alternatives if he wishes to circumvent the worst of the high pressure and light winds: 'It has been fast the last 32 hours or so and a bit scary at times, particularly yesterday when we had a top speed of over 30kts and I was just trying to keep the boat under control and being very conscious that you don’t want to break it.'

Sunset view from on board Hugo Boss -  http://www.vendeeglobe.org/!©_Alex_Thomson_-_Hugo_Boss_-_Vendée_Globe  

Thomson summarised, ' But I am pretty happy with where I am managing to be up with the top boats, but I am having to take a dive to the south and I will see how things go now. To me there is not really an option to do anything else, it is the only thing I can do, I can’t really call it an option per se, the high is spreading across the course so I have to get to the south and then skirt around the high pressure and make my way up to the eastern end of the ice gate. So I will be passing gate towards the other end.'

The British skipper, in fifth, who had actually made up 50 miles on the leader since yesterday, has other pressing matters at the front of his mind, but certainly at his team base in Gosport, England today there is a very small measure of satisfaction that he has now passed the respective points at which the soloist retired from his first Vendée Globe with a hole in his deck eight years ago, and the longitude at which he had to abandon his boat during the Velux Five Oceans Race two years later.

'It is not something he will have given thought to, but it’s a mark passed for us with some relief here at home.' Confirmed ATR director Stewart Hosford.

The high pressure system has already hobbled the pace of Mike Golding, Jean Le Cam and Dominique Wavre. And while there is an underlying frustration shared between the sixth to eighth placed skippers that they have already lost 100 miles to the leaders since the same time yesterday afternoon, there has been some let up in the heinous, boat breaking sea conditions which had made life insufferable on board. By yesterday evening even the usually indomitable Golding sounded ragged and run down.

Sleep and a hot meal had improved his outlook: 'It's been not so much frustrating, but worrying at times,' Golding recalled, 'Last night was a lot better, a big improvement. It's just a lot of stress on the boat, a lot of stress on me and a lot for the guys around me. There were some quite exceptional waves in amongst that lot. You have to remember that this is the area of the world where the largest waves ever have been recorded, it is not surprising you see the odd ‘biggie.’

Mike Golding on board Gamesa, 2012 Vendee Globe -  Mike Golding Yacht Racing ©  
'The breeze calmed down and then it was a question of just knowing when to break out the reefs and change sail, but to be honest, I did that fairly quickly and I think I was just ready to keep the boat going. We have got the pressure on at times to do something to mitigate the worst effects of the high pressure, to see if we can't do something to stop the rot which there seems to be.'

Mike Golding (GBR, Gamesa): It was pretty hard to rest last night because conditions were changing, I was trying to push more south and I would like to push further south, but because we are in the influence of this high the wind is unstable, as we steer generally by the wind, it is very difficult when the pilot is following the wind and the wind is shifting 40 degrees. You can't really follow a strategy if you are zigzagging your way through the ocean, so it does mean you have to monitor it, trim the sails, rather than following the wind wherever it goes.

Dominique Wavre (SUI, Mirabaud): I feel like I’m in a shaker. The sea is a mess. The atmosphere is heavy. The Indian Ocean is more complicated than the other oceans because you have to deal with the anticyclones, the islands and everything. The Pacific is quite easy after this. I wont even tell you my plans because I have two friends around me who would like to know what I’m going to do.

Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA, Initiatives-Coeur): Last night I was under gennaker with one reef. Then I set the small gennaker. During the night the wind then reached 25 knots so I took a second reef in the mainsail. The boat is going quite well. I have some albatrosses following me. For the next 24 hours it is going to be very intense, with a 30 knots of wind. I’ll gybe twice.

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=104427

6:46 PM Wed 5 Dec 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:

06 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Brutal 48 hours for Golding, Gamesa
05 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Stable winds, good speeds and frustration
05 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Tumultuous times on board Gamesa
05 Dec 2012  Is Vendée Globe skipper François Gabart crazy?
04 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Armel Le Cléac’h sets a new record
04 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Gap widens as first five pass Gate of Aiguilles
03 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Leaderboard shuffles, Le Cam gets tied up + Video
02 Dec 2012  Vendée Globe leaderboard shuffles on Day 21
02 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Interesting night for Golding, Gamesa + Video
01 Dec 2012  Vendee Globe - Gamesa passes Tristan da Cuhna + Video
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World









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


























































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
Clipper Race - Californian crew member continues fundraising journey   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 2 images by Jude Robertson   
Les Voiles de St Barth - Images by Christophe Jouany   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Fleet sets sail in race 11   
Congressional Cup - Canfield and Team US One best star-studded field   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 11 to get underway to Panama   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Rolex China Sea Race - Hi Fi collects the coveted IRC Overall title   
Rolex China Sea Race - First arrivals in Subic Bay   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - a sniff of a hat-trick for Neil Pryde   
America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: Switzerland drops trou for charity   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - 27th edition underway   
Rolex China Sea Race - Ragamuffin 90 claims line honours victory   
Saturday June 21st will feature the 39th One More time Regatta   
Rolex China Sea Race - Ragamuffin 90 extends unassailable lead   
Rolex China Sea Race - Commanding lead for Ragamuffin   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - An amazing fleet of traditional yachts   
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Freshwater adventure on tap   


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 WAS US