Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Vendee Globe - Gabart takes the lead

by Vendee Globe on 23 Jan 2013
Francois Gabart, Macif - 2012 Vendee Globe Vincent Curutchet / DPPI
Vendee Globe 2012-13 skipper François Gabart, onboard Macif, in his epistle last night to the race HQ explained that his journey through the centre of the Azores High was wrapped in a beautiful rainbow. The young pretender and race leader has elected to sail around the edge of the high, which should enable him to reach the northern ridge as quickly as possible and gather momentum once again.

This is the final hurdle before the tempestuous Bay of Biscay and the final strait into the race finish at Les Sables d’Olonne. The current ETA sees the first two arriving late Saturday night, Sunday morning.

Northern Morocco, on the latitude of Rabat, the south westerly wind blow 10-15 knots this will provide François Gabart (Macif) with a perfect angle to optimize his boat. For sometime now the leader sails faster and directly to the finish line than than his unrelenting competitor Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire). The gap widens overnight who must be gritting his teeth and pushing forward in lighter southwesterly winds of 8-10 knots. It was 85 miles yesterday but this morning the distance extended to almost 120 miles. Not a massive gap but one that is expected to increase further when François Gabart (Macif) picks up speed once he is free of the grip of the high.

He is deprived of his keel, with his ballast filled to capacity to stabilise the boat, this morning Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) lies in third place and is heading north an easterly wind of 13-14 knots making top speeds of 11 knots. As he limps along keelless, his boat wounded, he continues to lose ground on Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) with a distance 170 miles between them. Both boats are heading towards a passage between two areas of high pressure used by the leading duo. If current indications are anything to go by it is only a matter of time before their paths cross. Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) is still battling internally and soldiers on with 2000 miles to the finish. In 2004 Mike Golding completed the course without a keel, for only 50 miles and in 2008 Marc Guillemot finished 1000 miles from the finish without a keel. Safety is an issue, but also is the psychological need to complete the course. How safe is unsafe? What are the risks? Are they surmountable? Decisions, decisions. The Vendée Globe is a race of attrition that breaks hearts, boats and dreams. Will Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) conquer it after all?

Separated by 2300 miles from the leaders, lying in fifth place, 110 miles from Recife and 500 miles from the Equator, Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) continues along his path up coast of Brazil. This morning, once again ahead of Mike Golding (Gamesa) by only 15 miles (and laterally 50 miles apart), Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) was slightly faster (11.2 knots versus 10.7 knots average speed in last 24 hours). The pair have very similar conditions, continuing to be frustrated that the trade winds, which are expected to be here but continue to be absent.

300 miles behind, in seventh position, the conditions are more complicated for Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) as he trudges upwind in light airs from the north-east and a messy sea. Still, he gained about ten knots, on a route halfway between Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) to the east and Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas) to the west. Respectively, in eighth and ninth, the Spaniard and the man from Les Sables, made slow progress in light winds over the last 24 hours with 153 and 174 miles covered. Only 220 miles from Porto Seguro, in the northeast of Brazil, Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas) looks like he will reach the wind more quickly.

300 miles behind, and at the mercy of the weather Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM) is experiencing different conditions. In a good wind southeast 15-16 knots, the skipper sails the direct route with a15 knot average over 24 hours, the highest mileage in the fleet of the 364 miles.

Pulling away from Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) extending the distance 350 miles. Both skippers should maintain a course near the Brazilian coast and will soon be confronted with a significant drop in the wind. Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) is slow this morning as he wallows in light winds. This period of calm may be welcome by the Franco-Italian skipper, who recently endured painful injuries and damage. On the bright side, a little more than 4000 miles behind the leaders, he still showed the third best growth in the last 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
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignKilwell - 3Schaefer 2016 660x82