Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 5

Vendee Globe - Old and new set to start in Les Sables d'Olonne

by Vendee Globe on 6 Nov 2012
Pontoon - 2012 Vendee Globe Race Village Olivier Blanchet www.oceanracing.org
Of the Vendée Globe fleet of twenty IMOCA Open 60’s - six have been built new since the end of the last race, PRB, Banque Populaire, Virbac-Paprec 3, Macif, Cheminées Poujoulat and Acciona 100% EcoPowered. On paper, these newest boats should represent a jump in performance over the previous generation, indeed designer Merf Owen of Owen-Clark has said previously that successive generations should represent a performance increase of around five percent.

As a comparison to 2008’s fleet of 30 there are fewer new boats this time, which is not unexpected given the global economnic situation. But of the last edition’s 15 new (2007-8 launched) boats only five finished : Foncia, BritAir, Safran, Pindar and Aviva finished.

This time four of the new boats are from the design offices of VPLP-Verdier – PRB, Macif, Banque Populaire, Virbac-Paprec 3. Owen Clark designed Javier Sanso’s Acciona 100% Eco-Powered which is slightly heavier and more powerful than the VPLP-Verdier designs whilst Bernard Stamm’s new Juan Kouyoumdjian design is acknowledged as the most powerful new design in the fleet.

One key difference from last time is the optimisation and miles the new boats have sailed. Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-Paprec 3 has already won the Barcelona World Race, was sailed back from New Zealand as a shakedown delivery and on top of that has raced the equivalent of half way round the world again since being built. Vicent Riou’s PRB has already sailed the miles equivalent to one round the world. Armel Le Cléac’h’s Banque Populaire was previously Michel Desjoyeaux’s last Foncia which has a list of honours including third in the last Transat Jacques Vabre, third in the Europa warm’Up and second in the Transat BtoB.

François Gabart has benefited from the cooperation with and project management of Vendée Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux’s Mer Agitée and won the Transat BtoB with Macif but that is Gabart’s longest deep ocean race with his boat.

Bernard Stamm has not sailed anything like as many miles. His Cheminées Poujoulat had to be refitted after being abandoned in last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre.


And Javier Sanso’s Owen-Clark design is the newest in the fleet, along with Cheminées Poujoulat having the fewest racing miles under their keels.

They are not old, but neither are they new. They are the most recent generation, some built for the last race. Of this generation the most proven has to be Michel Desjoyeaux’s Farr designed former Foncia which he won the last race with. It is now in the very capable hands of Jérémie Beyou and races as Maitre Coq.

On its debut Desjoyeaux won the Transat Jacques Vabre with this boat but more recently the 2007 launched IMOCA Open 60 also completed a second nonstop tour of the planet in the hands of Spain’s Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez finishing second in the Barcelona World Race.

And the last edition’s second placed finisher, the former BritAir of Armel Le Cléac’h, a Finot design, is back to go round again this time with Bertrand de Broc.

Jean Le Cam, second in the 2004-5 race, returns with the Farr design which lead the last Vendée Globe as Gitana 80 skippered by Loick Peyron. Though Peyron did not finish, the boat did complete the last Barcelona World Race as Renault Zero Emissions with Pachi Rivero and Antonio Piris.

Marc Guillemot launched the first of the VPLP-Verdier partnership designed boats with Safran has a great combination of racing miles linked to an ambitious and comprehensive optimisation programme. Safran has developed a new fully integrated mast track system which is made in 3D woven carbon composite. Safran themselves developed the carbon fibres weaving system and the new innovation is said to run virtually no risk of being torn off the mast – as happened during Guillemot’s last race when he had to climb his rig some 25 times. The other new development for Safran is a keel fin made in titanium.

Alex Thomson has a Farr design which also lead the last Vendée Globe. Then it was Sébastien Josse’s BT which latterly went on to win the last Route du Rhum as Roland Jourdain’s Véolia Environnement. Thomson finished second in the last Transat Jacques Vabre with Guilermo Altadil on the boat’s first outing as Hugo Boss and more recently took more than 24 hours off the Transatlantic record in the summer.

Poland’s Gutek has a late running programme with Alex Thomson’s Finot designed Hugo Boss, the sistership to BritAir and Generali, now Energa.


Mike Golding also has a very potent combination of a last generation boat which he knows well, having also lead the last Vendée Globe. His experience of the race – this is his fourth – is allied to a well optimsied boat though he has not managed to get as many training miles this spring and summer as he wanted.

Arnaud Boissieres has Vincent Riou’s former PRB, the Farr design fitted with a new, lighter rig whilst Louis Burton has Bureau Vallée the ex-Delta Dore.

Dominque Wavre’s Mirabaud is a 2006 Owen Clark design which has to retire from the last race after developing keel problems but which completed the first edition of the Barcelona World Race.

There are comparatively fewer older boats in this edition of the race. Sam Davies has the 2004 Marc Lombard design which raced as Véolia Environnement in the last race and lay second until the Azores. Optimized with Juan K, the boat had a new keel fitted last summer. Tanguy De Lamotte has a 1998 Lombard design which was formerly Catherine Chabaud’s Whirlpool which has had some updating work on the advice of Michel Desjoyeaux, whilst Italy’s Alessandro di Benedetto’s Team Plastique was formerly Akena Vérandas designed by Finot Conq.
Vendee Globe website

T Clewring AC72Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
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