Vendee Globe 2012-2013 - Stamm makes stop, Le Cléac’h regains lead
by Vendee Globe on 26 Dec 2012
A podium finish for Bernard Stamm is slipping away in each passing day of the Vendee Globe race after Frenchman decided to drop anchor in another desperate effort to fix Cheminées Poujoulat’s banged up hydrogenerators in KaiKai Bay, New Zealand. Meanwhile, Armel Le Cléac’h steers Banque Populaire) to an 8-mile lead from trailer MACIF’s François Gabart to lead all fleets in the round-the-world race.
Bernard Stamm, Cheminées Poujoulat - 2012 Vendee Globe Vincent Curutchet / DPPI
Ready to start the second phase of his attempts to repair his broken hydrogenerators Vendée Globe solo skipper Bernard Stamm completed his 350 miles detour north from the Auckland Islands when he is reported to have dropped Cheminées Poujoulat’s anchor in Kaikai Bay, just to the north of Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island around 0100hrs UTC this morning.
After being thwarted in the remote Auckland Islands first by the incessant rain which hampered the composite repair work required, and then having to move because of the threat of very storms Stamm made the difficult choice to head north to seek more suitable shelter and better weather.
The skipper is now anchored close to the secluded beach north of Dunedin’s Tairoa Head and has light winds, partial sunshine with the threat of some light rain, but temperatures are in the 20’s.
In his third Vendée Globe campaign Stamm has yet to finish this ultimate solo round the world race and faces a very tough challenge to complete his repairs. His hydrogenerators have been broken for much of the race and the Swiss skipper needs them to be functioning if he is to carry on across the Pacific to Cape Horn.
Le Cléac’h again
Since their passage into the Pacific Ocean leaders Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and François Gabart (MACIF) have been virtually inseperable but an opportunity for the twosome to part company in what could be a key stage of the race is emerging. Behind them Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) were slowed through the night but the chasing duo should get the chance to accelerate again today and reduce some of their deficit on the leaders.
Le Cléac’h leads the duel this morning with a cushion of just over eight miles on the younger Vendée Globe rookie skipper Gabart after an intense day (European night) averaging over 19kts. Banque Populaire covered more than 445 miles over 24 hours. But Gabart, now positioned some 25 miles to the north of his rival, has been faster this early morning. So far when faced with meterological obstructions or opportunities Le Cléac’h has favoured sailing the more direct, straight course, whilst Gabart – in contrast – has often taken the more circuitous course, sailing more miles around them but at faster speeds. As the duo contemplate the zone of light, disturbed winds which will shortly block their path and are now showing slightly diverging courses perhaps Gabart to the north is already lining up to move away from Le Cléac’h ?
Whilst Jean-Pierre Dick was quick yesterday and now, at some 572 miles behind the leaders, might be in a position to miss the worst of the difficult transition zone and make a net gain on Le Cléac’h and Gabart before Cape Horn, but the skipper who has won two back-to-back Barcelona World Races has been slowed through the night, dropping nearly 100 miles to the top two skippers. So too Alex Thomson, in fourth on Hugo Boss, now angled to take the Pacific West gate some 600 miles in front, has also been slower this early morning but should have some 30kts of SW’ly winds today.
A good night for Mike Golding on Gamesa and Dominique Wavre on Mirabaud has seen the duo reduce their deficit to Jean Le Cam but the chasing duo are still some 400 miles behind the French skipper.