Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Vendée Globe 2012-2013 - War in the Pacific

by Vendée Globe on 6 Jan 2013
Mike Golding, Gamesa - 2012 Vendee Globe Mike Golding Yacht Racing © http://www.mikegolding.com
Vendée Globe 2012-2013 No Sunday papers, no walk in the park this weekend for the thirteen Vendée Globe sailors. The four leading boats are currently climbing through the South Atlantic Les Sables D’Olonnes bound. Clawing past the edge of a high pressure waiting to reach the more sustained northerly winds. Meanwhile in the Pacific, the other skippers are being pounded by hard conditions. They are sailing with a reduced sail in cold, messy, unrelenting seas. Life onboard for them is very unpleasant.

It’s on wintry Sunday’s like these, from the warmth of your living room when the Vendée Globe comes into its own. It’s hard to imagine what life onboard an Open 60 is like in a ferocious storm in the icy belly of a raging, tempestuous Pacific. No bedding or pillow, or hot bath to warm up and no respite, or rest.

Last night Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas) sent this message back to the race office. 'The wind varies from 18 to 43-45 knots, and it’s not easy to establish the ideal sail plan without risking the equipment. The rest is complicated too! I dream of being dry and on my veranda!'

This email took some time to decipher, clearly typed onboard a boat bucking like a bronco. Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) said last night, as he prepared to go into battle with the elements, 'this is war!' It’s a complicated time for him, enduring 45 knots in violent seas. With two reefs in the mainsail, he will just have to batten down the hatches until he reaches Cape Horn tomorrow where he will find hopefully some calmer conditions.

Mike Golding (Gamesa) continues to lead the charge of the five boats together. Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) is pursued by Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat), who will have a renewed vigour, since he learned yesterday that his disqualification case has been reopened. He is flying along at more than 18 knots and is 20 miles behind Mirabaud.

Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) travelling at a speed of 14.5 knots this morning is the weakest of the group and has around three more days before he reaches Cape Horn. Three days is a long time in these turbulent conditions. It's even longer Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM), Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) and Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) all catapulted along by a 25 knot north westerly wind.

It’s a complete change of scene for the top four as they approach the rise of the South Atlantic. Scrutinising the weather files, tacking and fine tuning as they crawl along at 7-8 knots, to the west of the high pressure. Every knot counts. François Gabart (MACIF) still leads the dance, but Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) shifted to the west, is hot on his tail. He could benefit first from the Uruguay depression they are chasing for faster speeds. With intensity they will be studying the weather files each looking to steal the advantage from the other.

Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) is sailing with a little more wind than the leading duo and has been able to steal back 30 miles. In the last 24 hours alone he has narrowed the gap by 124 miles. Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) is also catching up and has gained 43 miles in 24 hours. The Vendée Globe is culminating towards a nail-biting climax. Watch this space.

Watch web tv Vendée Globe LIVE every day at midday GMT to watch the latest news LIVE from the race track.

Related Articles

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
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
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
NaiadKilwell - 5Schaefer 2016 660x82