sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vendee Globe - Brits excel in the Doldrums
Vendee Globe - Brits excel in the Doldrums

'Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe'    Christophe Launay ©

In the Vendee Globe, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) and Mike Golding (Gamesa) have been two of the big winners in the Doldrums. Thomson was down to sixth at the 1600hrs (French time) ranking, having been up to third this morning, but just 2.3 miles separate the five boats chasing the leader, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire). Thomson made up eighty miles as the fleet compressed and has been able to bank that.

The chasing five have been breathing the same stale air for the last 18 hours and almost eyeballing each other they have been so close - they have all been rinsed, literally and figuratively. There was little time for sleep as they had to take care not to get caught out by sudden wind changes and squalls. But the surprise is Le Cleac’h has not got away from them and still only leads by 26.6 miles from Vincent Riou (PRB) in second. Le Cléac’h did look to have an easier night by comparison though as he drove directly south-west.

Boiling one minute, drenched by a thunderstorm the next and then utterly becalmed in the inky black night, it has been a testing period. 'I have never experienced a Doldrums like that before,' Riou, the 2004 winner and competing in his third consecutive Vendée Globe, said. At one point in the morning he was totally becalmed.

The five chasing boats have bobbed and weaved constantly and although it is unstable, Thomson is convinced he is out of the worst - and he looks to be right.

'It was a really tough night last night and I haven’t been able to get any sleep,' Thomson said. 'It was like one constant squall. It was monsoon rain for seven hours straight. I had practically no wind at all, so I have been steering by hand the entire time.

'I think I am out of the Doldrums, but every time I go through the Doldrums I always think to myself: ‘now Alex, you know, whenever you think you’re out, it means that you’re not’. I get my dry clothes out and then bang, it starts all over again.

'But I do think I am now out. I am sailing upwind. I am completely exhausted but I can’t get any sleep just yet. I have the boats all around me and I can see them, so I want to stay awake at the moment.'

Golding, in seventh, has closed 120 miles while those in front have struggled and has entered the Doldrums further west, usually a more favourable angle because they are historically narrower there. Yesterday afternoon, he is still making 12 knots, 141 miles behind the leader, with old sparring partners Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) hot on his tail still.

Mike Golding onboard his IMOCA Open60 yacht Gameas. -  Mark Lloyd- DDPI-Vendee Globe ©  
'Now I am just waiting to see if I stop,' Golding said on Tuesday morning. 'At the moment there is a lot of lightning and rain and some big nasty clouds around. But so far, so good. It would be nice if we can keep some of these miles we have gained. It would be nice if we could keep all of them.

'It is a very dynamic area. The model I am looking at now is probably old now but then I have committed to my strategy and if I suddenly need to be sideways 50 miles I cannot just do that. But I am not too worried.'

'The big (clouds) ones can bring wind ahead of them and then nothing in their wake, and that calm can last for hours. They track with the gradient wind and so you generally try to avoid the biggest ones, but if one is coming at you and has your name on it you cannot avoid it.

'So now I am looking for some steady upwind in a SE’ly wind which would signify we are starting to get out, but you don’t hold your breath.'

Meanwhile, at the back of the fleet and heading east, 1656 miles behind, Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski (Energa), has still not been able to re-join the race. The software problem in both his autopilots that caused the wipe out remains. But although the tough Polish skipper is losing miles he showed he hasn’t lost his sense of humour. 'I’m going in the direction of Morocco I think right now,' he said. 'But I’m not going to Morocco (laughs).'

He is testing the autopilots after instructions from B&G, the makers, but has not found the fault. 'Two days ago I received a long email from B&G office (who make his autopilot) with a list to do,' he said. 'I am trying everything but the new set up on the B&G autopilot - nothing has changed to be honest. I need a little bit more wind to check everything. This morning was gusty conditions, so I went downwind with 20 knots of boat speed but it was exactly the same situation - the autopilot was not giving exactly what I was putting as the heading for the boat.'

'I’m going with the wind right now, I cannot go south directly because there’s a big high pressure hole directly below me with no wind. I can’t check things with no wind so I’m going with the wind, that’s the plan.

Bertrand de Broc (Your Name Around the World with Projects EDM) enjoyed the best 24-hour run at the 1600hrs ranking, with 314 miles and has made a sterling comeback after leaving late when a collision with rigid inflatable support bad left a small hole in his hull. De Broc is in 11th place, 501 miles behind the leader.

Berttrand De Broc (FRA) / Votre Nom Autour Du Monde -  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©   Click Here to view large photo

Sam Davies (Savéol) one of the five skippers forced to abandon, from the twenty who started, has decided to deliver her wounded boat home under jury rig from Madeira and spoke movingly about her sense of loss and why the slow boat home is better. They will stop at Cascais in Portugal, 300 miles away before heading back to France when the forecast improves.

'I was just dreading that Xavier (David), my team manager, was going to tell me I had to get on a plane home and go and see everybody,' Davies said. 'I think he realised that there was no way that I could do that and that it was better for me to stay here.' Read the full interview here.

Samantha Davies, Saveol -  Sam Davies ©   Click Here to view large photo

Armel Le Cléac'h (FRA, Banque Populaire): The Doldrums are behind me, the sky is clear this morning. We took the opportunity to rest a little after a rather complicated 24 hours. Behind, they are grouped in the Doldrums and I took the opportunity to increase the gap between them and me. It's the charm and the difficulty of the Doldrums; you don’t know how you are going to be eaten. We have suffered but behind it seems to have gone pretty well for those chasing. We will count the points tomorrow when they will be out and see the impact of the Doldrums in terms of ranking and the gap between the boats. For now the road to go to the first ice gate is not very fast. We'll see how it will evolve; the conditions are quite normal at this time of year.

Vincent Riou (FRA, PRB): I’m beginning to see the end of the tunnel, for an hour, the wind is established and I am close to something that seems to be early trade winds. I had never experienced a Doldrums like that before. Last night was awful with squalls in all directions and incredible rainfall. It was tiring to manage. Things are beginning to be in place and soon time rest will come. Yesterday I sailed for a long time edge-to-edge with Alex Thomson and I see others from this morning on the AIS. I have not had much time to scan the horizon and look for them. We had very changeable conditions; we did not have five minutes with the same setting on the same sailing and tack. It was very agitated.'

Bertrand de Broc (FRA, Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projects): This is great but I would like to be a little more in the race. But the road is still long. Since my slightly delayed departure from Les Sables d’Olonne, I have not taken the same route (as the others) but I had a little taste of the Roaring Forties and Fifties (in the conditions he has had). There are still 80 days of navigation, so I have time to be back in the game. I feel that the Doldrums is quite happy of seeing me coming; in any case a little more than the leaders.'

Dominique Wavre (SUI, Mirabaud): Since yesterday evening, Jean Le Cam, Mike Golding and I have passed through a huge storm with a lot of rain and wind which have forced us to go upwind. But what is good is that we have almost never been stopped. The sky is completely dark. The sea is gray, like the English Channel, but it is mostly very messy. The wind rises and falls without warning, we do not see much on the water so you have to be vigilant. French speaking people will perhaps have to fight against the English (laughs). We make a nice little trio, so it will be a nice little fight, it's very motivating. I am already suffering the Doldrums. The wind went from eight knots to 20 knots in a minute. Suffering is one thing, but as it is windy I'm not complaining too much. We are entering the Doldrums when others are leaving it. The gaps might become bigger.'

Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA, Virbac Paprec 3): It's very, very hard with squalls up to 35 knots. We are in a group of five boats with an incredible fight, it's unbelievable. I was with François Gabart, there were a series of gybes to try to touch the wind. I hope we will soon get out of the Doldrums because we cannot say it was nice to us. What a horror. I am surprised that nobody had a problem; the fellows in the lead are all very sharp. Everyone fights, it's a great fight. In tough seas like this, seeing boats fighting, it’s really beautiful.

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=103961

6:41 PM Tue 20 Nov 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:

21 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - The fixable, the un-fixable and the avoidable
21 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Hugo Boss moves into third place
20 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Leaders take on the Doldrums + Video
20 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Maître CoQ skipper retires from the race + Video
20 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Rudder scare on board Hugo Boss + Video
20 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Golding contemplates Doldrums passage
19 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Advancements made as skippers' fight continues
19 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Enjoyable miles on board Gamesa
18 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe - Battle continues as skippers push on
17 Nov 2012  Vendee Globe: Black Friday - And then they were 16
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Today, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) took to the water for the first time from their temporary base in Southampton, sailing their foiling AC45. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13, and has subsequently been modified to fly on hydrofoils. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Day 12 for Team Alvimedica by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 12 onboard Team Alvimedica. There is no question as to the origins of the phrase 'down in the doldrums;' the monotony of these days is painfully apparent. It’s a pattern too familiar: a night of variable conditions—torrential rain and 20 knots of wind one minute, no wind and starry skies the next. Feast or famine. ... [more]  

Over 100 riders from more than 20 different countries have already registered and over the two weeks will compete against each other in the pro, amateur, master, grand master, youth and women's fleets for the honor of becoming the Aloha Classic Champions. ... [more]  

With only nine days remaining until the close of entries, one of the smallest, most audacious and memorable yachts in the history of the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, appropriately became the 100th entry. A mere 10.5 metres, James Cameron’s Hick 35, Luna Sea, will again do duty as one of the pintsized yachts in fleet for the 70th edition of the 628 nautical mile race. ... [more]  

Today was the last day of competition at the Student Yachting World Cup. Even though England’s victory was already for sure, the top-5-ranking could change a lot with two more races: Italy was second with 46 pts, Ireland third with 47 pts, Norway fourth (52 pts) and Switzerland fifth (58.2 pts)… the USA followed with 59 pts! ... [more]  

A varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft (12.19 to 30.48m) will set off for Grenada on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. ... [more]  

The United States will be the second most heavily represented nation at the Star Sailors League Finals when they take place at Nassau in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. Reflecting the consistency, quality and number of sailors involved in the Star class, the United States has the largest representation in the Star Sailors League with 294 skippers and 376 crew. ... [more]  

AIRBUS and Oracle Team USA have forged a technology partnership. As Official Innovation Partner of Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup, AIRBUS will share the know-how of its engineers and experts in fields such as aerodynamics, instrumentation and simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis to work with the Oracle Team USA design team. ... [more]  

Thursday has proved another dramatic day in the story of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. While yesterday (Wednesday) was a day of seamanship and survival as yachts battled storm force winds, it was also a day of arrivals as the same winds pushed competitors to the finish. ... [more]  

The Royal Malta Yacht Club has been a hive of activity both day and night, welcoming back yachts taking part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. By Midday on Day Six 34 yachts have finished the race and 25 yachts have retired. Each and every sailor that has taken part, including those that are still out there, has a story to tell for years to come. ... [more]  

Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar made a near perfect start to in the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda yesterday. The British skipper who stands top of the the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and is second in the ISAF rankings, goes into today's remaining round robin flights leading group 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team Brunel. 'At this rate, it will take a century before we get to Cape Town,' sighs Jens Dolmer, standing on the bow. He is trying in vain to push the flapping foresail outwards. There is hardly a breath of wind. In the distance, the sun is sinking into the ocean. ... [more]  

After probably the toughest 24 hours in the 46 year history of the race, Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie finished the Rolex Middle Sea Race on Thursday 23 October 2014 at 00h 45m 5s in an elapsed time of 4Days 13hours 35mins and 05secs. ... [more]  

As of the 2140UTC report on Day 10 of the first Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the placings on the water on the water had not changed during the day, but the distances between the boats had reduced. The two easternmost boats, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing continued to lead but is only 4nm ahead of Team Brunel with about 600nm to sail to the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha 220nm off the coast of Brazil. ... [more]  

Despite the best efforts of Tropical Storm Fay and then Hurricane Gonzalo, the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, set sail on Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour today, albeit postponed by 24 hours. ... [more]  

The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just five degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. ... [more]  

Day five of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has proved a day of reckoning for the competing fleet. The forecast strong northwesterly wind has arrived and consistently blown over 25 knots with gusts exceeding 40 knots. The effect has been to catapult the previously slow moving yachts towards the finish line in Malta. ... [more]  

A day and a night of uncertainty - later, the Doldrums will come to an end for the Volvo Ocean Race teams. By tomorrow morning, the fleet should be sailing safely in the southeasterly trade winds. So – who won this equatorial lottery? What was the best place to cross this convergence zone, where two hemispheres and two weather systems collide? ... [more]  

Known for erratic light airs alternating with sudden gusts that can last a minute or an hour from the giant unstable vertical clouds, the Doldrums (aka more officially the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) are the unavoidable low-point of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race for the determined men on Dongfeng. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Onboard Team Alvimedica. The synopsis is pretty straightforward: we are stuck in the Doldrums. Stuck, and stuck real good. All things considered, yesterday was actually pretty decent. We had a quick morning rainsquall that was able to power us south through the first line of ITCZ clouds already towering above our heads by 10AM. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie has emerged as the hot favourite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team SCA. Today I would like to share another perspective with you. Given the kind messages from Team SCA followers that we have been receiving onboard (thank you!), it would seem daily reports from our onboard reporter Miss Halloran and our onshore media crew have been doing a wonderful job of sharing our journey thus far. ... [more]  

The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship took place from 15-18 October in San Francisco, USA. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds welcomed 19 international entrants - comprising teams from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. ... [more]  

After two days of intense racing at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, both fleets have completed a full schedule of six light-wind races, and they’ve earned their lay day! Very light and shifty winds were forecast for the day, and it was a nice surprise to see a seven knot side-off breeze fill in early from the North. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
There are 92 yachts still racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 25 yachts had officially retired from the race by 15:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. ... [more]  

Justin 'Judd' Goldman was 17 years old when he suffered a disabling bone disease. After realizing that there were few sports that he could participate in he discovered sailing. Over the next 58 years he competed successfully in many races throughout the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video: You know when you try to stick two positive magnets together and regardless as to how close you get them they never touch? Well, the ITCZ is a bit like that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
As reported earlier Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race would seem to have gone from being a tightly fought contest to being a procession to Cape Town. Even though only 40% of the course has been sailed, the distance between the boats are significant (other than the two lead boats) and look set to increase. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - After those days of sun and light air, the weather was upside-down with a cloudy sky threatening us of heavy shower at any time and a strong wind fluctuating from 15 knots to 25 knots! Two windward-leeward races took place today as the wind became far too heavy in the early afternoon. The 13th race began this morning: a second start occurred under black flag. ... [more]  

2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Over the last few days there have been frantic phone calls between travel agents from competitors at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage and the oldest event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Over Friday night and into Saturday the Category Three Hurricane Gonzalo passed directly over Bermuda pummelling it with 100+ knot winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Two boats have made big gains in the Doldrums, with the western-most competitors apparently not stopping and sailing though the convergence zone between northern and southern hemispheres, without dropping below 8kts. Team Brunel and Abh Dhabi Ocean Racing have both made big gains on the rest of the fleet - and the two easternmost boats - Team Vestas Wind and Mapfre, in particular. ... [more]  

In spite of Hurricane Gonzalo's thrashing of the Onion Patch last week, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the people of Bermuda are ready to host the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). All 20 teams have arrived safely from their corners of the world and will practice for a day and race on Wednesday. ... [more]  

While the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup always offers opportunities for young people to have new experiences, coping with Hurricane Gonzalo offered the 14 competitors traveling from overseas to Bermuda a hurdle that strengthened their respect for this island nation. Many of the 14 competitors spent layover time in either hotels or airports and some are now guests in homes without electricity. ... [more]  

DSS to revolutionise IMOCA 60s, both new and old
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami: Groupe Beneteau sponsors US Sailing Team
Volvo Ocean Race - The bright side of the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Vestas Wind contemplates the tropics + Video
Volvo Ocean Race - Dull day, crazy night for Dongfeng Race Team
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA ready for equator crossing
Volvo Ocean Race - Tough challenge for Brunel's Pablo Arrarte Elorza
RS:X Youth Worlds - Hard work on day 1 + Video
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - NoR released, entries open for 2015
Rolex Middle Sea Race - A turning point for the fleet
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leg one – Doldrums for dummies
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish
Student Yachting World Cup - Fourth race day + Video
New improved swell forecasting and more locations from PredictWind
Volvo Ocean Race: Day 9 final report - Lead continually changing
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - An opportunity for growth
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Light winds on day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Navigators throw away the routing textbook
Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums, a navigational nightmare + Video   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Maltese yachts top the leader board   
Star Sailors League Finals - Torben Grael and Jorge Zarif join fleet   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads for the Doldrums   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, a crew on a mission   
Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships   
Farr 40 Worlds: Prizegiving images from the Final day in San Francisco   
Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 20 October 2014   
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from the Final day in San Francisco *Feature   
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from Day 2 in San Francisco *Feature   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night   
34th Student Yachting World Cup 2014 - Second race day   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng loses lead, anyone's race ahead of Doldrums *Feature   
Flying Dreams 'An Ocean Story': The Movie   
New super maxis gear up for Rolex Sydney Hobart   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature   
Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge - Youngerman wins   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Santander team victorious   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Waves continue to pound on day 2   


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.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT