On the eve of the start of the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe, Dominique Wavre, skipper of Mirabaud, feels better prepared than ever before. This will be his 10th round the world race and he can’t wait to get going! He shares some final insights before casting off.
Les Sables (FRA) - Avant le départ du Vendée Globe 2012 - Dominique Wavre, Mirabaud
While almost a million people flocked to the Vendée Globe village and strolled the pontoons over the past three weeks, the skippers have slowly been retreating into their ‘race mode bubble’ as Dominique likes to put it.
Throughout his stay in Les Sables d’Olonne and despite the multiple demands on his time, the Swiss sailor has managed to maintain a feeling of calm concentration and has stayed focussed on the race, weather analysis and his starting strategy.
'There has been a very clear transition for me. Only a few days ago I felt completely detached from the race and was focussed on the technical aspects of the preparations,' he says. 'Now it’s a totally different story, the only thing that features in my mind is the race. The boat is ready, the shore crew has done an incredible job and thanks to them I am able to approach the start in a calm and focussed frame of mind. I can’t wait to get going and am delighted to be competing in this race again; the Vendée Globe is a unique and extraordinary challenge. It is truly the pinnacle of a sailor’s career.'
Saturday’s forecast is for a 15-20 knot north westerly, which should make for a spectacular start. The fleet will start upwind and head towards La Corogne where they will sail into a depression. 'It won’t be an easy start to the race,' says Wavre. 'We know that we won’t be too knocked about in the Bay of Biscay, but that the wind is going to pick up quite quickly. There will be some critical tactical choices to be made.'
Antonio Palma, Mirabaud partner and CEO is in Les Sables d’Olonne to support Dominique Wavre and to cheer him at the start. 'I have enormous admiration for these sailors who are heading off on a round the world race without stopovers and with only the wind to propel them,' he says. 'They carry a message around the world that transcends a boat race, their message is one of courage and determination and we followers will be in our millions. I wish Dominique and his competitors fair winds with all my heart.'
The race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 13:02 and will be broadcast live on Leman Bleu Television and France 3.
Dominique Wavre website
Vendee Globe website