Vendee Globe - over before it's started? Top Moth chat from Wangi.

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 26 Jan 2013

It seems like only five minutes ago that the Race Village at Les Sables d'Olonne was declared ‘open' and the reports were coming in about the huge crowds surrounding the start of the 2012 edition of the Vendee Globe. Now the race is almost over before it's even started. Yesterday the Village was declared ‘open' again – this time to welcome the solo skippers home again at the finish after a race in excess of 25,000nm. Blimey.

The first Vendee Globe started in 1989, and was won by Titouan Lamazou in 109 days. Michel Desjoyeaux was the victor in the last race (2008), circling the globe in 84 days. This time Francois Gabart and Armel Le Cleac'h are only 104 nm apart, with Gabart leading and expected to finish on Saturday evening or Sunday morning – that'll be 76 or 77 days for the whole trip.

Only five minutes ago (1993, actually) we were all getting excited when Bruno Peyron made the first sub-80 days circumnavigation, and if you have a long enough memory you'll remember Sir Robin Knox Johnston's first ever solo non-stop effort in 1969-70... 313 days.

Brazil is certainly stepping up to the sporting plate these days, with the announcement of not one, but two, stopovers in the next Volvo Ocean Race. Add in the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and they've got a bit on!

Who says you have to spend a gazillion dollars and build 72' catamarans to provide sailing entertainment? What you really need is a few Moths, a do-or-die race format and a commentator with a good line in Aussie backchat. Maybe a race venue called Wangi Wangi helps too, but that's an optional extra. Watch the video, it's a hoot!

Guy Nowell, Editor

Vendee Globe - Race Village opens, focus shifts to end goal + Video
Vendee Globe,
The Vendee Globe Race Village in Les Sables d'Olonne officially opened today. It is open everyday from 10am – 7pm. The first skipper is expected to cross the finish line between 5am – 11am Sunday 27th January. Hugo Boss with skipper Alex Thomson is expected to move into third place tonight.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Final sprint begins
Vendee Globe,
Vendee Globe 2012 -13 has been fun but the time is coming to bring down the final curtain and move along because the home strait sprint has begun. This morning, the two race leaders passed the symbolic 1000 miles point from Les Sables d'Olonne, the start and finish of the solo race around our beautiful planet.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - The battle will be bitter to the end
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, it is difficult to know for sure what is really happening in the minds of the leading duo. One thing is certain the battle will be bitter to the end. Just over 1200 miles from the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne, the suspense is gripping in the final strait of the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe.... [more]
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World Optimist Championships - Singapore first nation to sign-up
Elena Giolai,
The World Optimist Championship is set to take place from 15th-26th July at Fraglia Vela Riva and Singapore, top in the world in Optimist championships, has now become the first nation to sign up for the event.... [more]
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America's Cup: Iker Martinez splits from Italian Challenger
Richard Gladwell,
In a tightly worded statement on their website, Luna Rossa Challenge have announced the departure of one of their helmsmen, Iker Martinez from the team. Chris Draper who placed ninth in the last America's Cup World Series, is expected to assume the duties of principal helmsman, for the team's only AC72, with team boss, Max Sirena as backup.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Brazil scores a second stopover
Volvo Ocean Race,
Itajaí will once again be a Host Port for the Race in 2014-15 following the huge success of the stopover there in the last edition. Brazil will have two stops along the route for the 12th edition of the round-the-world race.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Newsflash: Virbac-Paprec 3 loses its keel
Vendee Globe Media,
Vendee Globe have just announced that Virbac-Paprec 3 has lost her keel, while sailing in the third position of the Vendée Globe, about 500 miles northwest of the Cape Verde islands.The skipper from Nice has stabilised the situation. The boat has full ballasts and Dick is sailing at 8 knots towards the Azores.... [more]
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Winning isn't everything. Really.
Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star,
The 11th Punta Fuego Regatta came to a close yesterday with winners from four different categories proudly raising their trophies at the Punta Fuego Yacht Club. But it was a 13-year-old local competitor, who didn't even finish in the top three of the lighter Optimist Class, who won the hearts of many.... [more]
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Moth Video- 'Bangin' the Corners Cup' extreme racing funny commentary
Zhik, CST Composites 2013 Australian Moth Championship Day 2 - With temperatures over 40 degrees and wind gust in excess of 30 knots, championship racing was cancelled. But the top guns raced in the Bangin' the Corners Cup - here is the video - its extreme racing and a funny commentary.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - The closest finish in Race history? + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) continues to close on Francois Gabart (Macif) as they slow in the Azores high. If the race continues as forecast, always easier on paper, Gabart will cross the line first late on January 26 or in the early hours of January 27 and could be as little as six hours ahead of Le Cléac'h, which would be the closest finish in Vendée history.... [more]
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