• Adapting To Trying Circumstances

    To reconnect with competition and life in the open sea, to qualify for the Vendée Globe ... and possibly win, the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne, which will start on July 4 at 3:30 p.m., contains a thousand challenges.

    This first edition, organized to replace the New York-Vendée-Les Sables d'Olonne which should have started on June 16, is an essential step for skippers in their preparation for the solo round the world trip which will start on November 8. This demanding and attractive new route to Iceland and the Azores also gives you dreams in a very particular context. The event is indeed one of the first sporting events to be resumed after confinement and everyone had to adapt.

    Indeed, the health crisis and the confinement of two months have greatly disrupted the planning of sports teams and it is a first performance to have 21 boats and skippers in race configuration after these adventures, as Jérémie Beyou explains ( Charal ): “ It was necessary to be able to work differently to meet sporting objectives which remain identical despite a much reduced time. Everything was timed from the arrival of the Transat Jacques Vabre in late 2019 to the start of the Vendée Globe in late 2020 and we had to rework the entire calendar. Mentally, you prepare yourself in a very precise plan and to question that, whereas you programmed, it is not simple. "

    The emergency takes many forms. It is urgent to put to the test the sailors who must learn to compose with more and more powerful, fast, violent machines, to acclimatize the bodies to the sea and to allow them also to compile, in ten twelve days consecutive sea, lonely navigator reflexes. For Clarisse Crémer ( Banque Populaire X ), an enthusiastic bizuth of the IMOCA Class, the stage is daunting. " The Vendée Arctic-Les Sables d'Olonnewill be my first solo race in IMOCA, it's not a small stage! Even if I want to go fast and make a good trajectory, I will especially be focused on my boat and me. I'm going to focus on taking my first starting line on my own, managing my boat well, thinking carefully about my maneuvers and my strategy. This race is a big goal for me who was not predestined to integrate such a beautiful team, I necessarily feel apprehension. Finishing the race, honoring my team and not being caught out as a sailor are already good goals. "

    Braked in their development plan, design offices and technical teams count on this race to test, pass a course or work on performance. In the ARKEA PAPREC team , one of the challenges is to test the new pair of foils just put in place. " As I only received the foils a short time before the start, I don't set myself a target for results, " explains Sablais Sébastien Simon . “ Above all, I have to understand how my boat behaves with these new foils. I project myself into the race with a little apprehension. It is not trivial, these foils are seven meters wide: they bring a lot of power.»Power that must be learned to master and to which the body must also be acclimated. Skipper of MACSF , one of the four women on the field, Isabelle Joschke approaches the event with caution: “ I must admit that it is not always a pleasure to sail on a foiler. My February training allowed me to learn what I was going to face this winter. It's fun when the boat is going fast but, as soon as there is sea, it's very unpleasant. When you are on the boat, you have to hang everywhere, it can be dangerous. "The objective on the race:"I want to know how far I can push the boat, while having enough energy to last another week, then another and another because the world tour will be very long. "

    The Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne represents the last opportunity to fulfill the qualification conditions for the Vendée Globe during the race . Five of the seven skippers who still have to meet sporting prerequisites will be leaving from Les Sables d'Olonne this July 4th. For Sébastien Simon, carried by a new boat, the constraint weighing on his shoulders is " summed up " at 2,000 miles. For Isabelle Joschke (MACSF), Clément Giraud ( Towards a world without AIDS ), the Japanese Kojiro Shiraishi ( DMG Mori Global One ) and Armel Tripon ( L'Occitane en Provence), it is a question of joining the finish line. The Nantais currently faces an unexpected challenge: his IMOCA touched an OFNI, an unidentified floating object, during a navigation last weekend. The damage (a hole in the bow and a damaged rudder) is serious. It is an express site which awaits its team in order to allow the skipper to take the start of this crucial race.

    17 of the 21 solo sailors left freed from the qualification obligations, and will therefore be able to release the horses and the progress of their IMOCA. Perched on latest generation monohulls, Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Charlie Dalin ( Apivia ) and Thomas Ruyant ( LindkedOut ) are natural favorites. " There is a starting line and a finishing line so, inevitably, it makes you a little nervous, " laughs Jérémie Beyou. "If we could get a result, it would be good because it would reward everyone's efforts. We are trying to find out where we stand in relation to the others and whether the choices have been good. And, in case, on a small notebook, we already have modifications to make during the summer, to modulate the boat. "Winner of the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre for the first official release of Apivia, with Yann Eliès, Charlie Dalin sums up his trajectory:" The Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne will be an intermediate control stage, a sort of white bin before the Vendée Globe. Above all, it will be a return to competition, which I miss! I can't wait to find the particular taste for confrontation! "

    Theoretical favorites, the three men will not lack adversity. Firstly because the plateau is dense and the boats, even of the previous generation, have made impressive progress in terms of performance. Jérémie Beyou: “ There are no more small teams: there are great developments in engineering and architecture. Even boats launched later than Charal have developed intelligent things. We say each time that the level increases? There, it is really obvious. New boats are going fast, slightly older boats have really improved. Difficult to bet on who will come out ahead. "

    Finally, there will be a weather context to manage. Clarisse Crémer: " I hope that the weather conditions will be good so that we don't damage the boats too much, but I also need to deal with a somewhat 'hairy' weather ..." If the cold could push him to consider installing a heating system for the Vendée Globe, Sébastien Simon thinks that the triangle of 3566 miles between Sables d'Olonne, Iceland and the Azores, will undoubtedly force sailors to sail differently: “Conversely from what the Vendée Globe offers, we will not be able to flee the weather phenomena. "Actually, actors, right?

    * As a reminder, the skippers will all leave their home port on July 3, one day before the start of the race after having been subjected to a PCR test. They will remain at sea until the cannon shot of July 4, 3:30 p.m.

    Benjamin DUTREUX , skipper of the IMOCA Water Family , will not finally take the start of Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne for budgetary reasons. The skipper based in Les Sables d'Olonne nevertheless remains focused on the Vendée Globe for which he is already qualified and continues his search for partners.

    Vendee-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne
    Designed for those sailors rekindling their ties with competition and life offshore, or qualifying for... and possibly winning the Vendee Globe, there is a great deal at stake for the sailors setting sail on the Vendee-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne on 4 July at 15:30hrs local time.

    This first edition of this race, which has been organised as a replacement for the New York-Vendee-Les Sables d'Olonne originally due to set off on 16 June, is a key stage for the skippers preparing for the solo round the world race, which will set sail on 8 November. This demanding and attractive sprint up to Iceland and down to the Azores is also a source of great inspiration in what is a very special context. In fact, the race is one of the first sports events to take up again after the lockdown and everyone has had to adapt accordingly.

    Having had to call a temporary halt on their development plan, the design offices and the technical teams are counting on this race to trial their boats, step things up a gear or work on performance. In the ARKEA PAPREC team, one of the challenges is to test the new pair of foils which have just been installed. "As I've only received the foils shortly before the start, I haven't set myself any goals with regards to results," explains event local Sebastien Simon. "Above all, I need to understand how my boat handles with these new foils. I feel a little apprehensive about my participation in this event as it's not an insignificant challenge. These foils are seven metres: they provide a lot of power."

    17 of the 21 solo sailors will be free of any obligations to qualify, meaning they can put pedal to the metal on their IMOCAs. Perched on the latest generation monohulls, Jeremie Beyou (Charal), Charlie Dalin (Apivia) and Thomas Ruyant (LindkedOut) rank among the natural race favourites.

    Thursday 25th June
    Start of safety checks in the boats' port of registry

    From Monday 29th June To Thursday 2nd July
    9:30-10:00 hrs: 'ARCTIQUE CAFE' the daily press briefing with 6 skippers via a ZOOM video call for an efficient and LIVE Q&A with the media preparing to cover the event.

    Tuesday 30th June
    End of safety checks
    11:00 hrs: Welcome, course and safety briefing (virtual)

    Thursday 2nd July
    11:00 hrs: Weather briefing (virtual)

    Friday 3rd July
    All boats depart to make the delivery trip to the start line in Les Sables d'Olonne

    Saturday 4th July
    13:00 hrs: Deadline for competitors to arrive at the start zone
    15:30 hrs (LIVE TV) : Start of the Vendee-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne

    From 14th July To 18th July
    Boats finish in Les Sables d'Olonne

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Vendee Globe To Start As Scheduled! started by Photoboy View original post