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Thread: The Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne Is On

  1. #11
    I haven't been following this blow-by-blow like I used to, but I have to say that I think this is a GREAT course.

  2. #12
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Charging To The Finish!

    The leaders of this inaugural Vendee Artique Race are charging toward the finish, with the leader
    Jeremie Beyou on Charal just 45 nm to the finish. Thomas Ruyant aboard Linked Out just 7.2 nm behind and 3rd place
    Charlie Dalin aboard Apiva 9.2 nm in arrears. In 4th place currently, showing her mettle, Samantha Davies aboard Initiatives-Coeur 30 miles aft but the 1st woman,



    "Last day on board DMG MORI Global One. I am almost finished with this great Vendée-Arctique-les Sables d'Olonne race. It is great because it confirms my qualification for the Vendée Globe.
    During this race, I had many troubles onboard that we didn't have during our training. We now know what we need to work on during the summer. I'm sure this race made me and my team stronger for future races. I will be careful until the end."

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  3. #13
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Charal Claims The Win!

    The Charal skipper crossed the finish line of Les Sables d'Olonne this Tuesday, July 14 at 20 a.m. 44 minutes and 8 seconds (French time) after 10 days, 5 a.m. minutes and 8 seconds of racing.


    There is no shortage of superlatives to describe the scene being played out less than 100 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne. Never has an IMOCA race enjoyed such intensity with the podium so open. This evening, at around 22:40 hours local time, there may well be a photo finish between Charal, LinkedOut and Apivia!

    It won’t be just the land sickness or the champagne making the sailors stagger around tonight once they’ve crossed the finish line! Indeed, the swaying gait of the first solo sailors to hit dry land will be a sight to behold given the levels of exhaustion! The head of the race has been embroiled in a hellish rhythm for the past 10 days and for this final downwind run at 20 knots, the Vendée- Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne protagonists are having to dig deep into their final reserves of strength and energy. Right now it’s impossible to leave the trimming for even a minute in this shifty northerly breeze, which is sure to take a toll! In the meantime, the intensity of the race is giving them a hefty dose of adrenalin. “I’m flat out! I can see Charal just beside me and I’ve luffed to get closer to him,” explained a very excited Thomas Ruyant at the noon video call. The blue boat is back up to speed again after falling off the pace slightly yesterday due to the light airs. Somewhat outdistanced over the past 24 hours, he has made yet another blistering comeback and is up at the front of the pack again, neck and neck with Charal.

    A handful of miles to leeward of his two rivals, Charlie Dalin is gambling on a more direct route towards the finish line. The approach on the French coast is going to be a real dilemma as the wind will lift and they may have to absolutely nail the timing on some gybes. Whatever the strategies adopted by Beyou/Ruyant vs Dalin, the skippers are just minutes apart according to the routing simulations. Moreover, the trajectories of the three rivals are in the process of converging…

    It may all come down to a final gybe!

    Vendée Globe airs

    The finish line is none other than that of the non-stop, unassisted, singlehanded round the world race for which all the skippers competing in the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne are preparing. Namely, a 550-metre virtual line located to the south of the Nouch mark that is symbolic to say the least! The terrific trio is expected to reach the finish from 22:15 hours local time (latest ETA). And in its wake, there will be a great slew of finishers barrelling across the line. Starting with Samantha Davies (4th) and Kevin Escoffier (5th). Competing on boats built some 10 years before the new foilers, these two sailors have sailed a fantastic race. “I’ve had a lively night”admitted Sam Davies with a big grin that betrayed her unwavering delight to be at sea. “It’s a lovely day. There’s a smooth sea, the boat is hurtling along downwind and it’s rare to have such fine sailing conditions. I’m going to do everything I can to keep Kevin behind me now.” They are expected to finish around an hour after the three leaders.

    Pulling an all-nighter offshore of Les Sables d’Olonne

    The third volley of finishers – from 6th to 12th – will arrive in a burst. Indeed, the lights of the boats skippered by Boris Herrmann, Yannick Bestaven, Fabrice Amedeo, Giancarlo Pedote, Maxime Sorel, Clarisse Crémer and Kojiro Shiraishi will likely illuminate the night sky off Les Sables between one and three o’ clock on Wednesday morning. And for Isabelle Joschke, who has a very different battle on her hands – that of finishing the race under jury rig of sorts with her now ‘boomless’ mainsail, to qualify for the Vendée Globe- , we’ll have to wait until first light on Wednesday.

    Finally, the last four competitors rounded the Gallimard waypoint today. Their ETA in Les Sables d’Olonne should be decided 24 hours after that of the leaders, overnight on 15 through into 16 July.


    News from aboard.

    Charlie Dalin, Apivia
    “We have a front behind us and sometimes it moves forward and other times it doesn’t, so conditions are fluky. At times we’re under the influence of the front and other times we have less breeze. For the end of the race, certain scenarios are predicting gybes as the wind is turning a lot. There may be some moves to be played, it remains to be seen! The approach on the finish line is not easy. I’ve tried to position myself in relation to the rotation of the wind, but this hasn’t really paid off. The group has entered a new system in front of me so it hasn’t made much of a difference. The level of fatigue has accumulated a fair bit over the past ten days of racing, which have been very intense throughout, with close-contact sailing the whole time. We’re on a tack where we can’t leave the boat to sail herself. I still have some energy. I’m tired but clear-headed. My physical strength has certainly faded since the start, but I don’t feel as if I’m struggling to haul on my sails or complete some other manœuvre. We should finish in around 12 hours.”

    Thomas Ruyant , LinkedOut
    “On the attack! I’m in good shape and the adrenalin will keep me awake till the end. I’m certainly not having a siesta. I’ve eaten well and I slept well last night. I’m obviously tired from the racing but I have a clear head for the coming hours. The zones with little wind are not my favourite conditions or the boat’s. However, on the faster points of sail, I feel very much at ease and I have good control. I’m trying to make the most of it. It’s a bit like the last tack we had up to the Iceland mark. I know my boat’s quick in these conditions, but you have to constantly be on top of things. The race has been intense and will remain so right the way to the finish, with a lot to do and a lot to play for. I’ve learnt a great deal and it’s not over, but safe to say that the intensity of this competition is crazy!”

    Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV
    “It’s windy and it’s been a bit complicated for me over the past few hours of the race, because the new boats with bigger foils are absolutely smoking. I’m trying to hang on in there as best I can, but it’s hard. There’s a bit of fatigue. I didn’t get much sleep last night. I had a bit too much sail up and I’ve made some sail changes. You’re pretty on edge so you don’t get a lot of sleep. I’m happy though as my boat is operational. The whole team has done a great job, I’ve had no serious technical issues, I can push the boat and it’s great to do this race to see where the limits are in solo configuration and take confidence from that.”

    Miranda Merron, Campagne de France
    “Yesterday evening, I had an issue putting in a reef and I spent a fair amount of time at the end of the boom over the water, which wasn’t very pleasant! The boat’s OK. I have a few odd jobs to do, but nothing massive. I set sail on the race without being very well prepared to do a race! Before I set off, we were still doing quite a lot of work on the boat. As such, it’s been essential to sail this course. It’s an excellent way to prepare for the Vendée Globe. Furthermore, if there had been another one in a few weeks’ time, it would have been great.”

    Fabrice Amedeo, Newrest- Arts &Fenêtres
    “Hello everyone! It’s wet and noisy aboard Newrest – Art & Fenêtres! It was a completely Dantean night at high speed. A foretaste of the Southern Ocean, albeit without the heavy seas and cold, but really great! It was a tough passage around the Gallimard waypoint. I was really knackered and in the red, and I was beginning to hallucinate. I could hear the cries of seagulls around me. The wind has kicked back in now and I’ve switched over to the J2. I was on the attack the whole night, but I was able to sleep so I’m in great shape for the home straight. I’m very happy to be at sea, on the leading edge of the front on flat seas at 23-24 knots in the accelerations… That’s about where I’m at!”
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