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Thread: D-100 : The vendée globe, 100 days and counting

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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    D-100 : The vendée globe, 100 days and counting

    This Friday 29 July, there are exactly 100 days until the start of the eighth Vendée Globe, which will set sail from Les Sables d'Olonne on France's Atlantic seaboard on 6 November at 13:02pm local time. Thirty sailors have signed up for this eighth edition, 28 of whom have already qualified. We get the low-down.

    As 13:02pm French time ticks by this Friday, we'll be down to just double figures to indicate the number of days until the start of the upcoming Vendée Globe. Less than 100 days to go then. Fourteen weeks and forty-eight hours, a mere drop in the ocean in relation to the four years between each edition. If a number of the skippers are allowing themselves a few days' respite this summer, it's also because they know that it's the last opportunity to take some time out before the final rush for the start. Indeed, September will be very hectic with the sailors obliged to be present in Les Sables d'Olonne with their boats on the eve of the opening of the race village, which equates to a noon deadline on 14 October 2016 at the latest.

    At least 28 starters, 10 nationalities, 4 continents
    With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst 'just' twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we're set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
    Added to that, these twenty-eight sailors will represent a total of four out of the 5 continents and ten different nations: France (19), Spain (1), Hungary (1), United States (1), England (1), Switzerland (1), Holland (1), Japan (1), New Zealand (1) and Ireland (1).
    Two other French sailors have also applied to enter, but have yet to secure their budget and their qualification: Jean Le Cam et Jean-François Pellet.

    Rookies / repeat performers tied on points: 14 - 14
    Of particular note in this year's line-up is the fact that an extremely high percentage of these twenty-eight candidates for the singlehanded round the world race without stopovers and without assistance have already participated in a previous edition of the Vendée Globe. In fact, the entry list boasts as many 'rookies' (term used in offshore racing to designate a beginner in the event) as sailors who have already participated in the Everest of the Seas (repeat performers).
    As such, some fourteen sailors will take the start of this planetary race for the first time: Morgan Lagravière (Safran), Paul Meilhat (SMA), Sébastien Destremau (FaceOcean), Eric Bellion (CommeUnSeulHomme), Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut), Thomas Ruyant (Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine), Didac Costa (ESP), Alan Roura (Un Vendée pour la Suisse), Stéphane Le Diraison (FRA), Pieter Heerema (No Way Back), Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Etamine), Kojiro Shiraishi (Spirit of Yukoh), Conrad Colman (100% Natural Energy) and Enda O'Coineen (Kilcullen Team Ireland). For these fourteen men, it will be a leap into the great unknown.

    14 repeat performers, 4 of whom will be competing for the... fourth time!
    Among the repeat performers, the records are also set to tumble. Indeed, though there is just a single former winner of the Vendée Globe in the starting blocks - Vincent Riou (PRB, winner in 2004/2005) – some of the other candidates have also racked up a fair few miles. Four of these will be lining up for no less than their fourth time! Within this select group we have Vincent Riou, Jean-Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac), Bertrand de Broc (MACSF) and Briton Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss).
    Six other sailors of repute will be setting sail on the Vendée Globe for the third time: Jérémie Beyou (Maître Coq), Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild), Kito de Pavant (Bastide-Otio), Nandor Fa (Spirit of Hungary), Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline) and finally Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), whose track record speaks volumes with two second places in the last two editions of the Vendée Globe... Suffice to say that he will rank among the firm favourites.

    Finally, four sailors will be lining up for the Everest of the Seas for the second time: Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Coeur), Yann Eliès (Groupe Quéguiner), Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée) and American Rich Wilson (Great American IV).
    With the 2016/2017 edition, all these repeat entries combined will amass a whopping forty-two participations in the Vendée Globe.
    However, given that no two Vendée Globes are ever the same, they too will feel the emotion that is synonymous with the start of another immense planetary adventure on both a competitive and a human scale. 100 days and counting!

    Dates to remember:
    . 8 and 9 September: Skippers' briefings
    . 14 September: Press Conference in Paris
    . 14 October: Presence of the skippers and boats in Les Sables d'Olonne
    . 15 October: Official opening of the Village in Les Sables d'Olonne
    . 6 November: Start of the Vendée Globe
    . 7 November: Opening of Race HQ in Paris
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    Let the games begin!

  3. #3
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    10 Nations Represented In The 8th Vendee Globe


    The internationalisation of the Vendée Globe is clearly underway. Out of the 28 skippers registered and so far qualified, nine come from outside of France. In all, four continents and ten nations are represented in this eighth edition: France, Spain, Hungary, the United States, Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand and Ireland. This is the most eclectic line-up ever for the non-stop solo round the world race. The nine foreign skippers are aged between 23 and 66 and come from a variety of backgrounds. This diversity contributes to the charm of the Vendée Globe.

    So far, 28 sailors are registered and qualified for the Vendée Globe: 19 Frenchmen, one Spaniard (Didac Costa), one Hungarian (Nandor Fa), one American (Rich Wilson), one British sailor (Alex Thomson), one from Switzerland (Alan Roura), a Dutchman (Pieter Heerema), a Japanese sailor (Kojiro Shiraishi), one from New Zealand (Conrad Colman) and an Irishman (Enda O’Coineen). We should add that there are two other French hopefuls, but they haven’t yet completed their budget and qualification: Jean Le Cam and Jean-François Pellet. Among the nine foreign skippers competing, three are returning to the Vendée Globe, while the others are tackling the Everest of the seas for the first time.

    Alex Thomson, Nandor Fa and Rich Wilson returning
    The British sailor, Alex Thomson is the only non-French skipper to be in with a very strong chance of winning this 2016-2017 race. For his fourth attempt, he has one clear goal. He wants to become the first non-French sailor to win the most prestigious solo race, after already making it to the podium in the 2012-2013 race. Apart from his experience and talent, Alex can count on a new generation IMOCA 60 fitted with foils.

    The Hungarian sailor, Nandor Fa, is competing for the third time, twenty years after he last took part. Unlike Alex Thomson, he isn’t aiming to win, but to make it all the way around the world alone for the second time, after his decent fifth place in 1993. “The Vendée Globe is my life, but after this round the world race, I’ll be 64, and I think it will be time for me to stop racing,” he told us.

    The third sailor returning is from the United States. At the age of 66, Rich Wilson will be the eldest competitor in this year’s race. He is returning with the aim of improving on the time he set in 2009 (121 days) while putting in place a teaching programme for youngsters around the world. “I hope that everything we are doing will help the race become better known in the United States and that afterwards, there will be more Americans taking part,” added Rich Wilson.

    Two rookies are continuing with the Vendée Globe tradition of their respective countries…

    Didac Costa will become the fourth Spaniard to line up for the Vendée Globe since the race was first set up in 1989. He follows in the footsteps of José de Urgate, Unaï Basurko and Javier Sanso. “Culturally, ocean racing is not as developed in Spain as in France. The public and media are not as interested,” explained Didac. “But gradually things are changing, in particular with the three editions of the Barcelona World Race, a race, which has enabled Spanish sailors to enter this world. Things have started moving and now we have to continue with that by taking part in the Vendée Globe. It takes time, but that is to be expected. Things don’t change from one day to the next.”

    he youngest entrant in the history of the Vendée Globe, Alan Roura, 23, is certainly proud to be the fourth Swiss sailor to take part in the Everest of the seas and take up the baton from Bernard Gallay, Bernard Stamm and Dominique Wavre. “It’s a huge honour to represent Switzerland. TheVendée Globe remains THE big world famous race, the Holy Grail for solo ocean racers. People are always pleased to see at least one Swiss sailor take part each time in such a big race. And the media follows us,” explains Alan.

    Four countries are represented for the first time: Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Ireland

    The other foreign skippers registered are the first to do so in their respective countries. The Japanese sailor, Kojiro Shiraishi is preparing to represent a whole continent for the first time in the Vendée Globe. This is a huge step forward in the internationalisation of the Everest of the seas. When it was announced that Kojiro was competing in the solo round the world race, the President of the Japanese Sailing Federation welcomed this “third bit of good news for Japanese yachting after Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics and the presence of SoftBank Japan in the 2017 America’s Cup.” Kojiro Shiraishi is pleased to be the first Japanese sailor to take part in the Vendée Globe, but he certainly does not want to be the last.

    New Zealand will also be represented, thanks to Conrad Colman (who has dual US nationality). The young skipper has already completed two double-handed round the world races and now wishes to do it again sailing solo. “New Zealand is historically a land of sailors, particularly in the America’s Cup and the Whitbread. It is time for the Vendée Globe to become a global adventure, which spreads beyond France. We are on the right track. I am extremely motivated by the idea of contributing to widening the audience of the Vendée Globe,” he told us a while ago.

    Another nation represented for the first time is the Netherlands, thanks to Pieter Heerema, who will set sail on a new VPLP-Verdier designed boat, which was originally built for the Italian, Andrea Mura, before his sponsors threw in the towel because of the economic crisis in Italy. “I have been a keen follower of the Vendée Globe for twenty years,” explained Pieter. “The opportunity of competing arose. I met Michel Desjoyeaux and we said to each other, why not? I have a long way to go and I’m not exactly a youngster. My challenge is to make it all the way around the world alone.”

    As for Enda O’Coineen, he will become the first Irishman to take part in the Vendée Globe. Recognition for this businessman/sailor, who has done a lot to develop ocean racing in his homeland. “I am really pleased to be able to take part in this dream race with a boat representing Ireland,” he was happy to tell us. “We have a lot of enthusiastic supporters and experience going into this project. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we are already heavily involved in this project. Our main goal is to sail the boat safely around the world in this huge adventure.”

    The nine foreign skippers registered:
    - Didac Costa (Spain), 35, 1st attempt
    - Nandor Fa (Hungary), 64, 3rd attempt (5th in 1992-1993, retired in 1996-1997)
    - Rich Wilson (USA), 66, 2nd attempt (9th in 2008-2009)
    - Alex Thomson (Britain), 42, 4th attempt (retired in 2004-2005 and 2008-2009, 3rd in 2012-2013)
    - Alan Roura (Switzerland), 23, 1st attempt
    - Pieter Heerema (Netherlands), 64, 1st attempt
    - Kojiro Shiraishi (Japan), 49, 1st attempt
    - Conrad Colman (New Zealand/USA), 32, 1st attempt
    - Enda O’Coineen (Ireland), 60, 1st attempt

    Foreign competitors in the history of the Vendée Globe:
    1989-1990: 3 competitors out of 13 / 3 nationalities lining up
    1992-1993: 7 competitors out of 15 / 6 nationalities lining up
    1996-1997: 5 competitors out of 16 / 5 nationalities lining up
    2000-2001: 11 competitors out of 26 / 7 nationalities lining up
    2004-2005: 7 competitors out of 20 / 6 nationalities lining up
    2008-2009: 13 competitors out of 30 / 7 nationalities lining up
    2012-2013: 8 competitors out of 20 / 6 nationalities lining up
    2016-2017: 9 competitors out of 28 or up to 30 / 10 nationalities lining up

    Olivier Bourbon / M&M

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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    IMOCA Vendee Test Run

    le defi azimut was held over the weekend with 12 of the competitors from the 2016 Vendee Globe participating....

    Born from the meeting of the IMOCA class that collects the Vendée Globe skippers and Lorient company Azimut, Azimut Challenge, visit atypical of offshore racing, aims to combine performance, innovation and strategy. Sport at the highest level of competition on the water and a lot of earth friendliness are the hallmark of this event whose success is undeniable.

    Approaching the Vendée Globe 2016, the best skippers will be able, on the occasion of the sixth edition of the Challenge Azimut, hone their settings. Each year this festive weekend provides an opportunity for all stakeholders in ocean sailing gather around hotly contested races, just weeks before the start of the great ocean due to the fall (Route du Rhum Transat Jacques Vabre, Vendée Globe).

    A La Base Lorient

    La Base Lorient, capital of Sailing Valley, is an ideal site to facilitate the reception of the teams and boats. A short distance from the pontoons, La Cité de la Voile - Eric Tabarly offer her the appropriate infrastructure to host the headquarters of the race (press areas, showrooms, catering, organization ...)

    A live and event monitoring

    Event created by Azimut, Lorient specialized in information systems and online communication, the Challenge Azimut is distinguished through:

    A comprehensive media plan
    Display multi-media, press, TV, radio, internet, rich media (tracking, e-marketing, video ...), interactive terminals, multi media TV, social networks (tweets, news, son ...), media partners.

    ... And the quality of content
    qualified speakers, press conferences, free stock images Rights (photos & videos).

    The keys to success Azimut Challenge

    Efficient and flexible human-sized organization
    Synergy with the CNL
    A mobilization of the nautical industry
    A showcase of technological innovation territory
    A sports competition of high level
    A positive mindset and a die feast

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  5. #5
    30 Knot Maniac ShanaCruz50's Avatar
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    LP back in action!

    While I am a big Cali (Boissieres) fan, it is so great to see Le Pingouin back for another go around the big blue ball (with Romain Attanasio at the helm).

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Peace Out, Bags[/FONT]

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