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A Dramatic Denouement
This Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe goes down in the long history of the solo transatlantic race as a class. After the slow motion match race finish between the Ultimes of François Gabart and Francis Joyon, the Imoca class delivered its own surprises as solo ocean racing so often seems,
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) was heading for a well deserved win, his first ever in the IMOCA class on his first attempt at the Rhum. But an accidental grounding on the north coast of Guadeloupe cost him the win that has eluded him throughout his career.
Forced to use his engine to extricate himself from his predicament he was given a 24 hours time penalty by the international jury, so handig the victory to Paul Meilhat (SMA). Yann Eliès (UCAR Saint-Michel) took second place.
Sir Alex and Battling Paul
Alex Thomson's Guadeloupe accident does not detract from a stellar performance. Leading the race since the north of Brittany he committed early to going west. The British sailor then demonstrated that he is at the top of the game, regularly opening more margin on his competitors. The quality of the strategy, his instantaneous speeds, the fluidity of his maneuvers, all that stood between him and the win was his oversleeping through his alarms at a critical stage of the race.
Thomson was a gentleman and a sportsman when he accepted his penalty, taking full responsibility for his error. But for sure his disappointment makes him more formidable competitor for the next Vendée Globe.
Paul Meilhat, like Yann Eliès, has had his share of bad luck in recent years. Between the serious injury forcing him to abandon his boat during the Transat BtoB off the Azores in 2015, repeated physical glitches, many would have been tempted to throw in the towel. But Meilhat has clung on day after day to put himself in a positio to win the 2018 Route du Rhum. On his boat with astraight daggerboards, he was able to hold off the pack of foilers and accept a well deserved victory. The Route du Rhum sees the two top placed sailors still looking for partners for the next Vendée Globe. As such it is hard to imagine they might both end up on the dock when the 2020 race starts...
Maxime Sorel in course for 2020
Skipper of Class40 V&B, Maxime has announced he bought Le Souffle du Nord, Thomas Ruyant's boat during the last Vendée Globe. Maxime is still looking for another sponsor to make up his budget. A new sailing aventure is now beginning for him on IMOCA.
A new boat for Kojiro Shiraishi
Japanese solo skipper Kojiro Shiraishi, who achieved huge popularity during his last Vendée Globe with his determination, skill and the warmth of his humour, is building a new IMOCA for the next Vendée Globe thanks to a new sponsorship agreement with the DMG Mori group a global Japanese group which specialises in machine tools, widely used in the aircraft, aerospace, automobile and ship-building industries.
His newly formed DMG MORI SAILING TEAM was launched in Japan on 30th October and has acquired the moulds for the VPLP designed Charal.
The boat will be built by Multiplast in Vannes with the objective of launching in August in order to be ready for the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019.
DMG MORI have experience of technical partnerships in the FIA World Endurance Championship and FIA World Rally Championship, where high-accuracy.
The announcement means there are now seven new boats built or in build for the 2020 edition of the Vendée Globe.
Watch Stéphane Le Diraison live on Facebook
The skipper of Time for Oceans is getting ready to be at the start of the Vendée Globe in November 2020. For his second attempt, he will be sailing the same boat as in 2016, but she has been heavily modified, losing around almost 700 kilos. Stéphane has taken advantage of his experience in 2016 to make her easier to handle and intends to fit the monohull with foils at the end of 2019.
Between now and 2020, the major events will be the Route du Rhum, then the Transat Jacques Vabre and the other races in the IMOCA Globe Series. In 2019, Stéphane will be focusing on his physical and mental preparation and carrying out a detailed study of strategy. In 2016, Stéphane only had a year to prepare. The 2020 project marks the continuation of his project, but this time he will have much more time to prepare.
The Time for Oceans project is an opportunity for him to bring together his commitment to sustainable development and his passion for the oceans. His challenge is to try to convince as many people as he can that this commitment concerns us all.
[???? LIVE] Au départ de l'édition 2016 il sera de retour sur le Vendée Globe 2020 ! Un calendrier sportif riche, un ambitieux projet de sensibilisation à la préservation des océans... Stéphane Le Diraison répond à nos questions en live... et aux vôtres aussi ! #LiveVG2020Posted by Vendée Globe on Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Isabelle Joschke live on Facebook
The skipper of Monin looks back at her ocean racing career, her early days in the world of sailing while doing a training course in the Glénan Islands. After competing twice in the Mini Transat, Isabelle entered the Figaro circuit before moving to Class40 and then more recently to the IMOCA class.
Isabelle looks at her commitment to seeing more women take part in ocean racing events. Showing her strong beliefs, she promotes her association, Horizon Mixité which aims to smash the glass ceiling that women encounter when doing work previously associated with men. Isabelle has found her own way of preparing given her size: rather than pushing hard, she prefers the gentle approach respecting her limits. This method appears to be working well for her looking at her recent results.
[???? LIVE] Quelle place pour les femmes dans la course au large ? Quelles spécificités dans la préparation ? La skipper Monin Isabelle Joschke répond à nos questions en live ! #LiveVG2020 Cette talentueuse navigatrice cherche encore des partenaires pour soutenir son projet : partagez autour de vous !Posted by Vendée Globe on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Azimut Challenge, A Return and Charal Flies
The last big meet up for the IMOCA fleet before the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe, the weekend’s Defi Azimut, proved a fitting warm up for the November transatlantic with brisk, breezy conditions reminiscent of what the solo racers will likely encounter during the big Autumn race.
There was a 250 miles 24 hour race as well as some speed runs, both of which provided some interesting insights.
First up the 24 hours Azimut solo race confirmed the welcome return of 2004-5 Vendée Globe winner Vincent Riou (PRB) after an absence of nearly two years. Riou, sailing his VPLP-Verdier design which is now fitted with foils won the race from Sam Davies (Initatives Coeur) who underlined her strong start to the IMOCA season after winning the Drheam Cup. And Yann Elies (UCAR St-Michel) proved he is competitive too, finishing third. And Paul Meilhat (SMA) also did well racing on his classic monohull set up with no foils.
Sunday morning’s speed runs principally confirmed the potential of Charal, Jérémie Beyou’s newly launched IMOCA which dominated the speed challenge, more importantly foiling lifted clear of the water. A new frontier has been crossed. Roll on the Route du Rhum!
Jérémie Beyou live on Facebook
Jérémie Beyou has an innovative boat that was made to measure. The skipper of Charal runs through some of the parameters that reveal a break from the previous generation of IMOCA boats: extremely large foils, a modified hull and weight reductions.
For Jérémie, being the first to launch a new boat is an advantage. This was a deliberate choice, which will allow him to work to improve his boat. Jérémie wants to make sure time is on his side before the Vendée Globe.
The first major race for Charal will be the Route du Rhum. The race will be a first test and an opportunity to see how she measures up against some tough competition.
But above all, Jérémie tells us about his love of the Vendée Globe and his passion for solo racing. “Already when Armel was crossing the line as the winner of the last edition, I knew I’d be there at the start again.”
[???? LIVE] Jérémie Beyou // Objectif Vendée Globe 2020
[???? LIVE] Premières sensations à bord du nouvel IMOCA @Charal ? Calendrier sportif jusqu'au Vendée Globe 2020 ? Ce midi, Jérémie Beyou répond à nos questions en live ! #LiveVG2020Posted by Vendée Globe on Thursday, September 20, 2018
Solitaire du Figaro: a promising future for Simon and Dalin
For Sébastien Simon, as for Charlie Dalin, the 2018 Solitaire Urgo Le Figaro was their final race in the circuit before they spend all their time on their Vendée Globe projects. For each of them, this final event was very promising for what lies ahead.
Sébastien Simon has become one of the few who have won the Solitaire du Figaro. Winner of two legs, he showed that this year, he was a notch above his rivals and in so doing he made it clear that he is going to be one to watch in the next Vendée Globe. The outcome was particularly positive too for Charlie Dalin, who once again made it onto the race podium.
They will now be able to follow the construction of their monohulls, before meeting up again on the water in 2019, when their boats are due to be launched.
Maître CoQ back again, this time with Yannick Bestaven
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the brand, Maître CoQ has decided to take part in the Vendée Globe adventure once again. For the 2020-2021 edition, the brand based in Vendée will be alongside Yannick Bestaven. A decision which is both rational and emotional.
In 2019, Maître CoQ will be fifty. To celebrate this anniversary, they needed a project which would spotlight the company’s know-how and continue along the lines of their previous actions. Very quickly, the idea of becoming once again a partner to a competitor in the Vendée Globe seemed the obvious choice. They then needed to find a skipper corresponding to the firm’s values.
When they met Yannick Bestaven, it was clear just how much the aims of each party were the same. Yannick is not simply a professional skipper, but also an engineer and businessman. Cofounder of the firm, Watt & Sea, he contributed to the development of hydrogenerators, which today equip almost all the Vendée Globe boats. Yannick Bestaven will be racing aboard the Farr designed boat built for Vincent Riou for the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. There is already a major event coming up: the Route du Rhum destination Guadeloupe, which will start in early November from Saint-Malo.