News in brief

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 ! #LiveVG2020

Posted 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

Azimut Challenge, A Return and Charal Flies
© Yvan Zedda / Défi Azimut

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 ! #LiveVG2020

Posted 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.

Fair Winds Tony Bullimore

Fair Winds Tony Bullimore

British Vendée Globe solo racer Tony Bullimore has died in his native Bristol at the age of 79. Although he became better known for the daring rescue by the Australian Navy from his upturned Exide Challenge during the third edition of race which took place between 1996 and 1997, he was already an accomplished, successful offshore racer who commissioned pioneering Nigel Irens multihull designs in the 1980s, winning the Round Europe Race and the Round Britain Race in 1985.
The story of his rescue made news headlines around the world. Correspondingly news of his passing today from a rare form of cancer has already been reported all over the world.
His boat turned over and filled with water in seconds when the keel broke off his boat and the boom punctured his deck lookout window in 80kt gusts and huge seas in the Southern Ocean on January 5th at 52 deg S, some 1200 nautical miles west of Australia and 800 miles north of Antarctic. While the outside world mostly assumed he had perished in the frozen oceans, he survived in an air pocket for nearly five days, eating a bar of chocolate and food remnants which had floated past him.
The Royal Australian Navy’s HMS Adelaide first rescued Thierry Dubois on 9th January and very early next morning found Bullimore who swam out from the upturned hull. When he boarded the Adelaide and met the Chief Petty Officer Bullimore’s first request was for a cup of tea, telling the the chief petty officer: 'If you didn't have a beard I'd kiss you.'
Queen Elizabeth II later paid tribute to his spirit of survival.

Mike Golding writes:
Tony Bullimore 1939 - 2018

 The legend that is Tony Bullimore is perhaps best known for being rescued from his keel less and upturned boat deep in the Southern Ocean during the Vendee Globe 96/97. It was here Tony earned the nickname “The British Bulldog” as no one expected to find anyone alive after four days adrift in the freezing and stormy conditions in the South. The famous photos of Tony wrapped in a space blanket holding his hand (he lost a part of his finger during the rescue) and his assertion that he had survived on just Chocolate and True Grit were beamed around the globe. Tony was a real “can do” guy who’s ebullient character just made big things happen – for example, it was Tony who commissioned the two 60ft Nigel Irens designed trimarans (Apricot 1/11)  that transformed offshore multihull sailing forever. Prior to the Apricot’s,  multihulls seemed like they were assembled from parts of other boats – the Apricots brought everything together and performed accordingly, dominating the races of that decade.

Away from his passion for sailing he was a highly successful businessman who along with his West Indian wife Lalel, opened the Bamboo Club in 1966. It was the first social venue in Bristol to welcome the African-Caribbean community which hosted big names including Bob Marley And The Wailers, Tina Turner and Ben E King.

If you met Tony, even just once, you would never forget him – he will be sadly missed by the sailing community that cherishes such character and charisma.

Sail  safely Tony…   


Drheam Cup: Girls' Dream Double Leaves Guys in the Shade

Drheam Cup: Girls' Dream Double Leaves Guys in the Shade
© Martin Keruzoré

The Drheam Cup Destination Cotentin finished with an unprecedented double for the two women solo skippers Sam Davies (Initiatives Couer) and Isabelle Joschke (Monin) who finished first and second, an excellent result for the only two women in the IMOCA fleet. For Davies it is her first win solo in her new IMOCA which she has taken over from Tanguy de Lamotte. And for Joschke it is her second consecutive second place after the Monaco Globe Series event which she sailed with Alain Gautier.
Yann Eliès, on his first solo race with the newly configured Ucar-St Michel finished third and paid a glowing tribute to the ‘flawless’ sailing of the two women. Nine soloists finished this race which is a qualifier for La Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe.

Giancarlo Pedote : A boat to be there at the start in 2020

Giancarlo Pedote : A boat to be there at the start in 2020

The Italian sailor Giancarlo Pedote has just acquired Jean-Pierre Dick's former St-Michel - Virbac aboard which Yann Eliès will race in the 2018 Route du Rhum. The boat will be made available to the italian sailor in january 2019. His faithful sponsor Prysmian Group, who has been at his side now for several years, will enable him to train for the 2020 Vendée Globe before he finds additional partners to allow him to compete.

Giancarlo Pedote has spent most of his ocean-racing career in the Mini circuit, but he has also raced in the Figaro and Class40 circuit. He finished in second place the 2013 Mini-Transat aboard a prototype designed by David Raison. A married father of two, he currently lives in Brittany. The world of IMOCA sailing is not really a discovery for him, as he was Fabrice Amedeo co-skipper in the last Transat Jacques Vabre.

The New HUGO BOSS will be a VPLP Design

The New HUGO BOSS will be a VPLP Design

The new boat, HUGO BOSS, on which Alex Thomson will race the 2020 Vendée Globe will be a design from the VPLP design studio, working along with the British skipper’s own design and technical team.
The English based Alex Thomson Racing team have confirmed that the design process is ‘well under way’ to the point that the new build will start later in June.

Alex said:
“This is a hugely important period for us. Everything we do over the coming months leads up to the Vendée Globe 2020 and so it’s vital that we put in place a team which has the expertise, and the passion, to deliver. I’m confident that we have done that. We wholeheartedly believe that - with the right minds and the right boat - we can become the first British team ever to win the Vendée Globe”.

Ross Daniel, technical director at Alex Thomson Racing, said: “VPLP of course has a proven track of designing world class racing boats. As the first design office ever to make the move to foiling monohulls, they hold an unrivalled knowledge in what we know will prove to be the most crucial area of design within the next generation boats.
“But our decision to work with the firm was also based on who they are as people. The process of designing, building and launching a new boat is an incredibly complex one, which requires everyone involved to work collaboratively towards one common goal. We are confident that, together, we can build the very best boat in the fleet, one which is both wholly reliable and has the capability of winning a race as punishing as the Vendée Globe”.








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