News in brief
Sébastien Simon: a new pair of foils for the Vendée Globe
It's one of the trademarks of a top athlete, to know how to bounce back. After breaking his foil on the Vendée Arctic Les Sables d'Olonne, Sébastien Simon has moved swiftly with his team. "I was immediately supported by my partners, which freed me from an obvious stress. Then, as soon as I stopped the race, we considered what it would take to be ready for the start of the Vendée Globe. The first requirement was that an independent expert study had to be carried out to understand what happened." One of the most reputable experts in the industry has been called in who is not linked to any of the parties involved. The idea is to try to understand what happened, although I doubt we will have the actual answers before the start of the Vendée Globe. »
Strengthened foils, keeping the shape
At the same time, Arkéa-Paprec's team decided to start two new foils at the Persico yard in Italy. The structural calculations have been entrusted to the New Zealand company Pure, one of the leaders in this area. "The foils will be strengthened, but we are sticking with the C-shape. This will allow us to continue training before the Vendée Globe as we still have an intact foil and a replacement foil".
However, the deadlines are going to be particularly tight. "The new appendages should be delivered just before the boat is moored in Port Olona, a few weeks before the start of the Vendée Globe. Of course this is far from an ideal situation for the young sailor from Les Sables d’Olonne, the 2018 La Solitaire du Figaro winner who had programmed his preparation to be at the start of the race in shape to be a potential winner. "This compromised preparation puts me back in the pack with the underdogs. But nothing is ever for certain. In 2016, a similar misadventure happened to Armel Le Cléac'h. That didn't stop him from winning the event.»
Nicolas Troussel Is Also In
After having recently completed his qualification course (2,000 miles solo), Nicolas Troussel the skipper of Corum l'Epargne is now officially registered for the next Vendée Globe, having now also fulfilled all the administrative and medical obligations. Choosing not to take part in the recent Vendée - Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne, Troussel trains hard with a clear objective: to be one of the contenders for the podium on the Vendée Globe 2020.
Pip Hare is Officially Registered
The British solo racer Pip Hare, who recently signed a new sponsor in Medallia, has now completed all of her necessary documentation and checks and has had her registration for the Vendée Globe validated So Pip will be on the start line in Les Sables d’Olonne on November 8th with her 2000-built former Superbigou which will be heading for a fifth racing circumnavigation,
Tripon returns to port, Seguin Abandons.
After showing well early in the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne.race on his new Sam Manuard designed L’Occitaine, Armel Tripon has been forced to return to port after cracking appeared in his hull where it was previously damaged before the start when he hit an unidentified floating object. After discussions with Race Director Jacques Caraes, the solo racer from Nantes has chosen the safe option on this third day of the race, heading to safety where a full assessment and repair will be made. Tripon must now find a different solo passage to qualify himself and his new boat for the Vendee Globe.
Meantime Damien Seguin arrived back in Port-La-Forêt on his Groupe APICIL and retired from the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne after suffering from a broken alternator mounting which meant he could not charge his electrical systems.
"Unfortunately the race was bit shorter than I hoped for but there are always lessons to be learned from starting and racing alongside other boats and being able to calibrate together over a few miles. There are many positive things to be learned from it. The boat is fine. I felt good on board, ”explained Paralympic medallist Seguin..
Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne: Sébastien Simon Abandons
The Les Sables d'Olonne based skipper of Arkéa-Paprec confirmed his retirement from the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d'Olonne race this morning after breaking his starboard foil shortly after starting,
Simon said, "There is some damage to the hull, including a small amount of water coming in. To continue the race would lose us 15 days wasted.
His abandonment delays his qualification for the Vendée Globe. Now he must complete an additional solo passage of 2000 miles in order to qualify himself and his new boat.
And Maxime Sorel Is In!
Maxime Sorel is now the 20th skipper to be officially registered for the Vendée Globe 2020. The skipper who will celebrate his 34th birthday this summer, has completed all the sporting and administrative formalities needed to ensure he can be at the start of his very first Vendée Globe, on November 8th , on board V and B - Mayenne.
In 48 hours, he will also be racing alongside 19 other competitors, starting from Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne.
Sponsor Boost Comes At Just the Right Time For Pip Hare
British solo racer Pip Hare has had a major boost to her Vendée Globe programme as she has signed a significant sponsorship with US based global leader in experience management Medallia (listed on the NYSE as MDLA).
Hare's evergreen IMOCA 60, the legendary Rolland designed Superbigou which Alan Roura raced to 12th place in the last race, will be named Medallia.
The sponsorship support has allowed her to accelerate her programme in order to be back on the water quicker, to fit an all important coffee grinder pedestal winch, and to order some vital new sails.
"This came a little bit out of the blue but at just the right time. Things were really starting to get on top of me. I was really starting to struggle a bit doing so much by myself. But now I have been able to take on a small team to get things finished and am able to delegate a bit." Hare reports. “My entire 28-year career has been focused on breaking down barriers to get to this point. I have been driven by the knowledge that morre men have walked on the moon than women have completed the Vendée Globe. That is all the inspiration I need to succeedso I am absolutely thrilled that such a visionary company as Medallia has stepped in to ensure I can make my lifelong dream a reality.”
Medallia’s funding has allowed her to secure the full time services of the highly experienced Joff Brown who worked previously with Dee Caffari and more recently Rich Wilson. She will now focus on building miles before the start .
“Medallia has a rich history of helping customers and partners achieve excellence and success. We believe this synergy in goals made us the ideal partner to support such a focused, talented athlete like Pip,” said Leslie Stretch, CEO of San Francisco based Medallia who have an office in Paris . “Her skill, ambition and determination to break down barriers in sport is hugely inspirational and we are proud to be working with her."
Setback for Armel Tripon
As he completed his qualification for the Vendée - Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne race Armel Tripon skipper of L’Occitane en Provence hit an unidentified floating object which damaged the starboard bow and the starboard rudder.
It is a blow for the skipper from Nantes whose new Sam Manuard design had been going well in testing and training.
The objective now is to get the boat repaired as fast as possible. In agreement with the President of the L'Occitane group, Armel Tripon has made the decision to lift the boat out of the water start repairs immediately to do all they can to ensure he is at the start of the Vendée - Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne on July 4th. The race against the clock has started.
Damien Seguin will be at the start!
It's another important box checked for Damien Seguin who has achieved the envied status of becoming an official Vendée Globe 2020 registrant. Born without a left hand, the double Paralympic champion has climbed the many steps which lead to the very pinnacle of solo ocean racing. The effervescent skipper of Groupe Apicil, who learned to sail in Guadeloupe, is not racing around the world simply to push new limits for disabled sport. No, he is aiming for nothing less than first place in the unofficial Imoca straight-daggerboard brigade. Damien Seguin will race aboard the Finot Conq designed Groupe-Apicil, the former ex DCNS ex Comme un seul homme which was ninth in the Vendée Globe 2016-17
Good news for Ruyant, Attanasio and Huusela
Thomas Ruyant, Ari Huusela and Romain Attanasio have all unveiled the names of new partners during recent days. Thomas Ruyant is still sponsored by Advens but his boat is named after the LinkedOut brand, a network for users who need a network. His boat is now called LinkedOut. Romain Attanasio has excellent news too: the Best Western® Hotel & Resorts group has joined his partner Pure. The boat now bears the name of Pure - Best Western.And the Finnish skipper Ari Huusela has found a main sponsor, Stark a leader in building materials in Finland. The boat will therefore carry the name of Stark.