News in brief

No Vendée Globe 2020 for Yann Eliès

In the end Yann Eliès has decided to give up on his quest to be at the start of the Vendée Globe 2020. Delays to the construction of a new boat,which it was hoped would begin at the start of November, have pushed the already tight timeline beyond the limit.  Unfortunately a build is now deemed impossible.

The deadline, to be ready on July 1 for qualifying the boat no longer seems tenable. Predictably, having got so close, Eliès  is frustrated. "We had expected a build period of  of eight months, which was already a bit of a technical feat. But we are in the first week of December and the build has not started. It would be totally unreasonable to carry on with such an adventure.

Now Eliès will focus on other projects, but his overarching goal is clear: he will do everything to be present at the start of the Vendée Globe 2024.

Clément Giraud has put his Vendée Globe on hold.

Clément Giraud, whose IMOCA Fortil suffered a fire just a few days before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre has been forced to put his Vendée Globe in its current form on hold. Repairs to his boat are time consuming, costly and important and his title sponsor has chosen to disengage from the project.

This has come has a big blow to the sailor from the Mediterranean navigator who until the accident had largely been on course.

"Although I am terribly disappointed and hurting for my team and myself, I do respect the decision of my partner. We have done some good things since we got the boat eight months ago. That includes two solo races (the 900 Nautiques of Saint-Tropez and the Bermuda 1000 Race), the Grand Prix Guyader, and we sailed 12,000 miles between Toulon, Brest and Le Havre and had dozens of associations and schools committed to following and supporting our project. "

For Giraud the choice is that he either finds a new partner who will back the repair and renovation of his IMOCA, or he has to decide to commit to another, different boat and request an exemption from the race direction to be able to start the Vendée Globe.  

That said he knows only too well that this will only be possible if fewer than 34 competitors are registered to start, the rules stating that the events required to validate the boat’s entry must be sailed on the boat which was entered on the November 1stdeadline. So it looks like Giraud has some difficult times ahead but he has already proven that he can move mountains to make his dreams come true.

Armel Tripon goes scow

Armel Tripon goes scow
© Pierre Bouras / L'Occitane

In Nantes at the Black Pepper yard L'Occitane's solo racer Armel Tripon has unveiled his new boat for the next Vendée Globe. The new Sam Manuard design is different form all the latest-generation boats, betting on a chunky, scow shaped bow as has been successful in Class 40 and the Mini 650s. The team have clealrly pushed the envelope in a new direction. By betting on the concept of the scow Sam Manuard and Armel Tripon are expecting a more comfortable boat capable of holding high average speeds. Next week  on the Vendée Globe globe website there will be a full interview with the skipper of Occitane who explains his choices.

Delivery trip back from the Transat Jacques Vabre: solo sailing preferred

After the Transat Jacques Vabre, it is time to return to solo sailing. Several sailors will be taking advantage of the return trip between Salvador da Bahia and their home port to see how they cope sailing solo.

It is also an opportunity for the sailors who only had the Transat Jacques Vabre to qualify, to clock up the vital 200 miles of solo sailing that are required. A chance to gain some experience and obtain their qualification for the Vendée Globe at the same time. Something well worth the effort. 

That is why Clarisse Crémer (Banque Populaire X), Charlie Dalin (Apivia), Thomas Ruyant (Advens for Cybersecurity) and Kevin Escoffier (PRB) have set off alone. Fabrice Amedeo (Art et Fenêtres) does not require these 2000 miles of solo sailing, as he completed the last Vendée Globe, but he has decided nevertheless to sail as if he was alone on this return trip, where he is merely accompanied by a media reporter. He sees this as a good way of getting more experience alone aboard, as he looks forward to the next Vendée Globe. Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle) has also decided to return sailing by himself.

We should add that aboard Initiatives Coeur, the delivery trip back to France is an opportunity to welcome a prestigious guest on board. French astronaut, Thomas Pesquet is continuing his exploration of the planet.

Fabrice Amedeo is second solo skipper to enter the Vendée Globe.

After Arnaud Boissières who was first official entry, Fabrice Amedeo is now the second solo skipper to have his entry completed for the next Vendée Globe.

Amedeo, the 41 year old journalist turned sailor, was already pre-selected as he, of course, finished the Vendée Globe 2016. Subsequently Fabrice qualified his new boat, which was previously the VPLP-Verdier designed No Way Back, when he finished last year’s solo Route du Rhum 2018.

So all that remained was to complete the administrative and medical details required and that was done before his start of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

His firm entry validates all of the continued efforts he has made since he finished 11th in the last Vendée Globe in 2016-2017. He has confirmed partnerships are complemented by his hard earned experience gained on each of the subsequent races he has competed in. Consequently his hopes of an improved result on the next race grow with each race completes.

At one year to go before the start, Amedeo’s registration is an important box ticked.

Facebook live with Clément Giraud

On saturday, 19th of october at 11:30am (Western Europe), the french skipper Clément Giraud will be live on our Facebook page.
We will talk about his ambition for the next race, his previous experiences and more to come !
Ask your questions here :

Azimut Challenge: a warm-up before the Jacques Vabre

The Azimut Challenge is a friendly event with some serious competition at the same time. Over the years, it has become one of the big autumn events preceding the major races on the calendar, the Transat Jacques Vabre, Vendée Globe or the Route du Rhum.
The 2019 Challenge is a prelude to the Transat Jacques Vabre and will be raced double-handed on a 500-mile race course from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st September.
On Wednesday 18th, the IMOCAs were in the channel off Groix for speed runs where the teams’ guests were able to take part. On Sunday, everyone will be able to see what they can do against their rivals in a friendly race around the island of Groix.

22 IMOCAs taking part in the Azimut Challenge

Charlie Dalin’s Apivia will be missing because of her christening ceremony in La Rochelle. Kojiro Shiraishi’s DMG Mori, which has had hardly any preparation time, will however be taking part in the race around Groix

List of boats registered

⦁    Banque Populaire X : Clarisse Crémer and Armel le Cléac'h
⦁    Corum l’Epargne : Nicolas Troussel and Jean Le Cam
⦁    Groupe Apicil : Damien Seguin and Yoann Richomme
⦁    Groupe Setin : Manuel Cousin and Gildas Morvan
⦁    Pure : Romain Attanasio and Sébastien Marsset
⦁    Time For Oceans : Stéphane Le Diraison and François Guiffant
⦁    V and B - Mayenne : Maxime Sorel and Guillaume Le Brec
⦁    Vers un monde sans Sida: Erik Nigon and Vincent Le Serec

⦁    La Fabrique : Alan Roura and Sébastien Audigane
⦁    La Mie Câline - Artipôle : Arnaud Boissières and Xavier Macaire
⦁    Maître CoQ : Yannick Bestaven and Roland Jourdain
⦁    Malizia 2 - Yacht Club de Monaco : Boris Hermann and Will Harris
⦁    Newrest-Art & Fenêtres : Fabrice Amedeo and Eric Péron
⦁    PRB : Kevin Escoffier and Nicolas Lunven
⦁    Prysmian Group : Giancarlo Pedote and Anthony Marchand
⦁    11th Hour : Pascal Bidegorry and Charlie Enright
⦁    Initiatives Cœur : Samantha Davies and Paul Meilhat
⦁    MACSF : Isabelle Joschke and Morgan Lagravière
⦁    Bureau Vallée : Louis Burton and Davy Beaudart
⦁    Advens for cybersecurity : Thomas Ruyant and Antoine Koch
⦁    Arkea-Paprec : Sébastien Simon and Vincent Riou
⦁    Charal : Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt

DMG MORI has left the yard

The new monohull to be sailed by the Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi has left the Multiplast yard in Vannes. Designed around the moulds from Charal, the new VPLP design is due to experience her first race at the Azimut Challenge from 19th to 22nd September in Lorient. She is the fifth new boat to come out of the yard and will be followed by the boats designed for Thomas Ruyant, Armel Tripon and Nicolas Troussel.

Charal Wins IMOCA Class in Rolex Fastnet Race

Charal Wins IMOCA Class in Rolex Fastnet Race
© Gauthier Lebec / Charal

First to round the Fastnet Rock on Sunday night at 2137hrs, Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt on board Charal won the IMOCA 60 class in the Rolex Fastnet Race when they crossed the finish line off Plymouth this Monday afternoon at 1402hrs , some 12 minutes ahead of IMOCA newcomer Kevin Escoffier sailing PRB with La Solitaire winner Nicolas Lunven. In third was Vendée Globe winner Armel Le Cléac’h sailing with IMOCA newcomer Clarisse Cremer. Bureau Vallée 2 sailed by Louis Burton and Davy Beaudart took fourth with Sam Davies and Paul Meilhat fourth on Initiatives Couer

Beyou and Pratt made a gain on their pursuers on their climb to the mythical rock lighthouse yesterday afternoon but as the breeze eased during the approach to Plymouth but they were able to hold on to win. Victory in the 20 boat IMOCA fleet is some compensation for Beyou who had to retire from the Route du Rhum last November because of various technical problems with his new Charal.

New Hugo Boss Unveiled

New Hugo Boss Unveiled
© Mark Lloyd / Hugo Boss

Alex Thomson has always been a solo racer who pushes the design envelope and the new VPLP designed Hugo Boss which has just been unveiled, the sixth IMOCA to bear the name of his principal sponsor, does not disappoint.

As well as the remarkable, sleek pared back look there are certain key innovations. A fully protected enclosed cockpit situated just behind the mast stands out clearly from what has been seen so far in the IMOCA class and the curved deck is covered with solar panels, signifying Thomson’s desire to complete the race using no fossil fuels.
To date all of the new generation IMOCAs have clear differences. The upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre will see five latest generation IMOCA 60s go up against each other for the first time, those being the boats of Thomson, Sébastien Simon, Charlie Dalin, Jérémie Beyou and Thomas Ruyant.

The distinctive black hull of the new Hugo Boss contrasts with flashes of fluorescent pink which can be seen across the boat’s coach roof, keel and rudder. Devised by Industrial Designer Karim Rashid – the man behind the brand identity of the boat – the bespoke fluro tone is a first for the IMOCA class. The boat will also feature never before seen on-board technologies, developed alongside Technology Partner Nokia Bell Labs, which is incubating this work for the ATR team, in keeping with its research for high-performance mission-critical applications.

“This sport is no longer just about qualified naval architecture and competent ocean racing” said Stewart Hosford, CEO of Alex Thomson Racing. “It’s a design and engineering challenge at the highest level. It’s about bringing together the best in the world in every single area, in the relentless pursuit of excellence, of perfection.”

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