13 December 2012 - 20:00 • 1753 views



Reigning Vendee Globe champion Michel Desjoyeaux admits that he cannot find enough time to follow this race but he reveals the secret of Gabart's record breaking speed.

How much do you follow the race?
" I would like to follow it all the time, but it is quite hard to follow it during the boat show, to see every classement, but I follow it for a few minutes every morning and evening."

And what is the difference between Armel and Francois?
To me there is no surprise what is happening. I know what they do and they way they sail and race.  They are just playing what they love to do, how they love to do it.

Francois has a secret weapon?
I know why Francois is so fast. He has a sail ( blast reacher) which is an improvement of what I had four years ago. We are sure now that Armel does not have the same sail. It works on the angles that he had when he broke the record, so around 120 degrees with around 35-40knots of wind, with ideal conditions of swell and sea.
Three days ago we were at the Soiree du Champions with the French Federation and they called François  live during the ceremony and he said “It is OK, the wind has dropped a little, 30-35kts and I have been sleeping a lot. And the whole theatre was silent. They could not believe it. They thought he was joking, but I am sure it’s right because in those conditions you have nothing else to do. And you have to because when it drops and you need bigger sails then you have much more work to do, you have to be on the deck and be ready to drive the boat and be ready to manoeuvre.

And what about the number of boats which have dropped out?
I think the level of attrition is a shame for all those who have been forced out. But I had a discussion with someone who lives in the middle of France, a long way from the sea, and he said it is a hard race with all these boats out. I said ‘really?’ He said yes because these boats are out. I said OK I appreciate your answer
But in fact if you remove the three boats which hit fishing boats or objects, all the others are just part of the race and we just have to live with that. And if all the boats finished the race, it would just not be the Vendée Globe. For the moment we have more than a half still on the course, and the average number of finishers is usually a half.