HOW TO BROACH – For those of you who have never seen this footage it’s a must see – This incredible broach happened on Cheminée Poujoulat, skippered by Bernard Stamm, a few days after the start of the Vendée Globe 2012. There was heavy weather. His sailing boat broached while the skipper was behind checking his hydrogenerator. The camera was turned on and include the “live comments” of the single handed skipper.
Posts tagged Vendee Globe
RACE NEWS – Bruno Retailleau, President of the Vendée Globe, said he was satisfied with the new gauge prototype adopted on Friday by the IMOCA class.
“It is a good decision, which goes in the direction desired by the Board of Directors of the Vendée Globe.”
According to Bruno Retailleau, this new rule is open enough to keep the Vendée Globe spirit and its technological adventure. But at the same time, it sets limits to the use of new materials, which will reduce the boats costs and imposes strict rules on the most sensitive elements, such as keels and mats, to ensure more reliable boats.
This is a decision that preserves both the identity of the Vendée Globe and its ability to evolve.
VENDEE GLOBE – To relive the highlights of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, won by François Gabart (Macif) on January 27, only three little hours ahead Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), get now the film race, available in the official online store at €14.99.
Departure and arrival emotions, the magnificent duel between Gabart and Le Cléac’h at the head of fleet, the 78 days record, the pain of one, the abandonment of others, shots of stress, moments of joy… relive the highlights of this great race that combines the most incredible performances with the craziest adventures.
2012-2013 Vendée Globe, the official film
Director: Vincent Perazio
Production: Production and Nefertiti SAEM Vendée
Duration: 54 minutes
Version: French and English
VENDEE GLOBE – Less than 50 miles to the northwest of La Corruna, Spain Alessandro di Benedetto on Team Plastique is now counting down the final miles to finish his Vendée Globe, expecting to cross the famous line off the Nouch buoy on Friday morning. The conditions for his finish will not be easy.
Di Benedetto had another demanding night with no sleep due to the variable winds which boxed the compass on several occasions – working all the way around 360 degrees – but also having to keep a wary eye out for the shipping traffic off the busy NW corner of Spain, a gateway from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and beyond.
Speaking this morning Di Benedetto shrugged off his lack of sleep and was very upbeat, enjoying the spring sunshine as the breeze picked up, and with it, his speeds directly towards his own home port of Les Sables d’Olonne where a huge welcome will await the very popular skipper who has stolen so many hearts over his 103 days at sea.
.Di Benedetto’s finishing miles, across the Bay of Biscay are likely to be upwind in a breeze which will build to over 25-30kts with some unpleasant seas. The Franco-Italian skipper explained to Race HQ this morning.
“ I have some wind now, 11-16kts of wind and so the boat is making between 10 and 12 knots of average speed. And I have some sunshine on my starboard side, also a lot of cargo ships. The night was a bit complicated then. I did not have any sleep and I had to make some time on the Code Zero because the wind was very light. And sometimes the wind came up and in from the wrong side and so it came round 360 degrees at times, several times I had to pay attention to this, and also to avoid the cargo ships. Now I am going a little more into the Bay of Biscay and so we will start to see more fishing boats and less cargo ships. Conditions are fine and I have just had my last rice pudding which I made yesterday with coffee and milk.
So I hope to be in Les Sables d’Olonne, across the finish line within two days.
I really know the boat well now and can make small trim changes which I know will make one tenth of a knot of difference and it all counts.
I feel great with the boat. I took some time to have a good relationship with the boat, but more and more I have felt better and better with the boat and I will be sad to step off. But I will see her every day at the marina in Les Sables d’Olonne where she lives.”
VENDEE GLOBE – It looked like Saturday night, running into Sunday morning ,but it could still be Sunday night for the arrival of Tanguy De Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) and behind him Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) is already twisting in no wind.
The final act of the Vendée will test the two skippers still at sea. What to do? Where to go? How to get out? Di Benedetto is in hole and De Lamotte has one in front of him, with apparently no way round it on the way back to Les Sables. At 503 miles from the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne De Lamotte has little choice but to be patient in the face of this unwelcome calm and must just head east as fast as he can. After enjoying a few down of downwind speeds, his last 24 hours have been at a sedate 10.7-knot average and the gauge will continue to drop.
“My routing has me arriving on Saturday evening, I think that’s too late to go directly up the channel, so it will be Sunday morning,” De Lamotte had written, perhaps hopefully, on Thursday morning.
But the routing is becoming increasingly complicated. The computer models suggest at the moment that he will be 80 miles from Les Sables on Saturday afternoon but that the wind will go so light and easterly. That would mean he would still get in on Sunday morning with the tides allowing him directly up the canal. But if it veers right and is more south-easterly, he could be looking at arriving on Sunday evening. It is not seem like fair news for his Initiatives Cœur campaign – the boat with a heart – to have on Valentine’s Day.
VENDEE GLOBE – Dominique Wavre crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe at 15 :16 :42hrs (UTC). He takes seventh place in the race behind Mike Golding.
His elapsed time is 90 days 3hours 14minutes 42 seconds. His average speed on the course is 11.3 knots. He has sailed 27,395.82 miles on the water at an average speed of 12.7 knots. Reminder: the theoretical distance of the route is 24,394 miles.
Finishing his third Vendée Globe from four starts, at 57 years old Dominique Wavre completes his tenth round the world passage. It is an impressive record for a dedicated, passionate Swiss sailor who has shown once again that he can compete at the very top level, still maintaining his impeccable high standards and a positive zest for life which has been apparent through his whole race.
Dominique Wavre’s project revolves around his family, enjoying the help and support of his partner Michèle Paret and daughter Magali. Michele has been his co-skipper in the two Barcelona World Races while Magali looks after the logistics. Based in La Rochelle, Wavre’s campaigns are meticulously prepared and, like his contemporaries Jean Le Cam and Mike Golding, he preferred to do his training miles on his own rather than pair up with any sparring partners.
VENDEE GLOBE – From the finish line to the channel, Jean Le Cam’s 5th place 2012-2013 Vendée Globe. His overview of the race:
“This Vendée Globe was very difficult, especially towards the end. There has been very few good moments, but because they were so rare, they were exceptional. When you spend four days off the coast of Brazil so shaken you can’t have coffee or piss, the slightest calmer moment feels so great. The contrasts is the most important.”
On his popular on board videos
“Videos were made to share. You shoot one and then you watch them and you’re supposed to edit them. But I didn’t want to cut or remove anything, I kept it all, even if it cost more money in the end.”
On making Cape Horn where he capsized last time
“ Cape Horn was a great moment, of course, I was lucky enough to sail very close to it and to see the coast. It was part of my history in this race because that’s where I capsized in the past and of course you really remember that kind of thing.
He said that finishing the Vendée Globe at all is a victory
“ There are so many types of victories, regardless of the rankings. Participating in this Vendée Globe is one because a year ago, we had nothing. We worked hard and I want to thank my team for agreeing to take up the challenge with me, with so little means and so little time. Being here today is a victory. If that is not a victory, I really wonder what is.”
Et ……..Voilà, Le Cam’s stock phrase
“ I tend to say “voilà” (editor’s note: that’s it!) a lot. We use too many words and sometimes, it makes things more difficult to understand. It’s the tone that means the most.”
On diving to remove a net off the keel
“ When I found out about the net stuck in my keel, I knew I was in deep shit. I tried many different things but I couldn’t find a solution so I decided to dive. I wasted a lot of time with that, because first I sailed at 12 knots instead of 15 or 17 and then I had to stop for several hours. But it feels so great when you finally take it out!”
On being happy with his performance
“ Because we had so little time to prepare this project, I was even happier to be part of it and to be in the race. So of course it’s been tough, it’s been a difficult challenge, but that made me feel very comfortable with the project, and even happier. And I couldn’t have done better than 5th, against people who have had sponsors for ten years and who have been training for four! I’m so happy with my performance!”
On winning the battle of the 50-somethings
“ I’m the first among the skippers in their fifties. I had thought about many possible titles or things to win, but not that. At one point I was stuck between two roastbeefs (nickname the French have for the Brits), it was like a reverse sandwich, where I would be the bread!”
Sailing or acting?
“ Between sailing and acting, it’s hard to tell which one I prefer. I love the performing arts, it’s what I do in my videos, in a way. And during that race, I got to do both!”
On his nemesis, Mike Golding
“ If I had finished behind Mike Golding, I would have been mad! I don’t even know what I’ll do tomorrow, so I can’t say when I’ll visit the school again. Already knowing your schedule for the next day is so boring…”
Highs and lows….
“ On the whole I like contrasts. Yesterday I was close to tears, with terrible weather, and today it all got better, and there were so many people to greet me. That made this race a true victory for me, a victory you, the public, gave me. When it comes to that, there’s no need for ranking, it’s my victory and it’s yours. I thank you for that.”
On the Videos 2.0
“ When I received feedback about my videos, it was all about figures and views on the internet, but it’s hard to say how it really impacted people. I have plenty left that I didn’t have time to send.”
“ I have my finger in a plastic cup of cold water because I burnt my hand with one of the flares I used to celebrate. They keep telling us about safety, but this is ridiculous! Out there I could burn my hand, it would fall on the floor, set fire to my sleeping bag and eventually burn the entire boat!
“Finishing last wouldn’t have been a problem, as long as Mike Golding is even further behind! (He laughs).
On choosing not to train at Port La Fôret but to focus on working with a small team to prepare the boat
“ I chose not to go to the Port-la-Forêt training center and I think it was a good move because if I had been there, training with the “jet planes”, I would have been completely depressed at the start. It was such a smart decision. And anyway, even if I had wanted to join them, I had no time and no money to do so. “
On his race story, value for money!
“ When you look at how things go one race after another, you realise there’s no choice but to have huge budgets and means to win the Vendée Globe. I’m in favour of making sure money and financial criteria have less impact in the world of sport. And because of that, maybe my 5th place on this boat this year is even better than my 2d place in 2004-2005. What I know for sure is that it is a more beautiful performance this time, we’ve turned the race into a beautiful thing, along with the people who helped and supported me. We did something nice and we wrote a beautiful story.”
ANOTHER VENDEE UPDATE! – French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick crossed the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne this afternoon at 15hrs 5mins and 40 seconds UTC/GMT to finish fourth in the Vendée Globe, the famous solo nonstop around the world race. His third participation has yielded his best ever result, despite having to race the final 2 650 miles without a keel on his IMOCA Open 60 Virbac-Paprec 3. Dick’s elapsed time for course is 86 days, 3 hours, 3 minutes and 40 seconds. He finishes 8d and 47m behind race winner François Gabart (MACIF).
His average speed for the theoretical course of 24,393 miles is calculated to be 11,8 knots. In reality he sailed 27 734 miles on the water at an actual average speed of 13,4 knots.
Double winner of the two handed Barcelona World Race and three times winner of the two handed Transat Jacques Vabre Dick was one of the possible favourites to win the Vendée Globe but in the end had to give up his third place position he was holding when his keel snapped off on 21st January. He fought on to the finish after making a 48 hours stop in the north of Spain to let a strong low pressure system pass to receive a warm welcome today back in Les Sables d’Olonne.
Comments on a great accomplishment:
VENDEE UPADATE – Lifted off his liferaft by helicopter at 2340hrs UTC last night Javier Sanso, the Spanish skipper of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered arrived to the Azores island of Terceira at 0330hrs UTC this morning. He was examined by a doctor in the helicopter who did not find any signs of hypothermia and at the military base in Terceira the Spanish sailor was further examined by doctors. At 0430hrs UTC Sanso made a call to Vendée Globe Race Direction to confirm that all is well.
FOR MORE DETAILS GO TO: VENDEE GLOBE
VENDEE GLOBE – Here is the highlights video of the 82nd day of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe – Wednesday, January 29, 2013.
VENDEE GLOBE UPDATE – Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss, third place in the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe – Alex Thomson crossed the Vendée Globe finish line at 07 hours 25 minutes 43 seconds (GMT) after 80 days 19 hours 23 minutes 43 seconds at sea. He finishes 2 days 18 hours and 7 minutes behind François Gabart.
His final race time is 80 days 19 hours 25 minutes 43 seconds. His average speed around the course was 12.6 knots and he actually covered 28, 022 miles at the average speed of 14.4 knots. Note: the race’s theoretical distance was 24,393.41 miles.
After Ellen MacArthur’s second place in 2000 and Mike Golding’s third in 2005, Alex Thomson becomes the third British skipper ever to finish on the podium of the Vendee Globe. But his time surpasses that of the Golding’s previous British solo race record from 2005 by 7 days 19 hours 52 minutes. After winner Francois Gabart and second placed Armel Le Cleac’h, Thomson has also smashed the previous race record of 84 days 03 hours 09 minutes set by Michel Desjoyeaux in 2009.
What does Alex have to say after finishing?
“I’ve sailed out of the channel three times but only once back in. And let me tell you, the way back is absolutely great!!!
A lot of this race is about preparation. It took me three months to complete this race but it took my team three years to make it possible so I want to thank them all very much.
Leaving a little boy behind is very difficult, my son Oscar has grown every day while I was away and his speech has improved. My wife has kept me in touch with Oscar throughout the race. I feel a little guilty because I had fun at sea while she stayed home.
To not have any power on board is hard. We had taken enough fuel for half of the race and we were relying on hydrogenerators for the rest. The first couple of days after the incident were so hard, but I had no choice. I’m glad I did what I did.
I remember Denis Horeau asking me if a race time of 77 days was realistic. I told him it was ridiculous, but he was right. Our IMOCA 60 boats are fantastic. I would have loved to do it three days faster, but hopefully next time I will.
My wife will not want to hear about the 2016 edition of the Vendée Globe, at least not right now. It was my third Vendée Globe, this race has been part of my life for 10 years now, it’s in my blood. Right now, I can’t imagine not doing the 2016 Vendée Globe.
The most important thing for me in this Vendée Globe was to finish the race. Standing on the podium is amazing, though and really, the race time is irrelevant.
People have said it was noble to stay close to JP when he had problems, but to me, it was just the normal thing to do, it shows the respect we all have for each other. I’ve been rescued by Mike Golding, I know what it feels like.”
VENDEE GLOBE – Here is the highlights video of the 81st day of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe – Tuesday, January 28, 2013.
VENDEE GLOBE – Here it is 80 days. Here are the highlights some finished and some are still on the water.
VENDEE GLOBE – The record breaking duo’s feet have barely touched the ground since they made their unprecedented arrival into Les Sables d’Olonne yesterday. Never in the race’s history have two boats been so close together. With an exhausted François Gabart (MACIF) rationalising his victory and an energetic Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) gallantly coming to terms with his second place. After the press conferences the two skippers enjoyed their first showers, with towels, got dressed into clean clothes and partied with their teams, friends, guests and sponsors. It was an early night for François Gabar (MACIF) and an early morning for Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) as he dominated the dance floor at their joint welcome home party. Up with the lark the two skippers are enduring a marathon of media interviews as the world’s media clamours for their attention in the face of the remarkable victory. Undoubtedly, a historic battle, which will be discussed around the globe’s pontoons for decades to come as one of the greatest yacht racing moments in history.
Thomson battered by gale force winds
Meanwhile back on the track, last night, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) was in conditions ranging from 35 knots of wind gusting up to 45 knots and now in 35 knots of wind. “I just want to finish the race as safely as possible. My foot is off the pedal. I am taking it easy. I don’t really care when I finish as long as I finish. 45 knots of wind in a IMOCA Open 60 is not enjoyable at all.” He said today, on the English version of Vendée Globe LIVE.
“At the beginning the Organisation were talking about 77 days and I thought that was ridiculous. How wrong I was. To finish in third place would be absolutely awesome, especially in the boat that I have got and that is what I aiming for. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll finish after 83 days but if I do it means I have a serious problem. I just want to get the boat to the finish. I am going to nurse her to the finish and look forward to my cheeseburger at the end.”
The last days of Thomson’s race don’t look like they are going to be easy. He will face heavy weather in the busy shipping lanes of the Bay of Biscay. It’s the equivalent of leaving the open road and sailing blind and fast into a three-dimensional congested super highway. There is no rest for the British skipper, as he will have to keep his wits about him as he negotiates the extreme weather conditions, manages the galloping steed and avoids collision. He’ll be nursing the boat indeed as the pressure mounts to an exciting conclusion and the potential British podium place in this seventh edition of the Vendée Globe.
Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) sails at the latitude of Lisbon continuing his journey without a keel to the Portuguese coast. He will make a decision within about 2 days, whether it is safe for him to continue to Les Sables d’Olonne. Today, on the Vendée Globe LIVE he admitted that 40 knots of wind in the Bay of Biscay would not be safe for him. Pragmatically, he surmised that although completing the course was important for both him and the team it was not worth risking his life.
No peace in the trade winds
Further south, around the coast of Cape Verde and at the edge of the Doldrums are the trade winds, winds of around 20 knots, with big waves to overcome. Apart from the warmer temperatures, the welcome progress is uncomfortable. It will soon become slow and tortuous, from the Azores to almost the entire width of the Atlantic and into the Bay of Biscay. For now, it seems that the sailors have no other choice but to cross a large area of light wind. “We have to find a mouse hole to sneak through” said Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) this morning on the French Vendée Globe LIVE. “We need there to be one!”
In this 79th day of racing, there are still three competitors in the South Atlantic, Tanguy de Lamotte(Initiatives Cœur), Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) and Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM). However, Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM) is not very far from the equator it should cross it tonight.
VENDEE GLOBE – As the winners approach the finish line the construction workers have been working around the clock to prepare the race village and so that we are ready to celebrate their homecoming with aplomb. The Vendée Globe village in Les Sables d’Olonne reopens it’s doors to the public tomorrow, Friday, January 25 at 10am. The official opening is scheduled on the same day at 3pm in the presence of Retailleau Bruno, President of the SAEM Vendée.
The village will be open every day from 10am to 7pm, until February 9. Depending on the arrival times of the last competitors, an extension of a few days may be considered.
VIRTUAL REGATTA – Nearly half a million players participate in the Virtual Regatta Vendee Globe. The ETA of the virtual winner is coming Thursday at sunrise. By then he has travelled more than 40.000 virtual nautical miles in 75 days!
Today, Thursday 24th of January, the winner will share his virtual victory in MANY PLAYERS office in Boulogne Billancourt. If you want to meet the winner please contact us.
“The Vendée Globe is magic,” says Philippe Guigné, creator of Virtual Regatta. “In this race there is: adventure, emotion, toughness, technology, effort and fierce competition.” It is also the unique partnership between the SAEM Vendée and Virtual Regatta which created a thin line between the virtual and the real world, based on the respect of the players for their “real” brothers.”
“The Virtual Regatta NEWS”, is a new feature in the 2012-13 Vendee Globe edition. Produced and hosted by Media Cypok and presented by Sébastien Destremau. With already more than 30 million views, it was one of the bigger successes of the virtual race, which really amazed us.
At this time the virtual sailors have travelled over 7688151331 nautical miles (15 billion km) the oceans of the world! Just to compare it: its 10 times the distance from the earth to the sun.
6.5 million Messages are exchanged between the players … and we’re still counting! As the leader and likely winner, nowadays gets hundreds of messages per day to support him through the tough last miles. He already apologizing that he will not be able to reply to everyone…
Virtual Regatta gives a special thanks to its loyal partners: Sodebo Incidence Sails, Safran, Ralf Tech, Eurosport, The Team, SPORT365, Sails & Sailing, Philanthropy Cardiac Surgery, Vicomte A, Le Nautic, Yahoo, Pick Sea, 727 Sailbag, Orange-Navy, Julbo, Lanson.
Click HERE to check it out!
VENDEE GLOBE – Here is the highlights video of the 75th day of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe – Wednesday, January 23, 2013.
VENDEE GLOBE – Here is the highlights video of the 74th day of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe – Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
VENDEE GLOBE – Despite losing his keel with 2,000 miles to the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) has not abandoned and is working out what to do next. “The competitor and the sailor do not agree,” Dick said. “Should I continue in a degraded state or abandon and go and hide in the Azores.”
Dick described what happened on Vendee Globe TV: “It happened a little before midnight,” he said. “There were already noises in the boat, rather strong and quite screeching. I thought it was the sound of keel jack but in fact the head of keel was already damaged. All of a sudden there was a popping noise. Fortunately, I was between the outside and inside, there were several squalls and then there was a new squall happening. The boat was lying on its side in a second I realised that the keel had broken. I was able to quickly get to the mainsail winch to ease the mainsail a little. The boat began to luff and went down quickly on the water. There was certainly a moment of doubt about the boat, luckily it did not flip over. After a few minutes I was able to ease the solent (sail) and furl it. The boat was safe enough to put in more ballast and take a risk and further reduce the canvas.
“It is a shame to lose the keel at this stage of the race. About the outcome, I do not know yet, we’ll see what will happen if I continue running or not. Currently, I am still in the race, I did not give up. The mast is there, as are the sails, the boat floats and I took a little advice from a specialist in the field, called Marco (Guillemot). I called him and he gave me some tips. For now I have a lot of ballast filled in my boat and I think I’m in good conditions. The boat is safe enough not to capsize if there is gust of wind. It is always impressive is true but the boat always moves between 11 and 12 knots. We are going at least to the Azores at first.”
Marc Guillemot rewrote the rulebook and received a hero’s welcome at the finish after losing his keel with 1,000 miles to go. But like Dick, Roland Jourdain, was further from home, headed to the Azores and retired after losing his keel whilst clear in second place in the last edition in 2008-09.
Dick was still making good speed in the third place and continuing on his normal route in 16-18 northeasterlies, 200 miles ahead of Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss). But the challenge will come if he is faced with bigger winds and particularly rougher, cross seas, that he could face, especially in the Bay of Biscay.
The loss of Virbac-Paprec’s keel sparked shock and worry among the fleet and debate about the durability of these IMOCA Open 60 boats. It is not a new debate, but as each generation becomes faster and more powerful and at the same time seeks to pare down the weight, safety is ever more of an issue.
“A fabricated keel has the life span of one Vendée Globe, period,” Mike Golding (Gamesa) told Vendee Globe TV. “If it makes the finish it is a design success, if it breaks it is a design failure. Unfortunately we have seen far too many design failures with fabricated steel keels. I championed several years ago changing the rule when I was president of the (IMOCA) technical committee, I tried to change the rule to have forged steel keels, which is pretty much the only way of guaranteeing, well not guaranteeing, but reducing keel fatigue failures like this. Unfortunately the votes missed by 3 or 4 votes out of a hundred people, as a result we have still got the fabricated forged and carbon variations. For me I chose to switch to a carbon keel, so I’m on a carbon keel, theoretically if the carbon keel is good, it is good for the life of the boat, theoretically [laughs].”
Golding knows more than most about finishing a Vendée Globe without a keel, having become the first man to do it, in the 2004-05 edition, when he lost his keel with 50 miles to go to the finish line but still managed to finish third. But he did not sound optimistic for the chances of Dick’s more long range position. “In 2005 I was 50 miles from the finish, my immediate reaction when I lost the keel was that this is the end of it, you cannot sail the boat,” he said. “But quite quickly I worked out that with ballast I could sail the boat, and even though it was upwind to the finish, in fact it was nearer 90 miles by the time I sailed it, because I had to tack upwind to get to Les Sables d’Olonne, the boat will sail. But I think the real problem is it is quite different being close to the finish like that, and in the position where Jean-Pierre is, he is a long way out and a long way from the finish and the reality is the boat is not very safe without the keel.
“I think everyone will be looking down in their keel pits and making sure everything is the way, or at least looks the way it should be. The trouble with these fabricated steel failures is there is pretty much no warning, you don’t really see anything, you don’t hear anything, you don’t feel anything, and then right at the end it tends to fail, it tends to release, it bends massively before it breaks. Probably Jean-Pierre mentioned in his report he felt a gust of wind and he went out and checked the sails, the reality is I recall exactly the same experience, in hindsight I don’t think the wind increased at all, there was no gust, the keel was bending and then the bang is when it finally releases. So what happened to JP [Jean-Pierre] sounds extremely similar to what happened to me, I ended up quite confused about why the boat was heeling so much when the keel was seemingly in the right position.”
The skipper with most to gain from Dick’s loss, Alex Thomson, who should move up into third place in the next two days, expressed his sympathy and shock. He also called for changes to the IMOCA class. “I am shocked and gutted at the news that JP Dick has lost his keel,” Thomson wrote. “JP has sailed an awesome race and does not deserve this to happen to him. He has worked so hard and maintained his 3rd position despite having to climb the mast countless times. I am thankful that it has happened here and not in the south although JP will have to go through some significant weather to get to the Azores, potentially up to 40 knots on the 26th.
“I never thought we would see a keel failure on this race. IMOCA has of course a history with keel failures but I really thought all those problems were behind us. It will be interesting to review the failures of Virbac and Safran (Marc Guillemot’s boat which lost it’s titanium keel on the first night of this edition), both penned from the same designer (Verdier-VPLP) to see exactly why these failures have happened.
“When I joined the class in 2003, I was a little surprised that I had to change the keel on my first boat because it had exceeded its mileage of 80,000 miles. Since then people have been building keels that last only one round the world race to save a few kilos of weight. I came from the world that a keel lasted for the life of the boat and that is where we need to get to. In 2009 IMOCA brought in some regulations to make keels safer but it obviously has not been enough.
“Enough is enough, the keels need to be made of solid steel and last the life of the boat, before someone gets hurt.”