Displaying items by tag: Vendee Globe
Following the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, the SAEM Vendée in France has decided to cancel the press conference for the Vendée Globe which was scheduled to take place in Paris this coming Tuesday 10th March.
The organiser of the Vendée Globe round the world race is applying the precautionary principle in compliance with the government’s recommendations which prompt to limit broad public meetings in a confined space whenever possible.
The next major press conference will take place on the 17th of September, at the Palais-Brongniart in Paris.
As regular Afloat readers will know, every four years, an elite group of sailors endeavour to sail single-handed, non-stop in a circumnavigation of the planet, through the most unpredictable and perilous conditions imaginable. They are competitors in the Vendee Globe – one of the most arduous, challenging and dangerous events in sport.
These sailors know the real adversaries are the waves and the weather, the ice and isolation. The last race had an Irish skipper competing for the first time, as Irish Entrepreneur, Author and Business Post Publisher Enda O’Coineen sailed the Kilcullen Voyager into the history books.
But this grand solo voyage did not go to plan...
At 1745 hrs this Sunday, January 5, Virgin Media THREE are broadcasting the Journey to the Edge Documentary on Enda's feat.
Check out the (three minute) trailer below:
Purchase Enda's book on the voyage and much more directly from the Afloat site here
The just-unveiled Vendée Globe Race poster is as epic as the world-girdling French event it seeks to represent.
With the presence of the foils clearly visible and a solo skipper perched at the bow of the boat, the poster aims to reflect the technical evolution of the competing boats.
Organisers say that the visual, designed by the Désigne and Pulp agencies, offers a 'dreamlike identity' in which the race’s main themes are conserved, the planet’s oceans, the emblematic colours of the race, red and blue, and the solo skipper at bow of the boat.
The ninth edition of the Vendée Globe will start from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday the 8th of November 2020. There are finally 37 candidates hoping to be at the start of the next Everest of the Seas race but after some intense interest and declarations, no Irish campaigns will make the start line.
Just a few years back ago, there were as many as four Irish solo sailors with campaigns intent on following in Enda O'Coineen's wake to become the first Irish sailor to complete the world-girdling course but after a rigorous application process, none are in the final line up.
In 2017, the Galway Bay sailor made history when he became the first Irish sailor to make the Vendee start in the gruelling non-stop single-handed race around the world but lost his mast and retired off the New Zealand coast.
It's all been enough to prompt Afloat's WM Nixon to ask if the Irish lost the run of themselves aiming for the Vendee Globe?
Four years later, however, there is no shortage of interest regardless of the Irish no show but hope lives on for an Irish 2024 campaign.
The 2020 edition of the race already promises to be very rich : nine new boats, a real confrontation between shipyards, half of the fleet equipped with foils, a record number of nationalities at the start, six women candidates, a great champion in disabled sports, and the return of the unmissable leading figures in off-shore racing.
This 2020-2021 vintage should be exhilarating and proves more than ever that the Vendée Globe is a real sporting and human adventure.
As announced by the President of the Race, Yves Auvinet, during the 1st skipper briefing on the 3rd of October, only 34 of them will be able to take the start on the 8th of November 2020.
Details are here
From Enda O’Coineen, in business and adventure, we can learn much. The man sails on a sea of obsession in life — guided only by the goals he sets himself.
He became the first ever Irish entry to qualify for the Vendée Globe. When he didn’t succeed in the solo circumnavigation at his first attempt, due to a broken mast, his default mode was to try again — and he sailed into the history books.
In his daily jousts with the elements at sea, the entrepreneur concludes that for every risk, there is a massive potential for reward and giving back.
But he is alarmed by rules, regulations and controls, hidden in the name of safety and security. Fundamental freedoms are being lost, he says.
The genius is in understanding the balance.
Every four years, an elite group of sailors endeavours to sail single-handed, non-stop in a circumnavigation of the planet, through the most unpredictable and perilous conditions imaginable.
They are the competitors in the Vendée Globe — one of the most arduous, challenging and dangerous events in sport. These sailors know the real adversaries are the waves and the weather, the ice and isolation.
The 2016 race had an Irish skipper competing for the first time, as Irish businessman Enda O’Coineen sailed the Kilcullen Voyager into the annals of sailing history.
But this grand solo voyage did not go to plan.
Also the subject of a documentary that screened as part of the IFI Documentary Festival last month, Enda O’Coineen’s bid to complete the Vendée Globe has been recounted in his own words in a new book.
Journey to the Edge: An Amazing Story of Risk-Taking in Business and Adventure, by Enda O’Coineen, is available from the Afloat shop at €14.99.
The World Premiere of the Irish sailing documentary 'Journey to the Edge' will be screened as part of the IFI Documentary Festival on Sunday, September 29th at 13.00 in Temple Bar, Dublin. The docu covers Irish sailor Enda O'Coineen's bid to compete in the Vendee Globe single-handed non-stop race around the world.
Every four years, an elite group of sailors endeavour to sail single-handed, non-stop in a circumnavigation of the planet, through the most unpredictable and perilous conditions imaginable. They are the competitors in the Vendee Globe Race – one of the most arduous, challenging and dangerous events in sport. These sailors know the real adversaries are the waves and the weather, the ice and isolation.
The 2016 race had an Irish skipper competing for the first time, as Galway businessman Enda O’Coineen sailed the Kilcullen Voyager into the history books. But this grand solo voyage did not go according to plan as Afloat documented at the time here.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Peter Kelly and O’Coineen.
Screening as part of the 2019 IFI Documentary Festival, 25th – 29th September. Full details are here.
Welsh sailor Alex Thomson, who has strong links with Cork Harbour, has announced the completion of the new racing yacht, which it hopes will lead the team to victory in the 2020-21 Vendee Globe round-the-world race.
For five formative years of his childhood, Thomson lived in the Crosshaven area and the young Alex saw his first sailing off Weavers Point but now the 45-year-old is preparing for the race of his life.
The IMOCA boat, HUGO BOSS, is the product of more than two years of painstaking design and build work undertaken by the ocean racing team, together with more than 100 naval architects, engineers and boat builders.
Designed in partnership by the Alex Thomson Racing technical team - led by Design Manager Pete Hobson - and French naval architects VPLP, the revolutionary new boat was built in Hampshire, England, close to the ocean racing team's home base of Gosport.
Spearheaded by world-renowned British boat builder Jason Carrington, the build itself began back in June 2018 and has involved more than 50,000 hours of specialist construction.
HUGO BOSS - the name carried by all six of the team's previous IMOCA boats - is a purpose-built 60ft long carbon fibre yacht, weighing 7.6 tonnes and featuring state-of-the-art hydrofoils. The boat's deck and coach roof, meanwhile, feature solar panelling, an addition which the team hopes will allow it to achieve its ambition of sailing around the world without the use of fossil fuels.
The distinctive black hull is in stark contrast to accents 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.
Thomson and his team will now undertake a period of on-water commissioning and testing before the new HUGO BOSS is officially launched and christened in September. From there, the boat will debut in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race in October 2019 before Thomson undertakes his first solo race in the New York to Vendee in June 2020, the penultimate race in the IMOCA calendar before the Vendee Globe itself in November 2020.
Former Vendée Globe skipper Norbert Sedlacek on his Open 60 is sailing south of Ireland today on his way to the North-West Passage on his journey around the world.
Sedlacek's Open60AAL 'Innovation Yachts' officially crossed the starting line at 07:16:10 p.m. in ideal weather conditions and under the auspices of the World Speed Sailing Record Council to begin a record attempt on the five oceans.
Sedlacek has set a course for the Arctic Ocean, passing the Northwest Passage from east to west and then heading south to round Cape Horn for the first time.
He will then sail around Antarctica in the Southern Ocean and pass Cape Horn a second time before heading north back home to Les Sables d’Olonne.
Innovation Yachts is an Austrian-French shipyard designing and building unique customised racing and cruising yachts. The yard uses new trendsetting fully sustainable and recyclable materials to optimize quality, performance and the protection of the environment during and after construction.
The Open60AAL is the first 60’ which has been built in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. This revolutionary prototype launched in 2018 is made from volcanic rock fibre, balsa wood core and biocompatible epoxy.
The yacht represents the vanguard of a new generation of high-quality boats, very powerful, safe and, it is claimed, ecological.
If this record attempt is successful Norbert Sedlacek will be the first sailor ever who did a singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation without assistance through all oceans including the Arctic and the Southern Ocean.
This challenge represents approximately 34,000 nautical miles and around 200 days at sea.
The 50th Solitaire Urgo-Le Figaro finished last Wednesday after a fourth and final leg won by Eric Péron, which confirmed Yoann Richomme’s overall first place. With hardly any time to get over this fourth leg, which was just as exhausting as the previous ones, a few skippers, who race in both the Figaro and IMOCA circuits looked back at this 2019 edition in which they took part. You really have to be an expert in Figaro racing to come out on top in the Solitaire, and for the IMOCA skippers returning to the Figaro circuit, it was not the easiest of tasks.
What are the similarities and differences when racing on the little boat (a Figaro) in comparison to on a big one (an IMOCA 60)? Do you really have to go through the Figaro circuit to win in major IMOCA races? Is it very hard to go back to a Figaro after racing on an IMOCA? We put these questions to Yoann Richomme (1st), Michel Desjoyeaux (12th), Yann Eliès (16th), Jérémie Beyou (20th) and Thomas Ruyant (38th)
And in an Irish context, solo sailors Joan Mulloy and Tom Dolan who both finished the Figaro with mixed results and who have both expressed Vendee Globe ambitions, the question now will be: what next?
With a few months left to go to the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre and just over a year to the Vendée Globe, and with most of the new IMOCAs not yet in the water, the 50th Solitaire du Figaro offered some IMOCA skippers an opportunity to see how they measured up against Figaro racers. It was a way to measure their physical condition and their endurance levels.
The overall winner of the 2019 Solitaire, Yoann Richomme (HelloWork-Groupe - Groupe Télégramme) could not hide his pleasure and praised the class and his new Figaro 3: “I really enjoyed myself with this new boat, thanks to which the class is going to become very important. In terms of the standard, nothing compares to the Figaro... It teaches you all about commitment and is a great school to learn more and make progress. Moving up to an IMOCA is quite logical in my opinion and I still hope to be there at the start of the Vendée Globe next year." The winner of the last Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe in Class40 will now continue to train on an IMOCA with Damien Seguin alongside whom he will take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race in a month from now before competing in the Transat Jacques Vabre in the autumn.
For Thomas Ruyant (Advens - La Fondation de la Mer): “The Figaro is the Olympics of ocean racing. Performing well on a Figaro is proof of your talent and that talent can be applied on an IMOCA..., but for me it is not compulsory to go via a Figaro. Many of the big names like Jean-Pierre Dick, Bernard Stamm and Alex Thomson to mention just a few, did not need to compete in the Figaro circuit to get where they are today. Just doing the Figaro is not enough either. You need to have done other stuff such as the Mini or Class40, as these are just as important if you want to prepare for a move to IMOCA racing.”
Figaro racing to perform well on an IMOCA
Twice winner of the event (2009 and 2014), Jérémie Beyou (Charal) says openly and loudly: “You really have to be up for it. You don’t compete at such a high level if you are not motivated. The Solitaire is a reference in terms of preparation. Personally, it takes me two or three years to find the pace again and sail like a true Figaro racer. I won the Solitaire on two occasions, but it took me four years to get my second win. The 2019 race is no different. It really was an exercise for experts. You just have to look at the list of the first ten places. To win you have to be 100% a Figaro racer.” After a fortnight’s holiday, the skipper of Charal will be back out there training double-handed with Christopher Pratt, with whom he will line up at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre.
For Michel Desjoyeaux (Lumibird), three times winner of the event (1992, 1998, 2007), who was very pleased with his 12th place this year, “It doesn’t make any sense racing an IMOCA, if you haven’t raced a Figaro, as the biggest group of top class racers competes. Gaining experience of Figaro racing is something you simply have to do if you want to perform well in the Vendée Globe. Having said that, you have to understand there is a difference when you move to an IMOCA, as she is a much bigger boat, which is heavier and more powerful, so preparing is a highly technical affair.” Yann Eliès (StMichel) shares this opinion, declaring, “Going through the Figaro circuit is practically compulsory if you want to win in the IMOCA circuit. The Figaro is a condensed version of what you experience on an IMOCA, especially with the new boat. Racing in the Figaro class complements IMOCA racing, as you don’t get to spend enough time out on the water on an IMOCA and the Figaro enables you to maintain your level and continue to make progress. This year’s race was complicated for me. I thought I would end up much higher in the overall rankings. I wasn’t fresh enough for the race, and every leg was difficult. I may return next year, but for the moment, I’m busy looking for a partner for The Ocean Race, which really attracts me, and for the 2024 Vendée Globe."
Returning means accepting the danger
“Sometimes it can be good to start to question yourself and put yourself in danger in the Figaro circuit,” explains Yann Eliès, “ as the exercise is very tricky and the standard very high. This year only one of us handed in the perfect exam paper…" He was thinking of Yoann Richomme, who paid homage to all the IMOCA skippers, who return to the Figaro circuit. “I imagine it must be very hard for Yann, Jérémie, Armel and Mich’ to return to the Figaro circuit, where everyone can come a cropper very easily. You need to be strong psychologically to know how to deal with that.”
In November 2020 in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, Germany’s most successful modern-day offshore sailor Boris Herrmann will start the legendary Vendée Globe, the famous solo non-stop race around the world. Since 1989's very first ever edition of sailing's pinnacle solo race no German sailor has made it to the start line, far less the finish line, some 22,500 miles and 75 or 80 days later in Les Sables d’Olonne. But the 38-year-old from Hamburg has his sights set further than just the solo race which promises to the be one of the most competitive editions yet. Just one year later Herrmann is looking to be on the start line of The Ocean Race with a young German-flagged international team, set to take on this pinnacle fully crewed race round the world that was previously known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race.
Since 1989's very first ever edition of sailing's pinnacle solo race no German sailor has made it to the start line
Herrmann has just registered with the organisers of The Ocean Race, formally signalling his intention to take on the multi-stage race on the highly optimized, cutting edge 60 foot, 18 metre foiling IMOCA Open 60 yacht “Malizia” on which he will compete among a capacity 30 strong field for the Vendée Globe.
“I have known The Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Race since I was very young, and it has always held a massive appeal to me. Now it has been transformed to become ‘The Ocean Race’ and it is to be sailed in the same class of IMOCA high performance ocean racing yachts. As such it with a German-flagged team racing over nine months or so with stopovers in key cities around the world we see it holding a great commercial appeal to companies like our German automotive partner BMW as well,” says Herrmann, who has played a key role on the Executive Committee of the IMOCA class for the past two years helping drive the transition to the Open60 boats which will now be utilized in both pinnacle round the world events, the Vendée Globe and the Ocean Race in the future.
“It’s fantastic to have Herrmann and his team with us”
Executive Director of The Ocean Race Richard Mason is delighted to have Herrmann and Team Malizia sign up to the race. “It is fantastic to welcome Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia as they take the first steps towards competing in the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race. By joining our registered teams, Team Malizia has access to the supportive resources of The Ocean Race as they prepare their campaign. Germany has an impressive history in the Volvo Ocean Race with illbruck Challenge winning the 2001-02 edition. In looking to take on the Vendée Globe and the The Ocean Race in successive editions, Boris really is extending that legacy. And it is great that he and the team are such passionate advocates for ocean health and sustainability which are a big focus area for The Ocean Race as we shape the event for the future.”
Yacht Club de Monaco Secures Vendée Globe
During the four-year preparation for the Vendée Globe Herrmann is supported by the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM). His sailing friend Pierre Casiraghi, eldest son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, is the YCM Vice President and founded the team. Compared to other top campaigns their budget is relatively modest, but they already hold second place in the Globe Series the IMOCA world ranking. The long-term support from the YCM is guaranteed but Team Malizia are looking for a strong partner from the business world who will participate in all the upcoming team’s challenges from now on. With numerous stopovers The Ocean Race offers companies with a global operation access to unique hospitality opportunities and a widescale visibility for their brands in the most important markets.
Boris Herrmann not only promotes sustainability with the Malizia Ocean Challenge but is also the representative of the IMOCA class on the subject. He assists on the coordination with The Ocean Race, as all their yachts are to be equipped with an identical deep-sea laboratory, as the “Malizia” has been carrying on board since last summer.