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Displaying items by tag: Vendee Globe

Vendee Globe solo round the world race boss said this week a 'final decision' will be made about the November start of France's 'Everest of sailing' next month due to COVID-19 concerns.

Yves Auvinet, chairman of the SAEM Vendée told France 3 Television on Tuesday (May 5) that a decision will be made in collaboration with the IMOCA class and  SAEM Vendée around June 15.

A qualifying race is scheduled to start in the French Port of Les Sables-d'Olonne on July 4.

Although the Round the World race is entirely solo and unassisted, thousands of spectators are involved in November send off from Les Sables-d'Olonne and as Afloat reported previously, Auvinet said in April “The technical and sporting preparations for participants have been severely impacted by this unprecedented crisis". 

The latest interview (in French) is below

Two solo transatlantic races initially planned for the Globe Series championship this spring should have allowed some skippers to qualify and others to test their monohull after winter modification work but were cancelled.

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The health crisis that has shaken society for the last month is forcing those who are involved in the worlds of sports and business to adapt amidst this period of uncertainty. The French President’s address on 13th April did, however, lay the foundations for an exit strategy from this global pandemic and suggests a possible recovery period from the middle of July. As things stand today, the Vendée Globe is to remain on course with the race due to start from Les Sables-d'Olonne on 8th November.

Yves Auvinet, president of SAEM Vendée said: “The technical and sporting preparations for participants of the solo non-stop yacht race around the world without assistance have been severely impacted by this unprecedented crisis. We are very aware of this. For several weeks now, SAEM Vendée has been in very regular contact with skippers and all the key players of the Vendée Globe, to discuss these issues and propose solutions. Our aim is for the ninth edition of the race to start on the 8th November in the best possible conditions, while remaining very attentive to developments of the situation.

The two solo transatlantic races initially planned for the Globe Series championship this spring should have allowed some skippers to qualify and others to test their monohull after winter modification work.

The IMOCA class and the department of Vendée, a major partner in the race, are working to finalise an alternative to the New York - Vendée Les Sables-d'Olonne, a dress rehearsal before the Vendée Globe and therefore an essential race allowing for the skippers to prepare. Its format will be revealed soon.

Meanwhile, the Vendée Globe organisers are keeping a close eye on the health crisis linked to Covid-19 and any repercussions it may have.

Published in Vendee Globe
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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.

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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

JourneyToTheEdge SBPad NoBleed

Published in Vendee Globe
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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.

Published in Vendee Globe
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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

Published in Vendee Globe
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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.

Published in Vendee Globe

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.

Published in Vendee Globe

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.

Published in Vendee Globe
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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.

Published in Vendee Globe
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