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Displaying items by tag: Vendée Globe 2020

Organisers of the Vendée Globe have confirmed the start of this year’s event will take place Sunday 8 November off Sables d’Olonne.

As reported last month on Afloat.ie, the Vendée Council and SAEM Vendée had hoped to maintain that date and ensure a maximum number of people can fully and safely enjoy the Vendée Globe adventure.

Since the closing of registration nominations on 1 November last, 35 candidates have set themselves up to be on the starting line. As it stands today, 18 skippers are already officially registered.

SAEM Vendée also took the decision this past Monday (8 June) to set up a Start Village, which will open on Saturday 17 October. It will turn into the Race Village on 8 November then the Finish Village to welcome the skippers home from their round-the-world race.

Arrangements for the general public will be adapted to public health requirements which may affect sporting events and they will have to be approved by the relevant authorities.

Yves Auvinet, president of SAEM Vendée, said: “We promised to clarify the situation for the Vendée Globe fleet, partners and other bodies before 15 June and that has now been done.

“We are proud to have been able to maintain this sporting event and the start of the ninth edition on 8 November. The race will take place and it looks highly likely that it will be one of the most breathtaking in the history of solo round-the-world racing.

“Our teams are working flat out to come to be able to give the best welcome possible to the general public.”

Meanwhile, with lockdowns leading to the cancellation of the Transat CIC and the New York—Vendée Les Sables d’Olonne, the IMOCA class has set up a brand new race, supported by its headline partner, the Vendée department and the town of Les Sables d’Olonne: the Vendée—Arctique—Les Sables d’Olonne.

This 3600-mile race with the start and finish line in place off Les Sables d’Olonne, with waypoints to the West of Iceland and the North of the Azores, is scheduled to start on Saturday 4 July.

The next date on the Vendée calendar is Tuesday 1 September, when registrations close and by which any additional qualifiers must be completed — currently seven skippers and their boats (among them Alex Thomson and his Hugo Boss) have yet to complete an additional 2,000-mile qualifier approved by the race directors, while four must sail a solo transatlantic race or equivalent, and six others must complete their registration.

Published in Vendee Globe
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British sailing team, Alex Thomson Racing, that visited Irish shores this Summer today announced that their long-term sponsor, HUGO BOSS, has extended its partnership with the team for a further four years, in a deal that will take them through to the end of 2021.

HUGO BOSS has sponsored offshore solo sailor Thomson and his team since 2003 in what is one of the longest and most coveted partnerships in sailing. They will retain their title sponsorship rights meaning that Thomson’s IMOCA 60 racing yacht will continue to take the name of the upper premium fashion brand.

The renewed backing strengthens the Alex Thomson Racing team’s position as an early favourite for the Vendée Globe in 2020. The race, which has been in existence since 1989 and occurs every four years, sees sailors spend over 70 days at sea, has only ever been won by a French skipper. Thomson, who finished third in 2013 and second in 2017, will make sporting history if he wins the solo, non-stop, round the world race.

The Vendée Globe starts and finishes on the west coast of France. It is a 26,000 mile lap of the planet, non-stop, solo, and unassisted. With less than 100 people having ever completed the race, and only 50% of boats that start the race making it to the finish line, it is renowned as one of the world’s toughest, competitive sporting challenges. The race pushes sailors to the limit, both physically and mentally. In the 2016/17 edition, Thomson and Frenchman Armel Le’Cleach were in a constant battle for first place, neck and neck all the way to the finish line. Thomson finished just hours behind eventual winner Le’Cleach after 74 days at sea, breaking a world speed record in the process.

Alex Thomson Racing’s Cork Harbour based CEO Stewart Hosford said “We have a fantastic partnership with HUGO BOSS, and we are delighted to announce the continuation for the next four years. As a team we have set the benchmark for delivering value as one of the world’s leading sailing teams; we work hard to ensure we win on the water and deliver value and return off the water. With our strategy and objectives clear, and the continued relationship with HUGO BOSS confirmed, we are in a good position to focus on 2020 and there remains an opportunity for additional partners to join the team. Our values are closely linked with those of our sponsors and many global brands.”

Looking forward to 2020, and with his sights set firmly on the bringing home the gold, Thomson said; “I am looking forward to another successful cycle, with the focus on building the best team, boat and campaign for the Vendée Globe in 2020. As our main sponsor, HUGO BOSS have supported the team and enabled us to push boundaries and innovate both in our approach to sailing and the ways in which we share our sport with our audience. I very much look forward to building on the successes we have achieved and working together over the next four years.”

Mark Langer, CEO HUGO BOSS AG, added: “Alex Thomson is an outstanding sportsman and for us a great brand ambassador. Together with him and his team we can look back on many incredible moments both on and off the water. We are delighted to continue our successful partnership.”

Published in Vendee Globe

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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