Friday, November 11, 2016


The first week of a great adventure (Week 1... por VendeeGlobeTV

What a race!!! I never expected to see, well below Madeira, 7 boats separated for less than 55nm. And what to say about the performance of Riou and his boat with old type foils?

For the moment Armel is ahead but only with a 9nm advantage over Riou while Alex and Hugo boss have been by far the fastest last night, recovering from his bad tactical option, winning 20nm to everybody, being now 3rd and winning miles on the two first.

If you have never followed the race try it on the tracker and you will see how amusing it is, with lots of options like seeing the wind they have and the one they will have ahead, trying to understand their tactical options in relation with the weather. Here is the tracker, now working well:


  1. Yes, Riou has been amazing so far, in PRB. But how about Brian Thomson's recovery from his tactical mistake to gybe east? He just reeled off 455 mile day, and is back up to 3rd place, slowly gaining on Banque Pop 8 and PRB. Already this is turning out to be one of the great Vendée Globe races. The only thing missing is Sam Davies or Dame Ellen MacArthur.

  2. On the leading group the fastest on the last 24 hours has been Alex (19.8K on Hugo boss) followed by Josse (19.2K on Rotchild) followed by Armel (19.1 on Banque Populaire). Even Lagraviere on Safran has been faster than Riou that in PRB had only managed an average of 18.3 on the last 24 hours.

    This means not only that all are making a great race but that Riou's boat with the old foils cannot compete with the new ones with winds of about 20k and it means also that some boats, I suspect Hugo boss, Rothchild and Safran are very good on those conditions.

    They are all great sailors but among them I believe Alex is in disadvantage in what regards routing. All the others had the long apprenticeship of the highly competitive solo Figaro class that Alex had missed.

    I don't think Riou and his boat can win against all these boats that are faster on most conditions we will find on the race but I do believe that many of them will have problems on the foils and I also expect Riou to make a comeback on the doldrums passage where his boat has probably a small advantage on the very light winds. We will see in some days.

    Yes the ladies are missed on this race. They all went to the VOR and I believe that they will be even stronger on the next Volvo race.

  3. Cheers to the British Alex Thompson!!!

    I confess I never though his advance could be maintained for so long time. He did not only maintained it as he had increased it!!!. What a shock for the French!!!

    It seems that this time he has one of the fastest boats on the fleet and he seems to have got a cure for the strategic routing errors that from time to time he used to make. I am quite impressed with his performance and that's a good thing for the Vendee globe as well as the good performance of the Japonese, the American, the Hungarian and the New Zealander sailors.

    I am very impressed with Colman, the NZ sailor that in a 2005 IMOCA, made in Brazil and that was never fast (used as charter boat) is going on the head of this pack sailing among faster sailboats and more experienced sailors. Colman is still young (32) and if he can raise in Australia and NZ money for a competitive boat, it has conditions to be a main contender on the next Vendee.

    Next, very close and fighting between them, the Japonese Shiraishi (age- 49) on the ex-Hugo Boss, a 2007 sailboat and the Hungarian Nandor (age - 63) on a 2014 sailboat designed and built by himself!!!!! 63 and racing like that on a "home" made boat? Cheers to him:smile:

    And a just bit further the American Rich Wilson (age - 66) on a 2006 boat. 66 years old and doing great, I can only say that I am envious of his stamina.

    Another one that deserves a mention is the Spanish Didac Costa that sailing out 4 days later is almost catching the last one, on a very old boat (2000), the ex-Kingfisher the one that belonged to Ellen MacArthur. Great race for him too.

    There are others making great races that are not apparent, just because they have very old and non competitive sailboats, that is the case with Romain Attanasio (the companion of Sam Davies) that is racing a 18 year's old sailboat and one that was never been fast. It was built for Catherine Chabaud. With that Oldie he is racing close to Rich Wilson and ahead of other much newer boats.

    The opposite happens with Pieter Heerema (age 65) on a very competitive 2015 sailboat. He is behind all these, except Didac Costa, that gave him four days advantage and I bet he is going to catch him, on a boat 15 years older.

    Nothing wrong in wanting to do the Vendee as an amateur, but why doing it with a top boat (that costed a fortune) taking the opportunity for a talented solo racer to be in contention for the first places? Few competitive boats around. A pity!!!