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The Golden Boy and the youngest competitor in the race, Francois Gabart sailing the 60 foot MACIF, has broken the record to Cape Horn by more than four days.

One race that captures the attention of almost anyone, even a fl atlander, is the Vend- ee Globe. This is a 24,048 mile singlehand- ed, non-stop round the world race that starts and ends in France. For years this event has been dominated by the French, who actually train sailors to compete just for this race. It is a grueling race, both for the skipper and the boats, which need to be designed for speed in all kinds of weather and survive. As for the skipper, sleep deprivation is the norm as each of them does what he or she can do keep their boat performing as well as possible. Then there is strategy and fi nding where the best conditions are.

This year there were 20 boats that came to the line for the race, which started off Les Sables d’Olonne, on 10 November. One skipper suffered a hull puncture from a collision with his support team before the start and was forced to return to port. At the gun fi ve other competitors were over the line early and had to restart, but the others headed directly to Cape Finisterre in a 300 mile drag race.

One racer that stood out was CHEMINÉES POUJOULAT, the very powerful new Juan Kouyoumdjian design of Bernard Stamm. She made her way through the fl eet and battled SAFRAN for the lead. 13 November, Day 4: Light winds were welcomed as it allowed the racers to get some rest. The leader was MACIF, skippered by François Gabart, who was still

running about 10 knots in the light condi- tions.

14 November, Day 5: MACIF was now up to 20 knots and had extended his lead over BANQUE POPULAIRE, skippered by Ar- mel Le Cléac’h to 52.5 miles. CHEMINÉES POUJOULAT was back fi ve miles in third place. During the morning hours Burton struck a fi shing boat and was forced to sail back 700 miles to Les Sables d’Olonne. 15 November: At 1945hrs (French time), Samantha Davies, the only woman in the race, contacted the race offi ce of the Vendée Globe to report that her boat had dismasted. Davies was not injured and was safe inside the boat and did not require assis- tance. Conditions at the time of the dismast- ing were: wind 40 knots, swell northwest, 3 to 4 metres.

18 November: At 2300hrs (French time) Jérémie Beyou (MAÎTRE COQ) de- tected a malfunction of the hydraulic jack of his keel. He took advantage of the proximity of Cape Verde for shelter in order to inspect. The following day he was forced to retire, making him the fi fth to do so. He could not guarantee his safety without outside assis- tance.

20 November: In the Doldrums it was

Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS) and Mike Golding (GAMESA) benefi ting the most. Thomson had made up 80 miles on the fl eet. Le Cleac’h was in the lead, but only by 26.6 miles and it was surprising he had not gained

more separation. That same day he crossed the equator, 10 days 19 hours and 18min., but failed to break Jean Le Cam’s 2004 record by almost eight hours. However he did best Loïck Peyron time of 12 days 08 hours and 58 minutes in 2008-09. 21 November: Zbigniew “Gutek”

Gutkowski’s on board ENERGA 2012 an- nounced that he was dropping out of the race due to electronic issues. Without autopilots he said in could not race and that was the determining factor. 22 November: GAMESA crossed the equator for the twenty-second time as he chased the six leading boats in front of him south to the coast of Brazil. He did not cel- ebrate or offer Neptune because he needed sleep. He said later he would break out some champagne, but added he would rather have a beer. Golding had been assessed a 30 min- ute penalty due to a breach of the boundaries in place to prevent collisions in the Finisterre Traffi c Separation Scheme. He served his penalty just before midnight and was now 218 miles behind the leaders. 23 November: CHEMINÉES POUJO-

ULAT was out of the Doldrums, but was still sailing in light conditions and was unable to use his genoa. “The sea was pretty chaotic and in a windless area, the boat was shaken really hard, one of the centreboards went up and it tore up the genoa,” Stamm said. “In order to keep progressing, I had to take a route that goes further east than the others,

C o n t e n t s

Publisher's Note Calendar of Events Moving the Old Shop Vendee Globe

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KIWI SPIRIT Pro-set Epoxy

Commercial Fishing News DELA News 11

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Misc. Commercial Fishing News Boat Yard News Book Reviews

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otherwise it would have slowed me down a lot.”

Stamm has also been taking care of an autopilot issue and with all these issues he had slipped to fi fth. The boats were now heading way south before they head east due to the St. Helena High. 24 November: PRB, skippered by

Vincent Riou, struck a metal harbor buoy. He discovered that the hull of his boat was torn and delaminated for about one metre. The impact was on the starboard side and the torn area is three meters from the bow. He was in third place and 69.1 miles behind the leader at the time of the incident. Riou knows that you need luck to fi n-

ish a Vendée Globe let alone win one. He had even thought about using sonar and explained, “We did some research with an institute in France on a sonar system but it is not practical because it is half the weight of the whole boat and it uses lots of power. The boat is very fast and so to use a sonar to predict 200m ahead of the boat when you are travelling at 20 knots you need a very powerful system.” Riou’s PRB is a new VPLP-Verdier-de- signed boat, one of four who are dominating this race and which before his collision were in the top four top positions in the fl eet. The four boats are all lighter and faster than previous generations, with PRB’s thought

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