Armel Le Cleac'h Wins The Vendee Globe 2016-17 In Record Time
French sailor Armel Le Cleac'h has won the Vendee Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race in the process.
On Thursday, Le Cleac'h, 39, from Brittany, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, at 1537hrs UTC after 74 days, 3 hours, 35 minutes and 46 seconds at sea on his 60ft racing yacht Banque Populaire VIII.
His time sets a new record for the race, beating the previous record of 78 days 2 hours 16 minutes set by French sailor Francois Gabart in the 2012-13 edition by 3 days, 22 hours and 41 minutes.
Le Cleac'h, the runner-up in the 2008-09 and 2012-13 editions of the Vendee Globe, covered 24,499.52 nm at an average speed of 13.77 knots during the race, which began from Les Sables d'Olonne on November 6 last year.
British sailor Alex Thomson has finished the Vendee Globe solo round the world yacht race in second-place after 74 days 19 hours 35 minutes and 15 seconds at sea.
Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, at 0737hrs UTC Friday on his 60ft racing yacht Hugo Boss.
He was 15h 59min 29s behind race winner Armel Le Cleac'h who finished in a time of 74 days, 3 hours and 35 minutes, a new race record.
Thomson covered 27,636 nm averaging 15.39 knots knots during the race, which began from Les Sables d'Olonne on November 6 last year.
When You Are The Best, You Wear The Best
Musto proudly announce the triumph of Armel Le Cleac'h of Banque Populaire VIII, winner of the 2016-17 Vendee Globe. Having lead from the front since the start of the race, Armel battled it out with the other competitors in what is one of the most demanding ocean races on earth.
This is a feat Musto are especially proud of given the victory of their Abu Dhabi Volvo Ocean Race team in 2015, which now mean's the brand's teams hold the two most prestigious offshore sailing titles in the world.
Decked out in Musto's industry leading HPX range from head to toe, Armel has been able to take on the most extreme ocean conditions on the planet, and has now emerged victorious.
Musto protecting you on the outside. Making you stronger on the inside.
Quantum Key West Race Week Closes With A Bang
By winning the final race of the highly competitive 52 Super Series and with it the class championship, Doug De Vos' (Ada, MI) Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week hosted by the Storm Trysail Club.
The coveted Boat of the Week trophy came down to the 52 Super Series and J/70 Class, but ultimately was awarded to Quantum Racing. "Based on the closeness of the racing from start to finish, the 52 Super Series is the most competitive class we've ever had at race week," said Division 1 Principal Race Officer Ken Legler, who's been coming to race week for 23 years.
The Corinthian Boat of the Week was awarded to Rob Britts' (Tierra Verde, FL) Hot Mess, which finished 15th in the J/70 Class.
The Sailing World Youth Trophy, for the crew with the youngest average age, was presented to Gannon Troutman's (Gloucester, VA) Pied Piper, which placed 12th in the J/70 Class.
The Storm Trysail Club's Contribution to the Sport of Sailing Trophy was presented to Division 2 Principal Race Officer Dave Brennan (Miami, FL).
The 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week saw the seven racing classes complete 10 or 12 races, all as scheduled. The Performance Cruising Class also completed five races, as scheduled. The week started with a windy and wavy southeasterly that faded over the course of four days before swinging around to a light southerly for today's conclusion.
Tim Healy's (Jamestown, RI) New England Ropes won the J/70 Class, the largest class at race week.
J.D. Hill and wife Susan enjoy a post-race victory swim after their J/122 Second Star won the ORC Class - photo Quantum Key West Race Week
In the ORC Class, J.D. Hill's (Houston, TX) Second Star (J/122) fended off Alex Sastre's (Coconut Grove, FL) High Noise (Italia Yachts 9.98m) for the victory. The 40-footer and 33-footer, respectively, were separated by 1 point at the beginning of today but Second Star defeated High Noise by 2 seconds on corrected time to secure a 2-point victory.
Peter Wagner's (Atherton, CA) Skeleton Key won the J/111 Class for a second consecutive year with the low score of 25 points. Skeleton Key won today's race to score a 6-point victory over Rob Ruhlman's (Cleveland, OH) Spaceman Spiff.
Nigel Brownett's (Long Beach, CA) Hogfish Racing wrapped up the Flying Tiger 7.5m Class with its 8th win in 10 races for the low score of 14 points.
Two class winners - Dan Cheresh's (Saugatuck, MI) Extreme2 in the C&C 30 One-Design and Laura Weyler's (Williamsville, NY) Hijinks in the J/88 Class - had such large leads that they didn't have to race today.
Todd Stuart's (Key West, FL) White Rhino (Swan 56) won the Performance Cruising Class with five first-place finishes, and Phil Lotz' (Newport, RI) Arethusa (Gunboat 60) won the Multihull Class.
Guest Editorial: World Sailing - All Talk Or Really A World Body???
Since its creation in 1907 as the International Yacht Racing Union sailing's peak body has been British based.
110 years later the organisation now known as World Sailing has reach a fork in the road. The official language of our Sport has been historically English, so is the administration bias since its office has always been based in England.
From its inception, it was some 60 years before our representatives voted for someone who was not English as the leader of the World Sailing Organisation authority.
In 1997, then called the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the organisation moved from London, where it was hosted by Royal Thames Yacht Club, to its own offices on the Town Quay seafront in Southhampton, citing lower operational costs.
Now 20 years later, in September 2017, the office lease for our peak body, now called World Sailing (WS) expires and a WS Board decision must be made about a new location for the Executive Offices.
But times have been achangin'.
When Italy's Beppe Croce became the first non-British President in 1969 there were just 15 countries in the club, by the time he retired in 1986 that had increased to 89.
When his son Carlo Croce left the Presidency in 2016 there were 145 countries, more than a third of those member countries being in Europe.
The newly elected eight-person board led by Dane Kim Petersen, has for the first time in 110 years no British representative.
Now a major statement about the sport may or may not be made.
For some years, there has been a body of opinion within the upper echelons of sailing officialdom, that given the importance of Olympic sailing that a move to Europe, specifically to Lausanne, Switzerland; the home of the International Olympic Committee would strengthen the sports influence.
The new President has been a strong supporter of that option.
The cost of operation in Lausanne is very high, 40% higher than Southampton by some measures.
To duplicate the existing WS executive office in Switzerland and retain key English born staff a 50% increase in overall costs would seem likely.
At the first Board Meeting, post-election in December 2016, there was an examination of a range of cities, against a yet undisclosed set of criteria, Lausanne and others were eliminated and the decision was made to look at just four cities.
Southampton UK, London UK, Barcelona Spain and Valencia Spain.
Given the fact that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world (after Mandarin) and ahead of English, that cost of operation would be reduced there and the climate is certainly more appealing that is not surprising.
Notably a block of the new Board, Scott Perry from Uruguay, Anna Sanchez from Spain and Torben Grael from Brazil is at least as comfortable in Spanish than English.
The Board has a city by city comparison in their hands, with both Spanish Mediterranean cities, Barcelona to the north, the 1988 Olympic city, with high speed train access to Europe and an excellent flight hub and Valencia, the home of the 2007 America's Cup, with lowest operation cost of the four, both offering some significant inducements to bring the sporting body to their locale.
While in theory, the Board was expected to decide in a telephone hook-up this week, the sheer weight of business means that the Capetown Board Meeting at the end of February is much more likely to see a robust discussion.
Part of the discussion will be about the fact that a relocation away from Southampton would cause dislocation and loss of staff, but over time, adding the second most spoken language in the world to the World Sailing palette would be in the opinion of many be a major signal that World Sailing is in fact that 'World'.
What do you think? -- Rob Kothe
Venice's Hidden Gem Attracts Top Sailors
Bruno Troublé, founder of the Louis Vuitton Cup, was at London Boat Show last week to talk about why he keeps his boat at the Venezia Certosa Marina. The 300-berth marina is situated less than 10 minutes from Venice's St Mark's Square on Certosa island, a 24-hectare natural paradise which has been recently regenerated to showcase its valuable natural heritage.
The veteran French Olympic sailor, who can also boast having lead the most successful French America's Cup team to date, said of Venezia Certosa Marina, "What a discovery! Peace and quiet, no tourists, only 10nm from the centre... a wonderful place to make the most of Venice and the Adriatic Sea."
He is in good company, Franck Cammas has also discovered the marina's charms, "Sailing on the Grand Canal between San Marco and San Giorgio is amazing! We based our 100ft trimaran at La Certosa and have benefited from their local infrastructures and know-how." The marina's director is former Hobie Tiger World Champion and Italian Olympian, Alberto Sonino, and it is this sailing pedigree that has attracted events such as the Dragons in Venice Invitational in 2015 and 2016.
The marina's exceptional location allows berth holders and visitors to use their boats as a pied-a-terre for exploring Venice and provides the perfect base from which to cruise its lagoon.
New Equator Record For IDEC Sport
At 1228hrs UTC on Friday 20th January 2017, the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT crossed the Equator. Francis Joyon, Sebastien Audigane, Clement Surtel, Gwenole Gahinet, Alex Pella and Bernard Stamm achieved the best performance ever for the stretch between Ushant and the Equator after rounding the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) with a time of 35 days, 4 hours and 45 minutes. This is 2 days, 22 hours and 36 minutes better than the previous reference time held since 2012 by Loïck Peyron and the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V.
This is the fifth intermediate record in this Jules Verne Trophy for Francis Joyon and his men, after the new records set at Cape Leeuwin, in Tasmania, the International Date Line and Cape Horn.
Slowed down for the past 36 hours around the Equator in a large area of calms associated with the Doldrums, the maxi-trimaran IDEC SPORT should start to feel the effect of a NE'ly wind in the next few hours. The trade winds are not far away and speeds should return to those we have come to expect from Joyon and his men over the five weeks since they set off from Ushant.
Sailing close to the wind, IDEC SPORT will be leaving the sticky equatorial heat behind as they start the final stretch in their round the world voyage, crossing the North Atlantic from west to east. They have a lot to do in the coming hours as they get ready to tackle the weather systems in the North Atlantic, starting with the Azores high and then the lows sweeping across from Labrador. Sailing a long way west to avoid the calms of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, IDEC SPORT is now moving slightly to the east, while gaining as many miles as possible towards the north. In the trade winds, this should get quicker and Joyon, Surtel, Stamm, Gahinet, Audigane and Pella will be giving it their all to try to cross the Jules Verne Trophy finish line on Thursday morning off Ushant.
Jules Verne Trophy = Reference time / Banque Populaire V (2012): 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds
ISORA Welsh Coastal Series
ISORA is delighted to announce Global Displays Ltd as a sponsor of the Welsh Coastal Series, part of the ISORA overall series in 2017
Global Display have provided ISORA with an additional 10 Yellow Brick trackers to enable races on both sides of the Irish Sea to benefit from competitors using YB. This is great news for both competitors and shore based supporters, but crucially enables the ISORA race management committee to set courses using virtual waypoints and remote finish/start lines.
Richard Cook, an experienced offshore sailor and managing director of Global Displays (www.globaldisplays.co.uk) commented "Global Displays is delighted to be associated with ISORA and its use of YB trackers for innovative race management"
Further information about ISORA can be found at www.isora.org
WMRT Swan River Match Cup
Perth, Australia: The first WMRT event of 2017 presents a starting grid where several teams easily could claim a spot at the top of any World Championship level event. Olympic gold medallists, podium finishers at the WMRT Finals 2016, World Champions and WMRT event winners is a strong indicator of the level of this event. The WMRT Swan River Match Cup is a World Tour level event and awards the top eight teams WMRT World Championship points to the leaderboard and the finalists receive an invite to the next level event in Northern Europe in June.
Out of the ten starting teams, who represent four different nations, the team that raises most eyebrows is the team behind Peter Burling, NZL. The Olympic gold medallist, World champion and Americas Cup sailor is bringing Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke and Josh Junior with him to the bout.
However, this is Burling's first event in an M32 and if the other teams have anything to say about it, this will not be a walk in the park. Heading the opposition is Matt Jerwood and his Redline Racing who came third in the WMRT Finals in Marstrand in July. On his way to the podium he knocked out Chris Steele, Iker Martinez and Nicolai Sehested.
Also in the line-up are fellow Australian Torvar Mirsky and Swedish youngster Måns Holmberg who have already proven themselves this season by winning qualification to the WMRT Match Cup Australia in March through events in Poland and Sweden.
Two more teams with plenty of experience from last year are Steven Thomas and Matthew Chew, sailing with Evan Walker's Sydney based team KA Match. Both teams qualified into the finals in Marstrand but had an early exit. They took first blood last year with results around the top ten mark all season on the World Championship level events and are looking to improve.
Racing starts Monday 23rd January.
Following typical Mark Mills lines, Crazy Horse is raring to get back out on the race track. Big overhaul last year and now looking good as new.
Sam Pearson - Ancasta Port Hamble
RAGAMUFFIN 90 is now on the market and our latest central listing. Built as GENUINE RISK in 2004, and competing world wide from Sardinia to Hawaii, GR always was at the front of the fleet. Under her second owner, she won both the 2010 Newport to Bermuda race, and the overall prize for the 2011 811 mile Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay race, and the overall win at Antigua sailing week both under Csa and IRC leaving no question that she was still one of the fastest maxi boats sailing.
Please contact William Jenkins at 410-267-9419
From the drawing board of John Corby, the technology of a cedar strip/carbon fibre composite hull.
Ancasta Port Hamble
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. -- Carl Sagan