Summer hols for Vendee Globe visitors

Aerial view of the village and Vendee Globe pontoons

The sun, the crowds, the jaunts out to sea . . . The Vendée Globe village has the feel of a summer holiday. Visitors benefited from these fine conditions to admire the impressive machines that are the 60 foot monohulls. Meanwhile crew of Hugo Boss made their first cut into the hull and deck zone to start repair work.

It’s reminiscent of a catwalk on the pontoons of the Vendée Globe! Twenty-eight of the thirty steeds are alongside in Port Olona (the other two being worked on out of the water) being scrutinised, admired, examined, commented on and photographed from every angle; some of the skippers also taking the opportunity to sneak a look at the line-up.

'We don’t often get the chance to see the other boats up close' admitted a surprised competitor, in the process of observing the rigs of some of the neighbouring boats.

Among the visitors, some have been lucky enough to go aboard a 60 footer. This was the case for a number of school children, of which there have been a succession in the village. Today, Sam Davies (Roxy) and Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) have played host to a vast amount – over 200 children for Jean!

Jaunts out to sea.

Also benefiting from some a very fine sea state, three monohulls dipped their keels in the open water. Some were putting their electronics to the test, as was the case for Rich Wilson (Great American III) while others like Armel Le Cléac’h on Brit Air, took the more original option of having a fashion shoot (see In Brief). Solely the DCNS de Marc Thiercelin left the pontoon and headed for the floating basin for a technical intervention. Tomorrow, Thursday, seven yachts are set to leave the pontoon for a few hours to benefit from the fine weather conditions.

News In brief

Open hull

Operation open hull in the Alliaura yard. The crew of Hugo Boss made their first cut into the hull and deck zone which was damaged following a collision with a fishing boat last Friday as they headed towards Les Sables. The work is progressing quickly and Alex Thomson’s team is hoping to relaunch the black monohull on Saturday 1st November for sea trials, just over a week before the start of the Vendée Globe.

Drying out

Spirit of Weymouth, Steve White’s monohull, was today treated to a little facelift on the underwater section of the hull. Lifted onto the hard yesterday, her undersides were entrusted to Karcher to remove the algae and barnacles, which were beginning to grow. The British skipper has to touch-up a little of the coating prior to applying some protective underwater paint and returning her to the liquid element.

Four Top Models

Armel Le Cléac’h, Marc Thiercelin, Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) and Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) were transformed into fashion models for Gala magazine during a photo session. They had their hair done, got made-up and dressed-up and played the game with a certain ease . . . despite amused grins from their shore crews!