Vendee Globe - Excellent start for Wavre and Mirabaud

Start of the seventh Vendee Globe.
© Thierry Martinez/Mirabaud
The Vendee Globe is now underway with Dominique Wavre, skipper of Mirabaud, and his fellow competitors racing out into the open ocean this afternoon, alone for the first time in three weeks and having seen over a million visitors in Les Sables d’Olonne.

The start began with the traditional boat parade along the Port Olona channel watched by an estimated 150,000 people according to race organisers. Dominique Wavre was all smiles and in great shape, clearly savouring the moment. As he cast off he described it as ‘very powerful’ and the ‘culmination of a long and busy phase of his life’. His parting words were: 'Take care of the land while we take care of the sea!'

LES SABLES D'OLONNE,10.11.2012- VOILE-VENDEE GLOBE 2012-2013- DOMINIQUE WAVRE QUITTE LE PONTON-EMBRASSADES JEAN-GUY PYTHON
Jean-Guy Python / Mirabaud

Conditions at the start were shifty and around 10knots. Most of the fleet started as if they were racing an Olympic event and four were recalled. Dominique Wavre got off the start line in clean air and bang on the gun at the front of the fleet.

With 24,000 miles ahead, the fleet has a long way to go and the standings at the end of day one mean little. The first night at sea is promising to be a drag race to the Bay of Biscay where the fleet is likely to encounter their first tactical test: should they hug Portugal and try to pick up the trades which are looking elusive at this stage or should they head west to pick up a forecast westerly. A difficult choice which may prove critical.

Dominique Wavre website
Vendee Globe website