White in rush to make Vendée Globe start line

Bernard Stamm´s technical team has asked for permission to take Cheminées Poujoulat out of the water

Having your boat in pieces on the dockside just 14 days from the start of your first Vendée Globe is not ideal preparation, but everything is reported to be well under control in the last minute rush to get Steve White’s Spirit of Weymouth ready.

No one knows the boat better than Josh Hall, who commissioned and raced the former Gartmore, which was built by JMV from the same mould as Group 4, Mike Golding’s original Open 60. Hall who was one of four British skippers who raced in the 2000 Vendée Globe, finishing ninth has been in Les Sables d’Olonne, working hard on the nearby commercial dock, to ensure White and his boat are ready to take on the skipper’s ten year dream.
Steve White / Vendee Globe
. ©


Hall reveals that without the last minute sponsorship that arrived last week, White stood a very high chance of losing the boat and his family house.

'It actually looks a lot worse than it is as often these things do, but a lot of work needed doing to the boat, basic work, to get her on to the start line and so she is completely in pieces at the moment with the bottom sandblasted, so it looks like there is a mountain to climb, and there is but it is a small one. But all of the people and all of the equipment is in place' Hall says.

Cheminées Poujoulat taken out of the water

Bernard Stamm´s technical team has asked for permission to take Cheminées Poujoulat out of the water to carry out repairs on the engine mounting.

During her delivery trip to Les Sables d´Olonne, the head of the shore team noticed some suspicious sounds, when the boat was motoring. After an inspection was carried out by a diver in the harbour in les Sables, the shore team found there was a hole around the engine mount.

Even if during the Vendée Globe, the propellor is sealed in place and is therefore not used, the shore team preferred nevertheless to err on the side of caution and replace it: 'It´s our job to ensure Bernard is completely relaxed before the start'.

No Boss and Hugo Boss

Even if Alex Thomson´s favourite football team has no boss now, all is well with the worlds of repairs of Hugo Boss.

With typical humour the Hugo Boss teams have set up Boat World, Rig World, Splice World and Preparation World, all working in their parallel universes towards the common goal of having the IMOCA Open 60 sailing November 1st. If only Football World was that easy.

Skipper Alex Thomson has returned home on time to catch his beloved but now manager-less Portsmouth FC – take on Fulham, enjoying a few days rest and recuperation, before he returns here to Les Sables d´Olonne later in the week.
Harry McGougan, Hugo Boss shore manager says:

'In Boat World the hull, deck and sections are now both glued in and the outside bonding has started happening, inside bonding on the hull sections. In Rig World the splicing kit arrived at 0100hrs this morning (Sunday) and has been glued into the sections and is being prepared for the outer shells. Splice World is in good shape with probably a day and a half or a bit more of splicing. Prep World is doing good. We have our scrutiny tomorrow morning, and so we are generally pretty on top of getting the prep ready for when we go sailing for the 30th, so that means that when we go sailing, aiming for the 1st it will throw up a whole new list of jobs.'

Hugo Boss repairs © Alex Thomson / Hugo Boss / Vendée Globe
©Hugo Boss

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