Golden boy wins Vendee Globe—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

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27 Jan 2013

Golden boy wins Vendee Globe—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond


Impressively, Gabart made his first full 'lap' of the planet in just shy of 78 days, making his passage the fastest in Vendee Globe (and singlehanded monohull) history. Of course, having the Grand Master, two-time Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux, mentoring his campaign certainly didn't hurt Gabart's chances, but there's simply no getting around the fact that the young French sailor has stunned the world with his performance and his impressive new distance records, which he set en route to returning to Les Sables d'Olonne, France.


'When the race started, I didn't think of myself as a contender for the victory,' said Gabart, immediately upon crossing the finishing line. 'I knew it was a possibility but that was not a goal I would think about all the time. In the Indian ocean, I started thinking about possibly winning and when Armel (Le Cleac'h aboard 'Banque Populaire') and I started having that close fight, that regatta around the world, I realized I had a fifty-percent chance of winning. And then, once we were in the Atlantic, I started believing.'


Francois Gabart, Macif - 2012/2013 Vendee Globe  © François Gabart / MACIF



Impressively, Gabart lassoed a strong, south-southwesterly breeze and managed to sail an impressive 450 miles (ballpark) during his last day at sea, ultimately finishing some 93 miles miles ahead of his long-time, lockstep rival, Armel Le Cleac'h ('Banque Populaire'), who finished in second place. This means that the battle for third place is now a contest between Jean-Pierre Dick ('Virbac-Paprec 3') and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss). Dick, it will be remembered, lost his keel almost a week ago, meaning that the talented French sailor is braving several thousand miles using only water ballast for stability (read: GULP!).


Get the full Vendee Globe multimedia scoop inside this issue, and be sure to take a moment to celebrate the sheer enormity of what young Gabart and his team have accomplished-in less than 80 days and alone-and how his efforts helped redefine the art of the possible when it comes to solo offshore sailing.


Meanwhile, in American Olympic sailing circles, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider has announced the qualification process for sailors gunning to qualify for the team. According to reports, sailors will make the grade based on their cumulative 2012 results or their performance at this week's 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (January 28-February 2).



'With the beginning of a new four-year Olympic and Paralympic cycle, the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program now looks to chart a course toward the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,' said Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. 'The 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is really the first look at which sailors we might see representing Team USA in four years.'


Also of interest from US Sailing is the news that Grant 'Fuzz' Spanhake has been named Technical Director of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. 'To return the U.S. back to the podium in sailing, the Team is focused on performance development across the Olympic and Paralympic classes and a class by class strategy to sharpen the U.S.'s culture of technical excellence,' said Charlie McKee, High Performance Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing and Fuzz's new boss. 'This knowledge will be shared with all U.S. sailors mounting a campaign for 2016 and beyond as we groom emerging talent for the long run.' Get the full US Sailing scoop, inside this issue.


Key West Race Week 2013 action  Leighton O'Connor ©



Also on American waters, the full multimedia reports from last week's Key West Race Week are now available, including some great still-photography galleries and some really fun videos. For anyone (myself solidly included, sadly) stuck under the cold, grey curtain of winter, some time scrolling through these multi-media treasure troves is a great way to shake off the mid-winter blues.


May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



New race record set in 2012-2013 Vendée Globe
Sabina Mollart Rogerson,
François Gabart crossed the Vendée Globe finish line at 15 hours 18 minutes 40 seconds, French time, setting a new solo round-the-world record of 78 day, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds. Beating Michel Desjoyeaux's record by 6 day 00 hours 53 minutes.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Armel Le Cléac'h, Banque Populaire takes second place
Vendee Globe,
Frenchman Armel Le Cléac'h onboard Banque Populaire, crossed the Vendée Globe finish line Sunday 27th January 2013 at 17 hour 35 min 52 seconds GMT. He finishes the race 78 days 5 hours and 33 minutes behind François Gabart. This is the smallest gap between the winner and the second in the Vendée Globe history, a mere 3 hours 17minutes 12 seconds behind Gabart.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race - Record-shattering finish at hand
Vendee Globe,
Sunday, January 27, 2013, the world of sailing and yacht racing is preparing for a historic moment. For the first time, two men solo, nonstop and without assistance, will sail around the world in less than 80 days. The legendary duel between François Gabart (Macif) and Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) which has raged unabated since the 10th November will finally be concluded.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race - Gamesa still putting pressure on SynerCiel
Emily Caroe,
Mike Golding is working hard, constantly reviewing the trim of Gamesa and the sailplan as he tries to hold on to fifth placed Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel)... [more]
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Festival of Sails 2013 - Melges 24 - Crowning of new king
Danielle McKay,
Festival of Sails 2013. Northshore Marine claimed victory in the Australian Melges 24 championships by the narrowest of margins, marking the end of an era for the class that's been dominated by Bandit for the past two years. In 2014 the Melges 24 World Championship will be sailed during the Festival of Sails at this same venue.... [more]
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Formula 18 Nationals - Australia big winds leave crews 'dazed'
Mark Rothfield,
In a day of thrills and spills at the 2013 Australian Formula 18 National Championships, young guns Jason Waterhouse and Brett Goodall displayed remarkable maturity and consistency to take the lead after three races.... [more]
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US Sailing announces selection process for the US Sailing Team
Dana Paxton,
US Sailing has now announced the selection process for athletes to qualify for the 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, the national team comprised of the top Olympic and Paralympic class sailors.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Emanating the spirit of sportsmanship + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Francois Gabart (Macif) is expected to cross the finish line between 10am and 1pm on Sunday 26th January, 2-5 hours before Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire). The tide will allow the boats to enter the canal to Port Olona, Les Sables d'Olonne after 2PM.... [more]
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Key West Race Week day 5 images by Leighton O'Connor + Video
Leighton O'Connor,
Key West Race Week day 5 images by Leighton O'Connor + Video... [more]
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Vendee Globe - The final day at sea
Vendee Globe,
Vendee Globe 2012-13 skipper Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), at 130 miles south-west of the Azores, has adjusted his course to be closer to Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) who he has overtaken this morning. Dick is around 40 miles to the east of Thomson, and has succeeded so far, despite the total loss of the keel, to progress without too much difficulty... [more]
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Key West 2013 - Melges 24 - Third time a charm
Joy Dunigan,
Key West Race Week 2013. Brian Porter and his team comprised of tactician Andy Burdick, Sam Rogers and Matthew Woodsworth steered Full Throttle to excellent racing all week to win the Melges 24 crown over runners-up Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog and Bora Gulari aboard West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes. This is Porter's third victory ever in Key West.... [more]
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Key West 2013 - Melges 32 - Tie-breaking end
Joy Dunigan,
Key West 2013 delivered spectacular sailing conditions throughout the week, allowing the crew of the Melges 32 fleet to showcase their true racing skills. After ten races, Andrea Pozzi's Bombarda captured the crown after winning the tiebreaker over Alex Jackson's Leenabarca, which also collected 37 points.... [more]
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Key West 2013 - 52 Super Series - Italians deliver at right time
Giuliano Luzzatto,
Key West Race Week 2013 has seen a neck-to-neck battle between Azzurra and Ran Racing over the first four days of racing until the crew of the Italian boat picked things up at the right time. Azzurra TP52 bagged the first leg of 52 Super Series after collecting 24 points while Interlodge nabbed second place with 29 points. Ran Racing collapsed on the final day, taking the third spot on the podium.... [more]
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Quantum Key West day 5 images from Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery images,
At Quantum Key West Race Week in Florida, Ingrid Abery was on deck to capture this gallery of images during day five's action.... [more]
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Key West Race Week - Azzurra emerges victorious + Video
52 Super Series,
At Quantum Key West, reining 52 Super Series 2012 champions Azzurra have started the 2013 season in superb form after taking victory in four out of ten races sailed, overcoming their early adversities on day one to take and hold the lead in the final phase.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Race Village opens, focus shifts to end goal + Video
Vendee Globe,
The Vendee Globe Race Village in Les Sables d'Olonne officially opened today. It is open everyday from 10am – 7pm. The first skipper is expected to cross the finish line between 5am – 11am Sunday 27th January. Hugo Boss with skipper Alex Thomson is expected to move into third place tonight.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup - Canadians prepare for Miami showdown
Canadian Sailing Team,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is set to take place 28th January-2nd February in Biscayne Bay and marks the first major event for many Canadian sailors since the big show in Weymouth, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with medal racing held on the final day.... [more]
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Delta Lloyd Regatta registration opens
Arjen Rahusen,
Registration is now open for the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta. You can register for the second leg in the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup. As mentioned before, this brand new series beholds five prestigious regattas which incorporates new innovations in race formats, that will make sailing easier to follow and more attractive for sailors, media and spectators.... [more]
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Key West 2013 - Day of Champagne Sailing
Bill Wagner,
Key West 2013 has already completed four days of spectacular racing off the beautiful beaches of Miami, producing action-packed races and tight finishes across different classes.... [more]
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U.S. Olympic Sailing Program appoints new Technical Director
Dana Paxton,
The US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Program has appointed Grant 'Fuzz' Spanhake as the Technical Director of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.... [more]
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