IMOCA 60 SMA, skippered by Paul Meilhat, winner of the Currency House Charity Race in New York City on May 27, 1016 (Photo © George Bekris)

IMOCA 60 SMA, skippered by Paul Meilhat, winner of the Currency House Charity Race in New York City on May 27, 1016 (Photo © George Bekris)

In a prelude to the Sunday start of the inaugural Transat New York – Vendée Race 12 of the 14 competing IMOCA 60’s  assembled on the Hudson River to compete in the Currency House Charity Race. Paul Meilhat and crew on SMA  took lead from the start and continued to hold their lead up to the very end securing a win. Meilhat donate the  US$ 5,000 prize to the Surf Rider Foundation, for which Meilhat is ambassador.

Virbac and Hugo Boss pass the statue of Liberty in the Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

Virbac and Hugo Boss pass the statue of Liberty in the Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

The fleet filled the Hudson River with brightly colored sails and some of the best of the ocean racing skippers currently on the circuit to show their boats off to New York in the shadow of the Freedom Tower and the iconic New York skyline.

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

The racing started upwind just off North Cove Marina and skirted down the Hudson past the Statue of Liberty towards Staten Island before turning and raising their spinnaker’s for the downwind run to the finish.

With 8 knots or so at the start knots of wind the conditions provided a comfortable upwind leg and built about 12 knots toward the end giving the spectators along Battery Park a spectacular view of the boats filled with press and guests cruising with filled spinnakers.

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

The fleet was filled with a mix of many seasoned circumnavigators with years of  Vendée Globe races under their belt as well as some skippers new to the race out to prove their metal in unquestionably one of the world’s toughest ocean races.   In 5 months they will leave out from Les Sables d’Olonne, France in a quest to solo circumnavigate the globe non-stop and unassisted.

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

Meilhat commented about the racing after his win. ““We had a good start and after that it was easier. We were in front and we needed to control Maître CoQ and she was maybe 50m behind us at the top mark. So it was really close, really hard. But we made a good choice of spinnaker and Maître CoQ didn’t, so then it was easier because we were much faster downwind.”

“I am happy to have won for our association [charity],” said Meilhat. “The Surf Rider Foundation protects the environment, principally the sea and the shore. They have projects to clean beaches and to educate children. It also tries to control the pollution from maritime traffic such as oil spillages.”

Among SMA’s crew was two time Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux.

And is the result of the Currency House Charity Race likely to be reflected in next week’s transatlantic race? “I hope so. We’ve been working towards that!” says Meilhat.

Charity Race NY Vendee by George Bekris

Charity Race NY Vendee by George Bekris

Enda O’Coineen, Chairman of Currency House commented: “Starting here in the heart of New York, berthed at North Cove, alongside Wall Street, the fleet which today competed in the Currency House Charity Race and which will be heading to France on Sunday is iconic. Today was the most incredible spectacle. We had the Big Apple to port and the Statue of Liberty to starboard and Sunday the fleet will head for France out into the fierce Atlantic Ocean, which is never to be underestimated.

“At Currency House, as leading-edge Forex company, we take pride in supporting the most advanced ocean racing fleet in the world, which this year is pushing the boundaries of yacht design with the latest in foil technologies. For us, also as the most advanced trading platform – and relating directly to the lone solo skippers (as a lone Forex trader is at their desk) this is a brilliant event for Currency House to get in behind. We wish all team fair winds and safe sailing and trading….”


Sunday will mark the start of a new race and a new tradition of racing for New York as the racers will assemble every four years to compete in the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York – Vendée Race.

For more images of the Currency House Charity Race by George Bekris visit


Currency House Charity Race Results:

1. Paul Meilhat – SMAVoile
2. Yann Eliès – Groupe Quéguiner – Queguiner Leucémie Espoir
3. Jérémie Beyou – Maître CoQ
4. Vincent Riou – PRB – Vendée Globe
5. Morgan Lagravière – Safran Sailing Team
6. Sébastien Josse – Edmond De Rothschild
7. Alex Thomson Racing – HUGO BOSS
8. Jean-Pierre Dick – StMichel Virbac
9. Fabrice Amedeo – Newrest-Matmut
10. Armel Le Cléac’h – Voile Banque Populaire
11. Tanguy de Lamotte – Initiatives Cœur
12. Kojiro Shiraishi – Spirit of Yukoh
DNS. Pieter Heerema – No Way Back
DNS. Conrad Colman Ocean Racing – 100% Natural Energy
#NYVendee  #oceanmasters  #IMOCA   #CharityRace  #IMOCA60


Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )

Charity Race NY Vendee (Photo © George Bekris )





Armel Le Cheach by  Yvan Zedda  BPCE

Armel Le Cheach (Photo by Yvan Zedda BPCE)

The Maxi Banque Populaire VII Solo skippered by Armel Le Cléac’h , accompanied by five men crew, members of Team Banque Populaire (Ronan Lucas, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Florent Vilboux Yvan Joucla and Christopher Pratt), has just reached the bay of New York after 8 days of sailing. Despite the cold wind and fog days, the crossing went well and the weather was relatively good.

“The delivery went very well. We had very good conditions with lots of downwind the early days, it was interesting, it allowed us to test the sails – it was one of our goals – and do a lot of small adjustments on the boat . We found no major problem, the maxi is almost ready to attempt the record in the North Atlantic . The crew is happy, everyone is relaxed and everything went well! We arrived in New York in a thick fog, somewhat comparable to the UK in November (laughter)  ; this is not the arrival that I imagined, under a beautiful blue sky with skyscrapers in the background but we are happy to arrive anyway ” , reported Armel shortly before setting foot (for first time) on earth New York.
Present in New York, Team Banque Populaire, with its expertise, will enjoy the next few days for an update on the boat, a few small tweaks and set the switch to “solo record.”

From June 2, the Maxi Banque Populaire Solo VII begin his period of “stand-by” waiting period during which Armel and Marcel Van Triest router carefully observe the weather to identify the right time to embark on crossing the Atlantic. Record to beat: 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds (held by Francis Joyon on his trimaran Idec).
The weather observation began working in close collaboration with the browser-router Marcel van Triest. Big unknown this year in the approach of this prodigious challenge, changes in the ice were still rife in number towards Newfoundland, which could greatly limit the options out.

Armel (Photo by Yann Zedda / BPCE)

Armel (Photo by Yann Zedda / BPCE)

Icebergs invite on the road record

For several weeks, and after the harsh winter which bathed the entire North American continent, the skipper of the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire VII Solo and router scrutinize carefully the evolution of pieces of ice that are slow to disintegrate in the North Atlantic, and wander off Newfoundland. “The baseline scenario depends on the ice situation” says Armel le Cléac’h. “Icebergs are very present on the track record. The direct route is not yet feasible. Remains the most southern option, followed last year by Francis Joyon, and that we could try our turn depending on the evolution of depressions. If the waiting period should be extended, with the arrival of summer, the ice should be evacuated from the direct route, and offer us another opportunity to jump us on the shortest path to the Lizard . The idea is as usual on this record, fetch good depression off Newfoundland that will accompany us to England. Navigate one edge along the road, a feat achieved by Banque Populaire V is the optimum desired condition, guaranteeing the most efficient route possible. We must stay ahead of the depression, in strong wind, 25 to 30 knots, mostly oriented around the boat, and above all, a less rough seas possible, because it is the size and frequency of the waves that affect the high speed trimaran such extremes. ” Armel Le Cléach has thus given an observation window and search for the optimum conditions five days to trigger the start. “We will from this weekend very precise study with Marcel van Triest on the situation Atlantic next week. Our forecasts are accurate for a period of about a week. If something is emerging, we work every day to ensure that all positive elements come together over a period of five days. Thus we worked at the record of the Route Discovery. It is a work exchange and sharing three with Marcel, but Ronan Lucas and myself. Ronan knows perfectly mechanics records, and responds quickly and efficiently to take advantage of any opportunity and prompt and final preparations for departure … “

Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire VII (Photo  © Y.Zedda / BPCE)

Armel Le Cléac’h and his maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire VII  the singlehanded Route of Discovery record, between Cadiz, Spain and San Salvador in the Bahamas via a turning mark off Gran Canaria, on the historic route of Christopher Columbus. They took more than a day and a half off the previous time set by Francis Joyon on IDEC 2 and their performance was even respectible compared to the new fully crewed record set by Yann Guichard and Dona Bertarelli’s Spindrift 2 last autumn. During his passage the French skipper and his steed also set a new solo 24 hour record of 682 miles, although both records await ratification from the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

Banque Populaire VII crossed the finish line last night at 19:39:17 UTC, making her elapsed time for the course just 6 days 23 hours 42 minutes and 18 seconds. Along the direct route of 3,884 miles, she averaged 23.16 knots but she really sailed 4271 miles at an average speed of 25.47 knots.

Le Cléac’h commented on his passage: “It was divided into three parts with a fast run down to the Canaries, the first half of the Atlantic crossing in very strong conditions with with over 30 knots of wind and a more technical second half where it was necessary to gybe downwind. Rounding Gran Canaria was difficult with a rough sea running, but then I found my rhythm and the right settings which allowed me to beat the 24 hour distance record (682 miles). In the end thanks to a good average speed, on this solo record, I beat the time Franck Cammas and his crew managed on this course [in this same boat]… ”

Until Spindrift 2 claimed the record, Banque Populaire VII in her previous guise as Groupama 3 held the fully crewed Route of Discovery record with a time of 7 days 10 hours 58 minutes and 53 seconds. Singlehanded, le Cléac’h was 11 hours faster…

“Two new records is a good start to the year that celebrates 25 years of Banque Populaire’s involvement in sailing,” Le Cléac’h continued. “And its good preparation for the Route du Rhum: I’m not too tired, the optimisations we’ve carried out to the boat have worked well, I did not break anything important on board, however the manoeuvres still take a very long time.”

The passage down to the Canary Islands turning mark was fast, with le Cléac’h forced to put in three gybes, reaching Gran Canaria after just 32 hours, at this stage already 40 miles ahead of IDEC 2‘s pace. But the most exhilarating part was heading out into the Atlantic when in 30 knot northeasterlies, the French skipper was able to maintain such a high average speed that he put in a 24 hour run first of 677 miles, building this up further to 682, or an average speed of 28.41 knots.

By the time le Cléac’h had to put in his first mid-Atlantic gybe, at 1100 on 29 January, Banque Populaire VII was 574 miles ahead of Joyon’s record pace. However as the wind turned more astern and dropped, the French skipper was forced to put in more gybes before he was able to reach San Salvador.

Le Cléac’h will make a brief stop in San Salvador before a delivery crew jump on board to return Banque Populaire VII back to her base in Lorient. Next up is an attempt on the west to east transatlantic record, before the start of the Route du Rhum start on 2 November.

Route of Discovery records

Fully crewed
1988: Serge Madec (Jet Services V) 12d 12h 30m 27s
2000: Grant Dalton and Bruno Peyron (Club Med) in 10d 14h 53m 44s
2003: Steve Fossett (PlayStation) in 9d 13h 30m 18s
2007: Franck Cammas (Groupama 3) 7d 10h 58 min 53 s
2013: Dona Bertarelli & Yann Guichard (Spindrift 2) 6d 14h 29 min 21 s

2004: Francis Joyon (IDEC) in 11 days 3 hours 17 min 20 s
2005: Thomas Coville (Sodeb’O) in 10 days 11h 50 min 20s
2008: Francis Joyon (IDEC) in 9 days 20 hours 32 min 23 s
2013: Francis Joyon (IDEC) 8 d 16 h 07 min 05 s
2014 Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire VII) 6d 23h 42 ’18”


Banque Populaire VII takes a day and a half off Joyon’s solo record


Loïck Peyron - Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V (Photo courtesy of BPCE)

Loïck Peyron - Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V (Photo courtesy of BPCE)

Today at a press conference in Paris, Olivier Klein, CEO of the Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group, announced the appointment of Loïck Peyron as skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V. The native from La Baule, holder of 42 Atlantic crossings and 3 laps around the World, will therefore lead the largest ocean racing trimaran ever built on the next Bank’s attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. Within the Team Banque Populaire, led by Ronan Lucas, Loïck Peyron joins Jeanne Grégoire and Armel Le Cléac’h.

A performance goal
Owner of the Maxi Banque Populaire V, a Figaro Bénéteau and a 60-foot monohull, Official Partner of the French Sailing Federation, the French Sailing Olympic Team, of Eric Tabarly Association and of the CNOSF, Banque Populaire “is in full sail” and heads for 2012, reaffirming its performance objective. After having designated Armel Le Cléac’h to helm her new monohull for the next Vendée Globe, she has now entrusted Loick Peyron with the helm of her maxi multihull for the next record attempt round the world sailing crew non-stop and unassisted.

Loick Peyron, with impressive credits on all types of boats, is a multihull specialist who has developed numerous boats in this category. His experience with world tours and the G-Class is unquestionable. At the helm of the Maxi multihull Innovation Explorer, he ranked second in “The Race”, the first “no limits”

Loïck is a perfect ambassador of the Banque Populaire’s values. Enterprising, intelligent, audacious and always ready to face new challenges, he is also one of the most popular sportsmen in France for many years


Olivier Klein, CEO of the Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group has, during the press conference, stressed the consistency in the selection Loïck Peyron. “The Maxi Banque Populaire V is an illustration of the credo that animates every Banques Populaires: confidence in the willingness of men to reach their full potential through their projects and work, through their desire to excel, their personal commitment, as their team spirit. Every day in our regions, Banques Populaires accompany daring and enterprising people to make their desire to act a reality. This project also demonstrates the taste of the Bank for challenges. Loick Peyron, by his exceptional career and his appreciation of challenges seemed the perfect candidate to lead this ship so emblematic of our company. ”
Loick Peyron said he was “very pleased to be entrusted with such a great project within a high quality team. ” He also “thanked Banque Populaire, the historic sailing sponsor, for her confidence. ”


A new chapter in the sailing history of the Bank, a major player in the nautical world, has begun. It is now time for Loick Peyron and his crew to write the lines.
 The beginning of the season will be dedicated to training, in the next few days off Lorient, home port of the largest multihull. Then, from June 17 to 21st, the Maxi Banque Populaire V and her team will take part in the Record SNSM and in the historic Fastnet race in August.

Then, the time will come to prepare for the Jules Verne Trophy which standby’s period is set for early November 2011.


About Banques Populaires
 The Banque Populaire network consists of 18 regional Banques Populaires, of the
 Credit Cooperative and of the Casden Banque Populaire. Independent, these banks exercise in all areas of commercial banking and insurance in a close relationship with their customers. Banque Populaire, with 7.8 million customers (including 3.8 million members) and 3,300 branches, is part of the second largest banking group in France: BPCE Group

Loick Peyron
 Portrait and credits extract
Skipper of the  Maxi Banque Populaire V
 Born on December 1, 1959 in Nantes
 Married, 4 children
Son of a sailing enthusiast, Loïck learned how to sail alongside his two brothers Stephen and Bruno at the Pouliguen, in the Loire-Atlantique region. In 1972 he was twelve years old when his uncle Jean-Yves Terlain took him to attend the launching of Vendredi-13, with which he will later participate in The Transat. Impressed, the man who is sometimes today referred to as  “the Last of the Mohicans, “is, as a child, already dreaming of becoming a professional skipper. From that moment the young man devoted himself to speed on sea and becomes passionate, in a permanent quest for performance.

That is it; he will sail around oceans and undertakes his first transatlantic crossing at eighteen years old.

In the 1990s, at the helm of the trimaran Fujicolor, he won many races and no fewer than 4 titles of ORMA* Championship in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2002. Loïck Peyron has been consistently sailing, always multiplying experience on different boats. No sailing boat model escapes him and he has, over the years, built himself a formidable record in racing ocean. He has, in particular, won three times The Transat, (race alone), participated in three rounds the world, crossed 42 times

the Atlantic, including 15 times solo.

Loick also has qualities in communicating in an outstanding way, always eager to share his passion for sailing. Officer of the Legion of Honor, he is, beyond a harden sailor, a major advisor in the field of shipbuilding in line with big names like Eric Tabarly
An Exceptional carrer
•   In 1985, he won the Race of Europe aboard “Lada Poch”.
 •   In 1985, he won a leg victory in La Solitaire du Figaro.
 •   In 1987, he won La Baule-Dakar aboard “Lada Poch 2”.
 •   In 1990, he finished second aboard “Lada Poch 3”, on the Vendee Globe Challenge although he had to divert to give assistance to Philippe Poupon who capsized.
 •   Between 1992 and 2005,  8 times winner of the Trophée Clairefontaine and 2 times twice of the Transat.
 •   Between 1993 and 1999, he won 13 victories and two second ranks out of 15 Grand Prix.

2000 to date …
•   During the 2000-2001 edition of The Race, he finished 2nd aboard the maxi trimaran
Innovation Explorer and undertook  this circumnavigation with crew in 64d 22h 32min38s
 •   In 2001, he won the Transat Jacques Vabre aboard the trimaran “Fujifilm”.
•   In 2005, he won the Transat Jacques Vabre with Jean-Pierre Dick on the 60 foot monohull Virbac-Paprec.
 •   Between 2005 and 2007, he got 8 victories out of 9 races.
 •   From 2006, the Rothschild family appointed Loick Peyron as General Directora of Gitana Team. The team built a 60-foot monohull, “Gitana Eighty,” with which Loick Peyron won The Transat in 2008.
 •   A few months later, during the Vendee Globe, “Gitana Eighty” dismasted fifteen miles behind the leader, forcing Loïck to retire.
 •   Loick Peyron participated in the 2010 “Alinghi adventure “, alongside Ernesto Bertarelli, as co-helmsman in the the America’s Cup battle.
 •   On April 4, after 3 months at sea with Jean Pierre Dick, skipper of “Virbac Paprec 3”, he won the Barcelona World Race (dual race around the world by the 3 caps). The 21 and 22 January
 2011, during the Barcelona World Race, Loick Peyron and Jean-Pierre Dick set a new 24h record on a  60 feet monohull covering the distance of 506.333 nautical miles.

* Ocean Racing Multihulls Association: Class of 60-foot trimarans
Excerpt from interview

Olivier Klein
Director General Commercial and Insurance Bank of BPCE Group.

New challenges and a commitment remaining strong
“We are very pleased to entrust Loick Peyron with the Maxi Banque Populaire V’s helm. He is a friendly sailor with an exceptional talent.  I have no doubt that the Team Banque Populaire with Loïck will perform great things in this exciting adventure. ”

“The appointment of Loïck concludes a series of announcements confirming our willingness to engage in sailing in a performance quest along with a desire of proximity. Performance with our three skippers, Armel, Jeanne and Loïck within the Team Banque Populaire, proximity with all our actions and those of regional banks for the development of sailing in France. ”
Loick Peyron
Skipper of Maxi Banque Populaire V

“I am very pleased and honored by the confidence that Banque Populaire has in me. And also aware of the enormous burden and the high liability represented by the Jules Verne Trophy. It’s also great, a difficult challenge to overcome, but if there is something that I know how to do, is to adapt myself. For the human parts and the mechanical aspects, there is a great team around and everything seems well established. I now have to use this tools already created and manage them, it still remains a heavy load. ”


Maxi Banque Populaire V has got a high potential
“On the Maxi Banque Populaire V, everything seems to have been nicely done and from the outside, I had a good feeling about the boat’s potential. She has already proven it with the first nice records which are the North-Atlantic crossing, the 24h record and the Mediterranean, and has got everything to beat the Jules Trophy Verne. The almost entire program has been achieved, this boat holds, and for a long time, the most beautiful records. The Jules Verne only remains! We hope to have some chance on the weather as it is now what prevails on this record. One attitude of today’s records hunters is knowing that it can sometimes take several attempts ».


No reason to change the crew
“About the crew, it a priori turns out that there is no reason change anything, except for some downtime of some of them. Having the experience of the boat and of records is a benefit when getting into a team already in place ».

Ronan Lucas,
Director of the Team Banque Populaire


For synergies
“We are very pleased to welcome Loïck in the Team. He benefits from an extensive experience, with whom we hope winning this great challenge that is the Jules Verne Trophy. We have often been competitors in the ORMA championship and have had great battles. He has an undeniable talent and incredible vista. I think it is one of the best sailor in France and even worldwide. ”
 “In terms of the Team Banque Populaire, now that our fleet is in full force, we will go for synergies and skills of the Team, especially in the fields of electronics, composite, information technology, logistics and administration for the benefit of every Banque Populaire’s boats from the Figaro to the Maxi, including of course our new 60 ‘ monohull. The goal is to place the different sports teams and their respective skippers in the best conditions for everyone to achieve their goals. Achievements and
developments of a boat can be used for the entire fleet. ”


“In response to the fleet development and performance objectives, I am surrounded by the Team in place for 7 years that continues and has expanded this winter with a new technical director and referring during the Trophée Jules Verne, Pierre-Emmanuel Hérissé. “PE”, as we all call him, in charge of the technical coordination between the different projects, will also have an eye on the 60 ‘ monohull as it has a long experience of these boats. The Team’s added value lies in its experience over many years in the development and construction of high performance boats such as the trimaran 60 feet Banque Populaire IV and the Maxi Banque Populaire V. So today, we put our knowledge at the service of all our projects. Including that of our Research Department headed by Kevin Escoffier, who is currently working on the ballasts’s redistribution of the Monohull 60 ‘Banque Populaire, while ensuring the follow up on the Maxi’s repairs with Pierre-Yves Moreau, , « boat captain », for her next attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. ”
Extract from Loïck Peyron’s credits
– 42 Atlantic crossings, including 17 solo
 – 3 around the world races
– 5 ORMA Champion titles


•   2011
 o Barcelona World Race: Winner on Virbac Paprec 3 with Jean-Pierre Dick
 •   2008
 o SNSM Record: Winner aboard the monohull Gitana Eighty
 o The Transat: Winner on Gitana Eighty
o Spi Ouest France: Winner on  Domaine du Mont d’Arbois, an Open 7.50 of the Gitana Team
 •   2007
 o Transat Ecover BtoB: Winner on the monohull Gitana Eighty
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: 8th on Gitana Eighty with Jean-Baptiste Levaillant (transatlantic double)
 o Lake Geneva Bol d’Or: Winner on Okalys (D35)
•   2006
 o Julius Baer Challenge: Winner on Okalys (D35)
 •   2005
 o Lake Geneva Bol d’Or: Winner on Okalys (D35)
 o Julius Baer Challenge: Winner on Okalys (D35)
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: Winner, double as co-skipper on the monohull Virbac-Paprec of Jean-Pierre Dick
 o Route des Iles : Winner with Dimitri Deruelle
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 •   2003
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: 2nd, double as co-skipper on Belgacom trimaran Jean-Luc Nélias
 o Figaro: 6th
 •   2002
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 •   2001
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd on the trimaran Fujifilm
 o The Race: 2nd on the catamaran Innovation Explorer
 •   1999
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: 1st on Fujicolor II with Franck Proffit
 o Course de l’Europe: 1st on Fujicolor II
•   1998
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 o Route du Rhum: 5th Fujicolor II
 o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II
 •   1997
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd on Fujicolor II
 •   1996
 o Transat: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 o Transat Quebec-Saint Malo: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Grand Prix de Fecamp: Winner on Fujicolor II
 •   1995
 o Clairefontaine Trophy: Winner
 o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Grand Prix de Fecamp: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Grand Prix de Saint Nazaire: Winner on Fujicolor II
 •   1994
 o Multihull Trophy: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Twostar: 2nd on Fujicolor II
 •   1993
 o Multihull Trophy: Winner on Fujicolor II
 o Transat Jacques Vabre: 3rd monohull on Fujicolor II
 o Course de l’Europe: Winner on Fujicolor II


Pete Goss and Raphael Dinelli (Photo by Colin Merry)

by Colin Merry

Today’s update on the prestart activities for Pete Goss and DMS from Colin Merry had a great suprise.  Raphael Dinelli paid Pete Goss a visit prior to Pete’s departure in the Route du Rhum 2010. 

With all the safety checks passed we can now get down to the task of stowing all the gear that is going with the boat and removing everything that is not vital to the dockside. Mark Wylie (Eastern Electornics) looks up to his ears in it as he operates no less than three computers at once! But rest assured he is on top of his game, and the installs and glitch sorting are going fine.
We had a most welcome visitor to DMS yesterday in the form of Raphael Dinelli. You may remember that Pete turned back in to the teeth of a massive storm in the Southern Ocean during a Vendee race to rescue him. Since then they have been firm friends and it was touching to see them meet again.
Once again close of play found us winding down in the ‘Bar de Legends’ where we met James Boyd. Editor of and Raphael! 


Forgive me for getting on the other side of the lens but I couldn’t resist a couple of pics. with James and Raphael! 


Joined by Marco Nannini and Richard Tolkien both Class 40 skippers we spent a pleasant hour talking boats.



Mike Golding Yacht Racing Coming Into Le Havre

Mike Golding Yacht Racing Coming Into Le Havre

 2009 Imoca World Championship
1.   Marc Guillemot 362pts
2.   Michel Desjoyeaux 357pts
3.   Armel Le Cleach 338pts
4.   Samantha Davies 321pts
5.   Vincent Riou 304pts
6.   Dee Caffari 295pts
7.   Arnaud Boissières 292pts
8.   Brian Thompson 281pts
9.   Steve White 250pts
10.   Richard Wilson 220pts
11.   Raphaël Dinelli 210pts
12.   Norbert Sedlacek 200pts
13.   Kito De Pavant 59pts
14.   Loïck Peyron 52pts
15.   Yann Eliès 44pts
16.   Roland Jourdain 39pts
17.   Mike Golding 36pts
18.   Jérémie Beyou 33pts
19.   Yannick Bestaven 32pts
20.   Alex Pella 30pts
21.   Pachi Rivero 18pts
22.   Guillermo Altadill 16pts
23.   Jean-Pierre Dick 8pts
24.   Marc Thiercelin 4pts
25.   Unai Basurko 0pts
26.   Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty 0pts
27.   Derek Hatfield 0pts
28.   Sébastien Josse 0pts
29.   Jean Le Cam 0pts
30.   Jonathan Malbon 0pts
31.   Bernard Stamm 0pts
32.   Alex Thomson 0pts
33.   Dominique Wavre 0pts

Brit Air  (Photo by Marcel Mochet)

Brit Air (Photo by Marcel Mochet)

A time for reflection and rest in France, home of the Transat Jacques Vabre, Armistice Day was certainly not observed by the malicious Atlantic weather systems into which the IMOCA Open 60’s and Multi 50 fleets were pounding over the course of the fourth day of this race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
Relief should come by the weekend, and forecasters promise some occasional respite. Ominously, perhaps, the worst effect of the systems is now due during Friday, the 13th, but as the IMOCA Open 60 fleet work their way SW towards the Azores some skippers were counting down the hours to escape from the miserable conditions, and to see how their strategies play out.

The divide between the boats in the north and the south has become even more pronounced during the middle part of today, with Michel Desjoyeaux and Jérémie Beyou on Foncia now more than 400 miles south and east of their rivals in the north.

British duo Alex Thomson and Ross Daniel on Hugo Boss may have been feeling slightly exposed – lonely even – on their more extreme northerly course. No sooner had a slightly rueful Thomson admitted, early this morning, that his preference, in hindsight, would have been to be in closer touch to the group of boats just to his south, than up popped 1876 only 22 miles astern.

The Spanish IMOCA Open 60, with French co-skipper Yves Parlier – double winner of this biennial race – had taken the option to go for 24 hours in ‘stealth’ mode during which their position and progress is not published – as they hiked north on to a routing which has gained
considerable credence over the last 24 hours.

The equation under scrutiny now is whether to endure much tougher, windier conditions for a short period in the north to get to the preferred wind shift first, or to stay – more prudently – south and profit that way.

Lying seventh and eighth respectively with deficits of 61 and 86 miles, on this afternoon’s schedule Hugo Boss and 1876 were the quickest boats in the fleet this afternoon, by margin of between two and four knots.

After taking the lead on the pre-dawn schedule yesterday, Seb Josse and Jeff Curzon on BT continue to hold on in the IMOCA Open 60 class, with a margin of just under 15 miles to maintain a controlling grip on the northerly group, perhaps with the exception of Hugo Boss.  During the late afternoon BT, Mike Golding Yacht Racing and Groupe Bel were the first to tack SW.

Britain’s Mike Golding, along with Spanish co-skipper Javier Sanso, retains fourth place with sistership Aviva of Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson just less than five miles behind, but still making NW this afternoon.

After arriving in Concearneau just after lunch time this afternoon Armel Le Cléac’h and Nicolas Troussel spent the afternoon assessing the repair options to their mainsail mast-track and the forecasted weather conditions, looking their options for a possible return to the race course.
Due to the combination of predicted storms in the Bay of Biscay, their deficit on the front of the fleet, and their desire not to compromise their IMOCA Open 60 in any way, the BritAir duo, in agreement with their team, decided the prudent option was to retire from the race.

Alex Thomson (GBR), skipper Hugo Boss:
“I had a phone call half an hour ago to say that Estrella have popped up out of her stealth mission and she is 20 miles behind us here in the north.  I haven’t had a chance to plot the position yet, but if Yves Parlier – one of the great legends of solo sailing –  has decided
to come this way then it obviously means we’re going the right way! Or we hope it does anyway…..”

Javier Sanso (ESP), co-skipper Mike Golding Yacht Racing:
““It is going well, we are making some progress down south. We have 3 reefs and a staysail, bouncing up and down, like in a washing machine. It is incredibly wet on deck and a very bumpy. It is miserable, cold and wet. But finally we think that in the next 40 hours we should be out of it….I hope.”
“The pilots and the electronics are still giving us some problems. We are back like the old days with a piece of wool! But in some ways we are getting used to it, but it is very tiring and we have done a lot of hand steering. It is not good in this weather to have to suddenly get on deck to hand steer because the pilot has crashed. And that eats up the energy to suddenly run from inside to hand steer. So we are always ready to jump outside, it has been very, very, very tiring for Mike and I.”
“ It is a good place. We are happy with that just now and will see what happens as we work to get down to the high pressure in the south.”

Vincent Riou (FRA), co-skipper Akena Veranda:
“The first days have been wet, but the conditions are not so difficult for the moment. We have taken the comfortable option, towards the south, and so we don’t have any concerns for the boat. We chose the middle, intermediate road. The conditions so far remain OK, and with
Arnaud we have no worries, we have had good rest, and he is a guy who
is very easy to get along with.”

Marc Guillemot (FRA), Safran:
“It’s pretty brutal. It is crash, crash, crash. Since the end of the night the seas have got worse and the winds have got right up with some big gusts. But it is good to have a sailor like Charles on board. In conditions like these it is hard in the manoeuvres but together we manage. As for our options, well this is what we chose and we’d still rather be here.”

Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) Foncia:
 “All is well. This beating in the Atlantic was expected, and it was known that the strategies would develop. We will see what happens. Perhaps with Jérémie we have been too cautious. I did think that those closer to the depression would have had more difficulties today.”
“As for Yves Parlier I did not really consider that he would have chosen such an extreme option. So now, we will need to be patient. It is in the long run that we will all be able to make the assessment.”