Tanguy de lamotte broke the top of his mast off one week into the vendee globe around the world race. We had the top of the mast break off in the 2012 Bermuda race. Fortunately we were able to finish with a reef.

Thomas Coville is, after 8 days of sailing almost a day ahead of the singlehanded around the world record.




(February 4, 2013; Day 87) – The Vendee Globe welcome afforded to fourth
placed Jean-Pierre Dick by a huge and passionate crowd was one worthy of a
race winner. Having sailed more than 2500 miles with no keel, having lead
the race – his third participation – and having been among the top three
for most of the course, all clearly inspired a big, partisan crowd to take
to the channel into the heart of Les Sables d’Olonne this afternoon to
welcome ‘ JP’.

As one of the pre-race favourites, JP took his disappointments in his
stride but they ultimately took their toll on his overall performance.

First was the loss of a key small gennaker – one which would have been his
reaching workhorse in the South which forced him to re-think his strategy
at times. Then he struggled with a jammed halyard hook which left him
unable to set the optimum headsail for some time. He eventually climbed the
mast of Virbac-Paprec 3 several times to free it but lost more miles. His
problems were capped when he lost his keel on the evening of January 21.

“The welcome here has been extraordinary. That transition between being
alone and arriving here makes me so proud to be here. You are a racer at
heart. I left trying to win this race, but it changed course and became an
adventure. In sporting terms, the goal was not achieved, but in human
terms, it is much more than I could have hoped for. I think that it will be
easier for me to get over the loss of my third place, because there is this
glorifying side to the end of the race. I am proud to have brought back my
Virbac-Paprec 3 to Les Sables d’Olonne.”


February 3, 2013; Day 86) – There was good news today for Jean-Pierre Dick
and Virbac Paprec 3. After losing his keel 11 days ago, he was able to
leave his mooring in the Spanish haven of San Cyprian in Galicia at 0720hrs
this Sunday morning. JP had sought shelter Thursday to ensure his final
miles across the Bay of Biscay would not face strong conditions that his
crippled yacht could not endure. There was additional good news when the
jury announced they would not penalize JP for the use of his engine when
retrieving the mooring buoy.

However, there was plenty of bad news too, with the worst of it coming
Sunday morning when two distress beacons from ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered,
skippered by Spanish solo sailor Javier Sanso were triggered. An aerial
inspection of his position, which was 500 miles west of Madeira and 360
miles south of the Azores island of Sao Miguel, found Sanso in his liferaft
next to his capsized boat. A rescue of Sanso was proceeding at press time.

Also dealing with troubles was Tanguy de Lamotte, some 440 miles to the SW
of the Cape Verde islands, who had hit something in the water which damaged
his rudder, daggerboard and daggerboard casing. His starboard rudder is
broken and his port daggerboard is crushed, jammed in the daggerboard
casing whilst it and some cracks around it are letting in water.

“The daggerboard took the first of the impact, it is completely tilted back
and cracked the daggerboard case, explained Tanguy. “There is water
entering the boat. I have been going slowly since and that allows me to
limit the amount of water which comes in, especially protecting the boat’s
electrics. The situation is under control but it is vital that I remove the
daggerboard so I can plug the holes.”

Rhode Island – and specifically, Fort Adams State Park – is well-positioned to host large marine events after seamlessly executing the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) last summer, according to the Large Marine Events Benefits Assessment Modeling Report by Planning Decisions, Inc. and Charles Colgan, Ph.D., University of Southern Maine.

The report had a two-fold purpose: first, to analyze the fiscal impact of the ACWS, and second, to act as a learning tool for the state to better host comparable large marine events in the future. The feedback came from a random survey of visitors on all nine practice and racing days in the public areas of Fort Adams, resulting in a test field of 1,260 valid responses.

“Hosting the America’s Cup races last summer was a great source of pride for Rhode Islanders,” said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. “The Large Marine Events report shows that our beautiful state is the perfect setting for these types of events, and we look forward to using the feedback outlined in the study to make future events even better and more frequent.”

Hosting these types of events has a far-reaching impact on the state. The immediate economic impact resulted in approximately:

  • $38.2 million for Rhode Island businesses
  • 345 jobs with an income of $12 million
  • $2.5 million in general state tax revenue

Revenue came from four main sources: visitors who came to watch the event, organizers and sponsors who set up and operated the event, racing teams competing in the event, and media covering the event.

The event attracted 65,000 total spectators during the four-day compressed racing period, with over 7,300 first-time visitors to Newport. Of those visitors surveyed, the majority said they were “very likely” to return. This response indicates a lasting positive increase in Rhode Island tourism. In all, visitors – first-time and repeat – came from 600 unique zip codes in 41 states and 18 countries. The report found that the size of the visiting party and length of stay increased with the distance traveled. Therefore, marketing to travelers further away will have a great fiscal impact on the area during future events.

“There was nothing quite like seeing the throngs of people lining both sides of the East Passage enjoying the spectacular America’s Cup World Series races,” said Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit. “Fort Adams State Park offered a world-class venue for this event, and the natural resources of Rhode Island provided the power and the beauty that put it over the top. Using our state parks to host tens of thousands of visitors to enjoy a day on our coast is exactly what DEM hopes to continue to do.”

To accommodate this type of event, the state of Rhode Island, the city of Newport, the America’s Cup Event Authority, the America’s Cup Race Management and the America’s Cup World Series Host Committee prepared for over a year to ensure the adequate infrastructure and organization was in place to support the event. Included were permanent, public infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams that not only benefited those attending the ACWS but will continue to benefit Rhode Island residents and visitors for years to come, as well as position the venue to compete for similar, world-class events in the future.

“Through our partnership with our legislative leadership and the executive office of the State of Rhode Island, Sail Newport continues to move forward with the improvements to Fort Adams and its marine facilities to support public access to Narragansett Bay and to provide the infrastructure for world class sailing events at the Sail Newport Sailing Center,” said Brad Read, Rhode Island’s America’s Cup World Series Host Committee Chairman and Executive Director of Sail Newport. “We had our successes, and we certainly have things we could do better next time. I look forward to working with this same wonderful team on future events!”

Survey feedback indicates several areas of improvement, with the majority relating to concessions, information and marketing, transportation and parking, and coordination with local businesses. The report concludes that, given the unknowns of hosting this event for the first time, organizers should be proud of hosting a successful event.


Francois Gabart rounded Cape Horn on New Year’s day more than four days ahead of the previous record. 7000 miles to the finish. They left New York shoveling snow and ice off the deck.

Bernard Stamm (4th place) has been disqualified from the Vendee Globe for having accepted outside assistance.

Giovanni Soldini and “Maserati” (volvo 70) set sail on an attempt to break the record from New York to San Francisco set by Yves Parliez.



Two of the world’s best sailors are sailing on equally fast designs utilizing similar meteorological data and routing software. Neither one has made a slip up and both boats have proven to be well built and thoroughly prepared. We are all witnesses to history here as the bar is being collectively raised. 80 days is under attack and the Vendée is no longer a marathon race. It is now a sprint around the world, non-stop, throwing down 500 mile days at will. Less than 20 years ago, a fully-crewed 86-foot maxi-catamaran (Commodore Explorer, skippered by Bruno Peyron) became the first to eclipse the mythical 80-day mark. And now a pair of singlehanded monohulls may go as fast or faster than Bruno and Co. Simply fascinating

545.3 MILES/24 HOURS

30 days into the nonstop single handed around the world Vendee Globe race and Francois Gabart  has set a new 24 hour speed/distance record of 545.3 miles. The outright record for a monohull set by a Volvo 70, a fully crewed boat is 596 miles. While it is still early in the race at this pace these 60 foot boats may finish below the 80 day mark. The world is indeed getting smaller. Below are the records recognized by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

24 Hour Distance PDF Print E-mail
1854 “Champion of the Sea” 225ft Clipper, USA, 467nm. 19.46kts
1984 “Formule Tag” 80ft Cat, Mike Birch, CAN, 512.5nm. 21.35kts
1987 “Fleury Michon VIII” 75ft Tri, Philippe Poupon, FRA, 517nm. 21.54kts
1990 “Jet Services V” 75ft Cat, Serge Madec, FRA, 522.73nm. 21.85kts
1994 “Lyonnaise des Eaux”75ft Tri, Olivier de Kersauson, FRA, 524.63nm. 21.91kts

WSSR Ratified
1994 “Primagaz” 60ft Tri, Laurent Bourgnon, FRA, 540nm. 22.5kts
1994 “Explorer” 86ft Cat, Bruno Peyron, FRA, 547.3nm. 22.86kts
1999 “PlayStation” 105ft Cat , Steve Fossett, USA, 580.23nm. 24.18kts
2000 “Club Med” 110ft Cat, Grant Dalton, NZL, 625.7nm , 26.07kts
2001 “Club Med” 110ft Cat, Grant Dalton, NZL, 655.2nm, 27.3kts
2001 “PlayStation” 125ft Cat, Steve Fossett, USA, 687.17nm. 28.63kts
2002 “Maiden 2” 110ft Cat, Co-Skippers Adrienne Cahalan, Helena Darvelid and Brian Thompson 694.78nm. 28.95kts
2004 “Orange II” 120ft Cat, Bruno Peyron, FRA, 706.2nm.29.42kts
2006 “Orange II” 120ft Cat, Bruno Peyron, FRA, 766.8nm. 31.95kts
2007 “Groupama 3” 103 ft Tri, Franck Cammas FRA, 794nm, 33.08 kts
2009 “Banque Populaire 5 131 ft Tri, Pascal Bidegorry FRA, 908.2nm 37.84 kts

Up to 60 foot.
1994 “Primagaz” 60ft Tri, Laurent Bourgnon, FRA, 540nm. 22.5kts
2006 “Mediatis-Region Aquitane” 60ft Cat, Yves Parlier FRA and 5 crew 597.81nm. 24.91 kts
2006 “Brossard” 60 ft Tri, Yvan Bourgnon SUI, 610.45 nm. 25.76 kts
2007 “Banque Populaire” 60ft Tri, Pascal Bidegorry, FRA, 667nm, 27.8kts

1994 “Primagaz” 60ft Tri, Laurent Bourgnon, FRA, 540nm. 22.5kts
2005 “Idec” 90ft Tri, Francis Joyon, FRA, 542.7nm. 22.6kts
2006 “Mediatis-Region Aquitane” 60ft Cat, Yves Parlier FRA, 586.00 nm 24.41 kts
2006 “Brossard” 60ft Tri, Yvan Bourgnon SUI, 610.45 nm. 25.76 kts
2007 “Idec” 98ft Tri, Francis Joyon, FRA, 613.5nm 25.56kts
2007 “Sodebo” 105 ft Tri, Thomas Coville FRA,619.3 nm, 25,8 kts
2008 “Sodebo” 105ft Tri, Thomas Coville FRA, 628.5 nm, 26.2 kts
2012 “IDEC” 95ft Tri, Francis Joyon FRA, 666.2NM, 27.75 kts

Singlehanded, up to 60 foot.
1994 “Primagaz” 60ft Tri, Laurent Bourgnon, FRA, 540nm. 22.5kts
2006 “Mediatis-Region Aquitane” 60ft Cat, Yves Parlier FRA, 586.00 nm 24.41 kts
2006 “Brossard” 60 ft Tri, Yvan Bourgnon SUI, 610.45 nm. 25.76 kts

1994 “Intrum Justitia” 64ft, Lawrie Smith, GBR, 428nm. 17.83kts
1997 “Toshiba” 64ft, Dennis Connor, USA, 434.4nm, 18.1kts
1997 “Silk Cut” 64ft, Lawrie Smith, GBR, 449.1nm. 18.71kts
2002 “Illbruck” 64ft, John Kostecki, USA, 484nm. 20.16kts
2003 “MariCha IV” 140ft, Robert Miller, GBR, 525.7nm, 21.9kts
2005 “Movistar” 70ft, Bouwe Becking, NED, 530.19nm, 22.09kts
2005 “ABN AMRO ONE” 70ft, Mike Sanderson, NZL 546.14nm, 22.75kts
2006 “ABN AMRO TWO” 70ft, Sebastien Josse, FRA, 562.96 nm, 23.45kts
2008 “Ericsson 4” 70ft, Torben Grael BRA, 596.6nm, 24.85kts

Monohull, singlehanded
2000 “Union Bancaire Privee” 60ft, Dominique Wavre, FRA, 430.7nm. 17.94kts
2003 “AT Racing” 60ft, Alex Thompson, GBR, 468.72nm. 19.53kts

Monohull, up to 60 foot.
2000 “Union Bancaire Privee” 60ft, Dominique Wavre, FRA, 430.7nm. 17.94kts
2001 “Armor Lux” 60ft, Bernard Stamm, SUI, 467.7nm, 19.48kts
2003 “AT Racing” 60ft, Alex Thompson, GBR, 468.72nm. 19.53kts
2007 “Hugo Boss” 60ft Alex Thompson/Andrew Cape, GBR, 501.3nm, 20.9kts
2011 “Virbac Paprec” 60ft, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron FRA, 506.333 M 21.1 kts




The Vendee Globe  non-stop single-handed around the world race is in it’s third week. Speeds are high; a new 24 hour record of 483 miles for a single-handed boat was set and re-broken the next day. Francois Gabart is the new record holder.

I grew up with the legend of the Yacht Atlantic crossing the atlantic in 1905 in 12 days, with a 24 hour run of 341 miles. A record that stood for years, but it is a new world.

The photograph above I took around 1973 in Norfolk, VA. The Atlantic was as you see her and the USS United States was still there as well. Speaking of records, the USS United States

held the Blue Ribbon (record across the atlantic for a passenger ship)


The VENDEE GLOBE non-stop singlehanded race around the world is only a few days old and 4 boats are out. the latest is Sam Davies, dismasted last night. All the competitors are safe, but we are all certainly asking where have we gone in yacht design. It may be an extreme case, but Olin Stephens stated many times that he considered the direction yacht design was taking was unseaworthy. A keel sheared off, a collision with a fishing boat, and a dismasting.