View Full Version : Transat Jacques Vabre 2015

28 Oct 2015, 07:46 AM


29 Oct 2015, 10:25 AM
In clasa IMOCA,


pe data de 29 Oct. la ora 05:18, mi se pare mie ori Edmond de Rothschild a fost putin "convins" de catre Safran, sa se intoarca impreuna acasutza?


31 Oct 2015, 09:18 PM

13 Nov 2015, 08:23 AM

28 Nov 2015, 08:46 AM
Following on from PRB’s victory, the nine IMOCAs, which managed to complete the Transat Jacques Vabre, have now been in Itajai for several days. What lessons can be learnt from the major event of the season with just under a year to go to the start of the Vendée Globe? We have come up with five lessons…

1) The older boats remain competitive

One of the unknown factors in this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre was whether there would be a fair contest between the boats from the previous generation from the 2012 Vendée Globe, which are now tried and tested, and the new foilers with their moustaches, whose performance looked remarkable and scary for their rivals during training sessions. The Transatlantic race offered us a clear answer to this question. Yes. In any case for a transatlantic race of this length. Let’s not forget however that there was a lot of upwind sailing “where PRB was more at ease”, as Armel Le Cléac’h explained at the finish. We can remember all the debates about one-design boats and the new IMOCA class rules. The aim was to ensure that the older boats would be on the same footing as the newer ones.In this race, that has undeniabkly been successful.

2) A podium that tells us a lot

If we look at the podium we can see that the only points in common between the three boats sailed by Vincent Riou/Sébastien Col, Armel Le Cléac’h/Erwan Tabarly and Yann Eliès/Charlie Dalin allowing them to do so well are that they are all designed by VPLP-Verdier and all three have skippers, who are serious contenders for the 2016 Vendée Globe. We can add that all three have trained at the French training centre in Port-la-Forêt, but they have little in common apart from that. All three boats come from different generations. That is practically unprecedented in such a big race. It reveals a lot that the brand new foiler Banque Populaire was joined on the podium by Quéguiner and PRB, in other words, the precursor, the former Safran designed for the 2008 Vendée Globe and the most highly developed boat at the present time, PRB. Vincent Riou’s monohull is clearly the reference in 2015 having won all the races she competed in this season – the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Artemis Challenge and the Transat Jacques Vabre. PRB managed to keep the title obtained by Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam in 2013. Vincent has clearly been on to this season.

3) The foilers are still in their running-in period…

It was forecast, so is not really a surprise: the foilers are still in their early days. Launched not very long before the start of the Transat – at best several months before, but for some like StMichel Virbac only a few weeks before – four of them were forced to retire: Sébastien Josse’s Edmond de Rothschild, Morgan Lagravière’s Safran, Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss and Jean-Pierre Dick’s St-Michel-Virbac. Only one of the five managed to complete the Transat (Banque Populaire VIII)… but did particularly well. Finishing second, Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly were close to winning the race on several occasions, before they were unlucky in the Doldrums, which were very difficult to predict and were sometimes surprising with the three frontrunners forced to tack upwind… Nevertheless “At times, in some downwind conditions, Banque Populaire was the centre of attention… she is faster and you can’t do anything faced with that,” declared Vincent Riou at the finish. The others have a year to get over this transatlantic race, which was particularly tough during the first week, and repair, test and ensure the reliability of their boats. The main thing is that there was not any loss of life of boat, even if things got very hairy for Hugo Boss, after Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill were airlifted off. The boat was recovered.

4) … but the concept of the foils has been validated

“We’ll be keeping our foils,” said Armel Le Cléac’h in Itajai. We need to look at the results very cautiously. If only one of the boats with moustaches finished the race, we were able to see that when Banque Populaire was able to, open up her sails and make the most of her foils, her performance was beyond question. Vincent Riou and Yann Eliès accepted that. They more or less said that the question today was no longer should we have foils, but rather when. “This is the future of sailing and we can’t turn back the clock. One day, we’ll all have them,” Vincent Riou added, “For the moment, it’s a matter of timing, and how long it takes to get them set up right.” Yann Eliès said more or less the same thing adding a word about the cost: “The choice isn’t simply should we fit foils or not, but concerns the financial ability and work required to get a boat ready for the Vendée Globe. The answer is in the equation: time/money/ means. If we don’t have all that, it’s just as well to improve our boat like Vincent Riou has done.” That is clear enough: the gain and enhanced performance thanks to the foils is clear in the sort of conditions that are most common in the round the world race. While the 2016 Vendée Globe will see boats with and without moustaches, with we hope just as much suspense, this may well be for the final time. In any case, it is highly likely that the serious contenders for 2020 will all be on boats with moustaches. It took ten years to fine tune the boats with straight daggerboards and the foilers have only just begun, but their potential is clear and it is unlikely that they will be thrown into question.

5) Half retired: yes, but…

Twenty IMOCAs set sail from Le Havre, but only nine made it to Brazil. Looking beyond the podium, we should pay our respects to the boats taking part in two other closely fought contests: the battle for fourth place turned to the advantage of Thomas Ruyant and Adrien Hardy (Le Souffle du Nord), who were for a long time threatened by Initiatives-Cœur skippered by Tanguy de Lamotte and Samantha Davies. The contest for sixth place was won by two Vendée Globe heroes: Bertrand de Broc and Marc Guillemot, just ahead of three other candidates: Comme un seul homme (Eric Bellion / Sam Goodchild), Newrest-Matmut (Fabrice Amédéo / Eric Péron) and Bureau Vallée (Louis Burton / Romain Attanasio). So we had eleven boats forced to retire, or 55% of those that were competing.

But here too, a word of caution as we should avoid any hasty conclusions. There were many different reasons for these boats retiring. Major damage was suffered by Hugo Boss and Spirit of Hungary, the new foilers have not yet had the time to be made reliable and we should remember how nasty the weather was during the first week of the race. Those that stayed too far east had to deal with three storms in a row. But there is another factor to consider: for all of them without exception, the 2016 Vendée Globe is the focus of their attention over the current four year period. They obviously didn’t want to go too far. Some of the damage could have been dealt with in such a transatlantic race, but they came to a logical decision after discussing the matter with their teams and partners. Consequently – and that too is a positive outcome – none of the IMOCAs taking part in the race will miss out on the next Vendée Globe, in spite of the horrendous conditions they faced. We give the final word to Yann Eliès, concerning the performances, which do not appear to worry him: “The transatlantic race is very complicated, not merely because of the very rough conditions, but also because of the Doldrums. However, finishing in 17 days, we took the same time as last time. That proves we really pushed the boats hard… and that they have made progress.”