Vendée Globe – 4 skippers arrived at Les Sables d’Olonne in the last five days

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Vendée Globe – 4 skippers arrived at Les Sables d’Olonne in the last five days

Celebration in the channel during Finish arrival of Rich Wilson (USA), skipper Great American IV, 13th of the sailing circumnavigation solo race Vendee Globe, in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on February 21st, 2017 - Photo Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendee Globe

Arrivée de Rich Wilson (USA), skipper Great American IV, 13ème du Vendee Globe, aux Sables d'Olonne, France, le 21 Février 2017 - Photo Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendee Globe

Arnaud Boissières takes tenth place

After a slow final night at sea in very light airs, Arnaud Boissières crossed the Vendée Globe finish line at 0826hrs UTC at Friday 17th of february to take 10th place in the non-stop solo round the world race. It is the third time in a row that the skipper, who has made his home in Vendée Globe’s start and finish port of Les Sables d’Olonne, has completed the race. Boissières’ elapsed time for is 102 days 20 hrs 24 minutes and 9 seconds. In reality he sailed 28,155 miles at an average speed of 11.04 knots.

The French skipper made it to tenth place in the final stages of his race when he passed the Kiwi competitor Conrad Colman whose mast collapsed last Friday. He completed the 2012-13 race in 91 days 02hrs 09mins in eighth place from 20 starters and 11 finishers and and the 2008-9 Vendée Globe in seventh place in 105 days 2h and 33m from 30 starters and 11 finishers. He joins the winner of this edition of the race Armel Le Cléac’h as the only two solo racers to have finished three successive Vendée Globe races. Le Cléac’h’s record is two second places in 2008-9 and 2012-13 and victory in 2016-17.

The Les Sablais skipper enjoyed the warmest of welcomes from his appreciative home crowd who lined the legendary channel only a few hundred metres from where he lives, not long before he docked La Mie Câline in his home marina. At the finish line he was about 170 miles clear of nearest rival Fabrice Amedeo whose Newrest-Matmut is a yacht of the same age, design and speed potential. The duo enjoyed close racing in the Pacific and up the Atlantic until Boissières moved further clear in the last couple of weeks of the race.


Boissières, 44 years old, became enchanted by the Vendée Globe when his father brought him to the start of the solo round the world race when the youngster was recovering from leukaemia. The skipper whose childhood nickname ‘Cali’ – because of his diminutive stature and sharp sense of humour – has stuck through his ocean racing career, cut his teeth with three attempts at La Solitaire du Figaro and three Mini Transats (finishing third in 2001) before stepping into the rarefied world of IMOCA ocean racing. Before the last edition of the race he moved his home from Arcachon to Les Sables d’Olonne, where his previous sponsor is based, and has long since become the hometown hero, a regular figure around the marina and the harbour.

Amedeo Writes His Own Vendée Globe Story. 11th Place

Parisian political journalist turned solo ocean race Fabrice Amedeo secured 11th place in the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne at 09 hrs 03 m UTC this Saturday 18th February. His excellent finish represents the culmination of a dream to take part in the famous solo ocean race around the world. Sailing Newrest-Matmut, Amedeo’s elapsed time for the course is 103 d 21h 1 m. He finishes 29 d 17 h 25 m after winner Armel Le Cléac’h and 01d 00hrs 36m after thenth placed Arnaud Boissières. His average speed for the theoretical course is 9,8 kts. In reality Amedeo sailed 27700 miles at an average of 11,1 kts

Hungry, because he has been on limited food rations for more than two weeks, but elated today he crossed the finish line to complete his race in perfect sunshine, making more than 10kts of boat speed through the flat seas, amidst an excited spectator fleet including his wife Charlotte and three young daughters Garance, Louise and Josephine.

On the dock in the pleasant sunshine he said:
It is a great story. I made a good Vendée Globe in 104 days, it is long but to finish in a good place and to have had an incredible adventure. I learned a lot every day. Maybe not so much going down the Atlantic as I knew I bit, but from the Saint Helena high after three weeks I have had things to learn and do. It is incredible. I had to fix the mainsail, I had to climb the mast, it is a hard rhythm. In the south I was more and more into adventure mode. And what a feeling to pass Cape Horn, the modd to have got out of the southern oceans. To climb back up the Atlantic with the light winds areas to negotiate, to have such a close race with Arnaud Boissières, it is amazing. And to be running out of food for the last 15 days has been hard. I was tired and had no energy but the spirit was there. That is the magic of the Vendée Globe.

Alan Roura takes twelfth place

The 23 year old Swiss sailor who is the youngest of the 29 solo skippers who left Les Sables d’Olonne on November 6th, Alan Roura, crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe Monday morning at 0812hrs UTC to take 12th place. Sailing one of the oldest boats in fleet for this eighth edition of the non-stop solo round the world race, Roura’s finish reflects his exceptional drive and tenacity and belies the very tight budget which the young sailor ran his programme on. The sailor who turns 24 on 26th February is the youngest skipper to finish the race since it was first contested in 1989. Race rookie Roura’s elapsed time for the 27,700 mile course is 105 days, 20 hours 10 mins and 32 seconds.

He may have finished 31 days after race winner Armel Le Cléac’h, but sailing the renowned Superbigou which was built in a garden by compatriot Bernard Stamm– renamed Le Fabrique for the race – he was just under 2 days behind 11th placed Fabrice Amedeo on a faster, newer generation boat. Just before finishing he said: “Twelfth. It’s funny because basically I found a racer inside of me. I am more than proud of this position. With this boat which is now 17 years old I don’t think we could realistically have expected to do much better. To finish as first of the ‘older generation’ boats that just seems a bit nuts to me, a bit unreal. But really it feels like a great victory.”Roura’s IMOCA boat is just six years younger than the skipper who brought the Pierre Rolland design non stop around the world for the first time, completing the race that Stamm built the boat for between 1997 and 2000.
The young skipper who stopped his formal schooling at the age of 13 to pursue an ocean sailing career has sailed a very impressive first Vendée Globe conquering successive technical problems, making smart, mature routing decisions and constantly improving his performance, from a conservative, safe Indian Ocean to pressing hard and delivering good daily averages in the Pacific, Roura climbed back up the Atlantic well, only struggling in the latter stages with light winds in the final days before finishing. In terms of ocean miles Roura, a native of Geneva, already had the equivalent of a round the world race under his belt before he started the Vendée Globe. He has spent most of his life on boats. As a youngster he lived on a boat on Lake Geneva. He stopped school to work with his father. He sailed tens of thousands of miles on his family’s boat. On the day of his 18th birthday he got his Yachtmaster certificate, the youngest age possible. From 2012 he started out in solo ocean racing, competing in the Mini Transat at 19, in a 1994 boat built of wood and epoxy. The following year, 2014, he took on the Route du Rhum in Class 40 but had to abandon.

Rich Wilson takes thirteenth place

American skipper Rich Wilson crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race off Les Sables d’Olonne on the west coast of France this afternoon (Tuesday 21/02) at 1250hrs UTC. From the fleet of 29 boats which started the 27,440 miles singlehanded race from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday November 6th, Wilson and Great American IV secure 13th place in an elapsed time of 107 days 48 mins 18 secs.

Wilson, at 66 years old the oldest skipper in the race, successfully completes the pinnacle solo ocean racing event for the second time. He improves his time for the 2008-9 edition of the race, 121 days and 41 minutes by a fortnight, thereby achieving one of the key goals which drew him back to take on the race for a second time. Whilst racing he also delivered a daily, multi faceted educational programme to over 750,000 young people in more than 55 different countries around the world, another of the fundamental reasons Wilson returned to the Vendée Globe. He becomes the fastest American to race solo non stop around the world, beating the 2004-5 record of Bruce Schwab of 109 days 19 hours.

The hugely experienced American skipper who is a lifelong mariner and a native of Boston,Massachusetts, adds to a remarkable catalogue of achievements under sail over an extraordinary career spanning nearly 40 years, including three record passages including San Francisco to Boston in 1993, New York to Melbourne in 2001, and in 2003 Hong Kong to New York.

Wilson crossed the finish line on a cool February afternoon, emerging from the grey skies of the Bay of Biscay, with scarcely a rope out of place. His Great American IV returned to Les Sables d’Olonne in almost exactly the same, near perfect condition as they left in early November. Wilsonhas dealt competently with a range of small technical problems, notably gripes with his autopilot system, his hydrogenerator system and some modest sail repairs. To finish two Vendée Globe races with both of his boats in great condition is testament to his impeccable seamanship, his ongoing focus and discipline to stay within the prudent protocols he sets himself, looking to achieve high average speeds and sail very efficiently while keeping the skipper and his boat safe. The efficiency of his actual course, that is how direct a route he sailed, is almost exactly the same as that of race winner Armel Le Cléac’h – sailing around 27,450 miles and is only bettered by the fourth to sixth placed skippers Jéremie Beyou, Yann Eliès and Jean Le Cam who sailed around 300 miles less.

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