International Football Legend Emmanuel Petit visits Vendée Globe Race HQ

Wednesday, 09 January 2013


With no energy on board since Sunday, January 6 after he hit an unidentified floating object, Bernard Stamm rounded Cape Horn this morning and met with his friend Unaï Basurko. The Basque sailor was sailing in the area for his personal projects and he provided diesel to the Cheminées Poujoulat skipper, making it possible for him to turn his batteries back on. Once the batteries have charged sufficiently, the Swiss will officially notify the Race Direction that he is retiring from the race in a few hours. He will then resume his route to Les Sables d’Olonne.

The Pakea Bizcaïa crew had been present in the area since the early morning and in constant contact with the Cheminées Poujoulat Team. They waited for Berard Stamm to round Cape Horn in 25 knots of wind to come and meet him. The Basque sailor embarked in a semi-rigid motor boat with two other crew members to take 30 litres of diesel to the 60-foot monohull. In the meantime, the Swiss skipper is moored in a quieter area so he could easily load the precious cargo. The tricky operation was successfully carried out and will now allow Bernard Stamm to resume charging his batteries. The reunion of the two sailors was an emotional one between two Velux Five Ocean Race skippers who are friends. It also marked the end of a true ordeal for Bernard, who had been sailing, since Sunday, without energy, without autopilot, in terribly cold and demanding conditions. After getting only five hours of sleep over the last three days, the Swiss skipper is completely exhausted and will now be able to get some rest.  

In the evening, once his batteries are sufficiently charged and he is able to communicate again, Bernard Stamm will officially notify the Race Direction he is retiring from the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe. This is a process Bernard will go through by himself, strictly following the rules of the race, of the organisation, of the jury and of the competitors. He will therefore, no longer be a participant in the race but that does not mean the adventure is stopping there for Cheminées Poujoulat, who will keep sailing towards France. The solo sailor will actually do his best to be back in les Sables d’Olonne as fast as possible, honouring the unfailing support he received from his partners, friends and family but also carrying on the scientific data collection he started at the beginning of this round-the-world race through the Mini Lab operation. Before the race started, Bernard had said he was looking forward to experiencing the emotion of sailing through the channel again on his way back and that is precisely what the Swiss sailor hopes to do now.

The entire Cheminées Poujoulat team wishes to wholeheartedly thank Unaï Basurko and the Pakea Bizcaïa crew for their precious help and their response in these difficult moments. The competition outcome may not be the one we all expected, but their generosity gave this sailors’ story a very strong human dimension.

Fleet News
Today, retired French footballing legend, Emmanuel Petit, who played club football for Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Chelsea, representing France at international level, and scoring the third goal in France's 3–0 victory in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Final was the guest of honour at the Vendée Globe race headquarters at Montparnasse Station, Paris, France. Speaking on the Vendée Globe LIVE and a firm fan of the race he said, “I think the sailors are amazing. They are the real heroes of the new generation.”

Speaking with Mike Golding (Gamesa) during the LIVE he asked Golding how he combined the elements of tactics, strategy, sleep and boat management. Golding replied, “the competition is forcing me to push the boat and to fight against the weather. Unlike soccer, we have a lot of technology involved, so there’s a true mix of tactical, technical and physical elements.”

In the French Vendée Globe LIVE, Petit praised the honesty and integrity of the sport of solo ocean yacht racing, “I’m not an expert but I really enjoy following the Vendée Globe on the mobile app. These days, sports are a lot about business and money, so it’s very refreshing to follow a sport like sailing and to see how the Vendée Globe heroes are doing. It shows man can be stronger than the natural elements, it shows how brave and determined skippers can be. Football players are not as brave as these guys are.”

After 60 days at sea and in 6th place Mike Golding (Gamesa) lead the procession of Vendée Globe Open 60s around Cape Horn for his sixth time this morning at 02.19 GMT becoming the first man ever to sail around Cape Horn three times east-about and three times west-about. Around seven hours later, Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) another seasoned Cape Horner rounded Cape Horn for his 9th time. “"We sail on a boat cemetery and I have enormous respect for all those sailors who preceded us here," said the Swiss sailor. His sights will be firmly set on closing the gap between him and Golding, while Golding will be catching Le Cam if he can.

For Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) his 3rd rounding of the rock 12h 49mn GMT will be bittersweet. A milestone of which marks the beginning of a different adventure as he shortly met with his "supply ship" Pakea Bizcaia has occurred. Cheminées Poujoulat and received fuel, moored at anchor under the lee of Horn Island, north of the Cape Horn lighthouse. Once he has recharged his batteries, it will mean his retirement is assured and he will then head back to Les Sables d'Olonne out of the race.

At around midnight, it will be the turn of Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas) and soon followed by Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered). There will only be three boats left on the slippery slopes of the liquid Pacific.
Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM) and Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) fell upon hard times. It took many hours to recover his gennaker from the ocean when the halyard broke. The eternally jovial Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) does not hide his onboard problems after recently complete disassembling and rebuilding the engine Team Plastique.

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) is all powered up and now on the hunt for Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) to steal his third place. “The big news is my hydro generator bracket is finally finished and the hydro is currently filling my batteries fully for the first time in a month! It has been a very long process from when a broke off in a collision a month ago but I am pleased I took my time with it and very happy to have been able to do it at sea and without stopping. The weather files show that I should be sailing fast downwind for the next couple of days and will eventually cross a small low pressure system situated south of Rio.  I will watch the timing of this system carefully as there will be very little wind behind it so I must cross it and enter the trade winds and the optimum time. ”

Cape Horn Times
François Gabart (MACIF) rounded Cape Horn on January 1, 2013 at 18:20 GMT 52 days 06h 18mn after the race.

Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) rounded Cape Horn on January 1, 2013 at 19:35 GMT 52days 07h 33mn after the race.

Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) rounded Cape Horn January 3 at 4:42 GMT 53 days 16h after 40 minutes.

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) rounded Cape Horn January 4 at 2:38 GMT after 54 days 14h 36 min race.

Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) rounded Cape Horn on January 8 58d 19h after 7:19 GMT 17mn 14s and is running 6 days 12 h 58 m 20 s after MACIF.

Mike Golding (Gamesa) rounded Cape Horn January 9 02h05  GMT after 59 days 14h 03 min race.

Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) rounded Cape Horn January 9 10h18 GMT after 59 days 22h 16mn race.

Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) rounded Cape Horn January 9 12h 49 GMT after 60 days 00h 47mn race.

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Quotes from the boats

I’m so happy I rounded Cape Horn, it’s amazing, I barely saw the rock because of the rain and clouds. I’ve actually just seen it, five minutes ago. I had a tough gybe with 30 knots of wind, it was crazy! And there were even dolphins around me, making this moment so special, what a nice gift from them!

It’s really among the greatest experiences a sailor can have, Cape Horn is something extraordinary. Last century, the sailors rounding it were facing very difficult situations, many boats sank, people died, I have a lot of respect for them…

I miss my friends and family, but also material things like fresh food or meat and fries! It’s amazing to see we’re self-sufficient, if it weren’t for the food, this could go on forever! I can’t believe it’s been 60 days already.

It’s hard to be alone is stressful conditions, dealing with that is one of the most important things in such a race. You need to make sure your stress goes away before you can get some good sleep. And when you do manage to do it, it’s such an achievement, it’s very satisfying!

Dominique Wavre (SUI, Mirabaud)

I’m good, we’re all very tired but after 60 days of race, I’m glad to be able to say the boat is in one piece and the morale is still high. It’s all cool and fine! I’m looking forward to leaving the Cape Horn area behind. I don’t have a radar on board any more, so I’ve asked AKENA - who’s right ahead of me – and CLS to keep their eyes open for me! I want to know if there’s ice in front of me.

I’ll shave my beard off after rounding Cape Horn! I know it’s way too long right now but it’s also good in these conditions, it keeps me warm in the weather we’re facing right now. I won’t need it any more when the temperature is warmer.

Javier Sanso (ESP, ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered)

It’s already been 60 days since the start of the race, time just flew! We’ll open the race village in les Sables d’Olonne on the 23rd of January, even earlier than initially scheduled. People used to say the financial crisis was going to make the race less successful but in the end, the Vendée Globe will probably be even stronger and faster than the Jules Verne myth!
My 2013 New Year’s greetings card features a picture shot on Mirabaud, when Dominique and I sailed together, it’s a great memory.
Armel, thank you for the amazing race you’re giving us, along with François, this will be one of the greatest moments in the history of the Vendée Globe.

Bruno Retailleau (FRA, Vendée General Council and SAEM Vendée President)

I had a very tough time for a few hours, it’s going to take me four times as long to recover because it was such an intense effort… But I’m glad I did manage to get the sail back on board. In moments like these, it’s obvious it would have been even worse if I hadn’t been fit, if I hadn’t prepared physically for this race. I slept for six hours yesterday because I was exhausted from all that.

After two months in the race, it’s time to look back. Yesterday, I would have said it’s been an ideal race but today, after that incident, it’s different... But I’m still happy to be where I am, even after my halyard problem. I think I’ll still be able to use that sail later, so it’s been mostly positive.

When you’re in the middle of the ocean, you just have no choice but to keep going, even after an incident. It takes a lot of energy, and also a lot of recovery after that. Even in the middle of that tough manoeuvre, I ate a little and I drank, I had to take breaks because you don’t want to get injured or to go too far.

The hearts on my sail are symbols, they represent the children we want to save and that gives me solid motivation to finish the race..

Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA, Initiatives-cœur)

This is my new 2013 spring-summer look! No more beard.

I’m facing agitated conditions, with 20-25 knots of wind and a cloudy sky. We’re getting close to a thunderstorm area and hopefully we’ll soon leave it behind. Then it will be time to sail towards the Equator!

The temperature is better, we’re getting rid of the fleece clothing we had since we entered the Southern Ocean little by little. It’s the new 2013 spring-summer collection!

If I had to summarise the first two months of the race, I’d say it’s been intense, eventful since we left Les Sables d’Olonne. Time went by fast. It’s been a friendly and intense fight with François, we’ll try to give all the fans a great finish!

Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA, Banque Populaire)

I’m not an expert but I really enjoy following the Vendée Globe on the mobile app. These days, sports are a lot about business and money, so it’s very refreshing to follow a sport like sailing and to see how the Vendée Globe heroes are doing. It shows man can be stronger than the natural elements, it shows how brave and determined skippers can be. Football players are not as brave as these guys are.

Emmanuel Petit (FRA, former French football player)

Event media

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 January 2013 )