In the Vendee Globe, Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) has been disqualified and therefore, has a right to appeal the disqualification. He has elected to appeal, and in order to do so, must present additional new information to be considered.
Bernard Bonneau (President of the International Jury) today on Vendée Globe LIVE said, 'We received an email yesterday from Bernard asking us to reopen his case. In this email, Bernard wants to have the Professor Khromov Captain’s testimony. We respect this and we will wait for this testimony. There won’t be any decision made today because it’s too complicated to contact every jury member.'
Until the information has been reviewed and a final verdict has been delivered the race office will continue to include Bernard Stamm’s positions and ranking in the four hourly reports.
Bernard Stamm and his team Cheminées Poujoulat, today, released this heartfelt response. 'The hours I currently live are particularly difficult, but I wanted to tell you how much your messages have touched my heart. Receiving all this support from the racers means a lot to me.
To the ones still competing, or the others, I want to tell you how proud I am to be a member of this fleet. To those who have asked the organizers to take me back in the race, I want to thank you once again, because it’s the proof that solidarity exists amongst each other. I also want to acknowledge the role of the IMOCA class and especially the chairman, Luc Talbourdet. Our class is beautiful and you direct it along the right path.
I don’t know what the final decision will be, but whatever it is, I will continue to fight with all my strength. I wish you all to continue this wonderful fight we have started since we left Les Sables d'Olonne. The Vendée Globe is part of my life for nearly 15 years and I never had the privilege of finishing it. It may not be this time, but I will do everything to bring my boat back and to be proud of my adventure. Nobody will be able to take from me. Good luck to all and thank you again! Bernard.'
The jury is still out as the final outcome is awaited.
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) has started off his new year in a determined fashion, clocking some of the fastest speeds of the Vendee Globe fleet in the first few days of 2013 and then this morning at 02.38am GMT, he achieved a new milestone for himself – rounding Cape Horn for the first time as a solo sailor.
'It is a huge achievement for me and the team behind me,' said Alex. 'This is the third time I have rounded Cape Horn, but the first on my own. But there has been no time to relax and enjoy the moment, in fact quite the opposite. There are about 15 icebergs around this area and although I have their location from the race office as well as my radar, passing through in the dark is a daunting feeling. I passed within 0.8miles of one this morning, but saw nothing.'
'I am going to be really glad to leave the Southern Ocean behind me over the next few days, but there is still a long way to go,' said Alex. The conditions don’t look easy ahead and the amount of strain put on the boats through the Southern Ocean could really begin to tell. But I have had one focus throughout this entire race – to finish. I will do everything I can to achieve that goal.'
Alex currently sits in fourth position, 279 miles behind Jean-Pierre Dick in third, 629 miles behind Francois Gabart in first, and 1,298 miles ahead of in fifth position.
'My strategy over the last week has paid off performance wise as I am stretching out from those behind while catching the guys in front. Third place is only 20 hours ahead and the leaders a little over two days, neither in insurmountable. The leg up the Atlantic is only 7000 miles, so going fast but also remaining prudent – to ensure I finish it which is my New Year’s resolution!
Jean Pierre Dick talked Vendée Globe LIVE today, about his ascent up the mast two days ago to disentangle his gennaker, including a very impressive video showing the gasping studio audience just how high up he had to go and with a birdseye view of the deck below. He nonchalantly said with a smile, 'I did some mountain climbing. I’m very happy. The fifth attempt was the good one. At the moment the boat is doing great, 18 knots on average. As for the mast climbing, we have some good tools to do it properly.
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The two front runners, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) heading more westerly and François Gabart (Macif) to the east are separating laterally and now face tactical choices over the next few days that could result in significant gains and losses for either of them as they approach a wallowing high in the Atlantic. On Vendée Globe LIVE today, François Gabart (Macif) was playing his cards close to his chest. 'I had some strong wind, like in the Southern Oceans; around 45 knots of wind so it was very intense. These are the strongest conditions I had since the beginning. The sea is a little bit chaotic so it’s complicated to deal with that. My strategy is clear but every time I receive a new file, I make some adjustments. But overall, I know what my route will be to the end. It has been a long time I haven’t been that far from Armel. But I think he has the most direct route to Les Sables d’Olonne. I don’t know what he has in his mind. You should ask him.'
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Arnaud Boissières (FRA, Akenas Vérandas): Nice weather conditions today, Caribbean ambiance. There are 25 knots of wind and the sea is waking up. Some more wind is coming.
In the Atlantic, I was a little bit unlucky, something was missing. But for 10-15 days now I can enjoy the weather conditions. I’m still behind so I have to do more effort. It’s not over, the journey is still long.
Crossing the Cape Horn all together would be great but the weather conditions are a bit uncertain.
I keep on with my routine every Sunday: showering, cleaning up the boat and everything. It’s important to do so.
You have to be very organized on board, not like I am at home.
Javier Sanso (ESP, Acciona 100% EcoPowered): The weather is quite tricky especially after the gate. There is a low pressure system that doesn’t seem to want to move south and is travelling east, meaning we have to sail on a reach that is very close to the wind on the way to Cape Horn for the next 245 hours and probably with three reefs and a stay sail or storm jib. The weather report is giving us 35 knots but we will have to follow it with 40 and squalls of up to 50. It really isn’t the tastiest dish to be1000 miles from Cape Horn and presented with the worst storm of the whole time in the southern ocean. After the gate there are very few tactics involved in the first 24 hours- it is simply to go towards Cape Horn, the problem is that if we go too fast the weather can get dangerous and we will get into 'breaking boat' kind of conditions, which is something I am personally not very interested in.
Jean Le Cam (FRA, SynerCiel): We approach the Cape Horn, but we are in a depression once again.
Last night was a bit tough. There were winds over 37 knots. In front of the squalls you had 37 knots and 14 behind. Squalls were black. It was incredible. The problem is that the wind is variable you have to adapt the sails very quickly.
I'm looking forward to the Cape Horn. It’s boring at the moment, you get a little tired. It’s always the same. You do not know really what to do with the boat, regarding the weather conditions.
Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA, Initiatives-cœur): It is still a little tough in here. It's cold. I am reaching with plenty of water passing over the bridge. It is difficult, especially for the everyday things like eating and sending emails.
It's great that people are passionate about the Vendée Globe. It's nice to know that, thanks to us, people are happy.
Finally there are a good group of us who I am sure are going to say quite close together, quire probably until the end of the race. Akena has taken a few good decisions and has joined our group, and I am happy for him, but I wouldn’t want him to overtake me.
Mike Golding (GBR, Gamesa): I just have very difficult conditions. The last hour I have seen between 15 and 40kts and so I am on white sails. I had a 40kts gust with 1 reef and the Solent and the boat was on its ear, so it is not easy. I am just edging my way north and it seems I will need to make a little gybe so I just have to keep the boat moving well and see how it works out. At the moment I have just 15kts and am just floating along in quite a big sea. I have looked at the routing to Cape Horn in more detail and it seems like the Pacific is not going to let us loose that easily. It looks like we turn up and stop, basically. It’s OK from an ice perspective because we cut across and will have a relatively short period on high, high alert. But the conditions can change there so quickly, you can’t just tell from the GRIB files. The wind channels so much there. At least we will not be going around in a gale.
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Vendee Globe website
by Vendee Globe - 5:38 PM Fri 4 Jan 2013 GMT
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2012 Vendee Globe
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