Five skippers recalled for jumping the start gun of the 7th Vendée Globe
samedi 10 novembre 2012 –
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A small collision with his support team’s rigid inflatable boat required Bertrand de Broc to return to port even before the start to make a repair to a small puncture in the hull of his IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA Open 60 Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets.
Starting in 12-14kts of westerly wind under grey skies with rain threatening there was no quarter given on the start line. With the prospect of a direct, straight line 300 miles course to Finisterre and no real tactical options every early metre gained might be critical. Pushing hard to the line proved to be an expensive early mistake for five skippers who jumped the start gun and had to return and start again. Along with Poland’s Zbigniew Gutkowski on Energa were four French favourites PRB (Vincent Riou), Macif (François Gabart) Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant) and Armel le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), all had to turn back and recross the line, the first time that so many boats have been over the start line in a Vendée Globe start.
In fact it was Marc Guillemot on Safran, the peoples’ hero of the last 2008-9 race, who opened the course, forging ahead early in the close reaching conditions. Spain’s Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso on Acciona 100% Eco Powered, and the youngest skipper in the race 27 year old Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée and Tanguy de Lamotte on Initatives Couer all had their moments of early glory, forming the vanguard of this Vendée Globe fleet as they headed out for the open ocean, progressively shaking off the huge spectator fleet of hundreds of craft of all shapes and sizes.
Perhaps ominously it appeared to be Cheminées Poujoulat, the very powerful new Juan Kouyoumdjian design of Bernard Stamm which steadily climbed through to the front of the fleet, up alongside Safran around one hour after the start gun. British skippers Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss and Mike Golding on Gamesa made safe, solid openings.
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