The other circumnavigation race that is comparable in media attention and history with the Volvo Ocean Race is the Vendee Globe. The Vendee globe contrary to the Whitbread/VOR has always maintained the same basic rules and it was always a race for Open racing boats.
It is not as old as the Whitbread, but if we consider the VOR in its actual format, a lot older:The next edition that will start already in November will be the 7th edition. The first Vendee was in 1989.
The Vendee Globe is now also a race done almost exclusively by professionals but with a degree of adventure and human exploit that the Volvo cannot reach. On the Volvo they are almost all specialists on that race (except Groupama that have many solo sailors and guys from racing big cats) while on the Vendee Globe even if the victory is played among specialists, that are always a lot of adventurers and dreamers doing the race for the fun of it. On the Volvo you are very well paid to do it.
This year’s edition inscription is not closed yet and in these times of crisis you have already 18 on and 11 trying to complete a budget. That’s a huge number if compared with the Volvo.
Among those and regarding the non specialists you have some very interesting entries:
An Australian girl, Liz Wardley. She started her carrier on hobbie cats, won the Sydney-Hobbart , done the 2001 VOR but then moved to France were she competed on the solo classes. She finished 8th on the 2007 French solo offshore championship and since then she was not done much. Pity she has an old boat. I believe she is going to fight on this race.
Another interesting one, more an adventurer than a racer, Alessandro di Benedeto an Italian. His last exploit was a non stop circumnavigation on a mini. Pity he is also on an old boat (1998). Just look at what he has accomplished:
- 2009-2010: Non-stop solo round the world voyage without outside help on a 6.50 metre boat
- 2006: Pacific crossing from Yokohama to San Francisco, sailing solo on a racing catamaran
- 2002: Solo Atlantic crossing on a racing catamaran
- 2001: First solo voyage from Northern Italy to the Canary Islands on a racing catamaran
- 1992-1993: Mediterranean and Atlantic crossing from Sicily to Martinique, double-handed aboard a racing catamaran.
But my favorite, still looking to complete her Budget, is Anne Liardet. Anne was an active solo racer. Back in 1985 she was the first woman to complete a mini transat, she finished the 2004/2005 Vendee and her last important race was back in 2007. She has been occupied raising her three kids and now, SHE IS BACK, and the age seems not matter (she is 50 year’s old).
Saw it a few months ago anchored off Dana Point. wasn't sure what we were looking at so we sailed closer but not to close. up close it looks like some one took a derelict mono and added some paddle boards. looked very rough. Are those PHRF sail numbers? very ugly indeed
Talking about circumnavigation races there are one that is going on that I find a pity the small number of participants and the press coverage. I think this race has the potential to be a major race. I am talking about the Global Ocean race that is raced in inexpensive 40class boats on duo crews.
Not only almost everybody will be able to do this one as it will be easy to find competitive boats and that is not the case with the Vendee Globe.
I hope one day we will see 30 or 40 boats racing on this one
I also read the first boat test...they all say very well about the boat...but it without much enthusiasm, or at least it was what seemed to me.
I am not convinced: 6400Kg on a performance 36ft? Well it could be a boat with a very high B/D ratio and that could justify the weight that would result in a very big RM, but no, the boat has a very average 0.296. Well that is almost a ton more than on my old Bavaria 36!!!...and the worse is that the boat, that could be a an interesting good looking cruising boat, because it is disguised as a racer, has very small movable cockpit lockers and an interior as "clean" as one from a racing boat, I mean, almost no cabinets on the salon.
To just put that weight in perspective, the Elan 350 weights 5000kg, the First 35 weights 5500kg the A35 weights 4450kg and the new Salona 35 weights 4900kg.
Take a look at a different boat, a wooden and a popular one. Ok it has epoxy on the marine plywood but it is still basically a wooden boat. Take a look at the hull and interior structure, including the steel one for the keel:
On Yacht magazine they have tested the Dufour 36 performance. The boat really looks good on the water and it seems that notwithstanding its weight it sails well and fast. That extra weight is really a pity.
I wonder why? they say they use vacuum infused technology and cored hulls so the boat should not weight that much, specially with that "clean" interior.
The test will be at the magazine and it can be downloaded in PDF.