Today, Monday 23 January, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, the much anticipated 2012 MOD70 European Tour was unveiled. Starting on 29 August, five weeks of intensive racing will see the six competing MOD70s race nearly 5,000 miles in a mix of offshore competition, and races in the heart of five cities in five countries : Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.
The six MOD70s are helmed by skippers with some of the biggest hauls of oceanic medals – Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet, Roland Jourdain, Steve Ravussin and Yann Guichard. The teams will be setting off from Kiel in Germany, on the Baltic Sea, towards the east coast of Ireland, after a rather unfamiliar passage via the North coast of the Shetland Islands which will see the teams reach 60° North – as far north as Cape Horn is south.
After stopping off in the Emerald Isle, the teams will tackle the descent of the North Atlantic, heading for Cascais in Portugal, for an eight-day stopover before heading east.
Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the MOD70s will cross the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea to tie up at the feet of the Bonne Mère in Marseille (France), while the final leg of the European Tour 2012 will take the MOD70s on a big looped circuit around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, prior to climbing up to an Italian port looking out onto the Ligurian Sea…
At the end of this tour of Europe, the fleet will have covered 5,000 miles and crossed seven seas and one ocean.
Start : Kiel, Germany, 2 September :
Steeped in maritime tradition, Kiel is the city which played host to the Course de l’Europe during the first edition back in 1985, and again in 1997, for the 4th leg. For this 2012 edition of the MOD70 European Tour, the local authorities were the first to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project. Alongside KIEL.SAILING CITY, the online gambling company, Betfair, will be present at both the legendary Kiel Week, to be held in June 2012, and the German stopover for the MOD70 European Tour 2012.
Uwe Wanger, Managing Director of Kiel Marketing GmbH : “In collaboration with Betfair, we’re proud to play host to the first leg of the European Tour, an event that forms part of the MOD70 circuit, for their first race in Germany. These spectacular boats represent technology at its highest level – a point they have in common with our new partner Betfair. With this stopover, we’ll be punctuating a series of prestigious sailing gatherings and we’re hoping for between 50.000 and 80,000 spectators at the heart of Kiel to witness the racing.”
Marco Simeoni, President of MOD Ltd. : “Today we’re happy to be able to present the first edition of the race around Europe, aboard MOD70s. Since 2009, we’ve been working on putting together a one-design class and a coherent circuit for racers, boat owners and our partners. With the current economic context colouring Europe, things haven’t been easy but we’ve managed to pull it off. The cities of Kiel, Marseille and Cascaïs are the first three cities to have signed up alongside us and the contracts with the remaining two cities involved in this project will be signed in the coming days. Featuring 5,000 miles, 5 countries, 5 host venues and 5 City races, this MOD European Tour will be the setting for a competitive and cultural oasis! Thanks to the one-design format, which guarantees sporting equity, we’re sure to witness some great on-the-water confrontations between the MOD70 crews competing in this 2012 season.”
Hervé Favre, Event Manager OC ThirdPole : “To organise a European tour is an opportunity to revive the great moments in the history of oceanic multihulls, but it’s also a genuine challenge in every possible way. This is true in logistical terms first of all, as not all the ports in Europe can accommodate 6 or 7 trimarans measuring 22 metres long and 17 metres wide. It’s also true in sporting terms, with the need to construct a balanced circuit and some interesting legs, with around 3 days spent at sea between cities. Finally there’s the marketing aspect, with our desire to select cities whose image and notoriety are recognised on the international playing field, and who are keen to communicate their outward-looking attitude to the sea. We’ve also endeavoured to involve the Teams and their partners, who have guided the final decisions. Launching a new event is never easy, particularly today, but we’re proud of this very fine course, which will support the increase in power of the new Multi One Design Class”.
Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of the MOD70 Foncia: “This MOD70 version of the European Tour 2012 will be the second event of the season. It will be longer and more intensive than the Krys Ocean Race, but I bet you that the crew of Foncia will be very much into their stride! Added to that, the European Tour isn’t a complete unknown for me as I raced aboard Crédit Agricole, the winning boat in the first edition back in 1985. I sailed it again in 1993, aboard La Poste. It’s always a real thrill because there are a number of intriguing passages to be negotiated. The race zone really deserves to be highlighted! Alternating between offshore legs and inshore events appeals to me since it’ll give us the opportunity to show our different guests what the MOD 70 Foncia is all about during the stopovers. These moments of sharing and exchanges aboard our fantastic machines are always rich and interesting.”
Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the MOD70 Oman Sail : “Our MOD70s are capable of covering great distances in a short space of time so they’re really cut out for this type of course around Europe! For my part, I’ve already had the opportunity to compete in European races in 1993 and 1997. I have some very fond memories of them with some great battles on the water. I expect nothing less in this edition.
This European Tour really ties in with the agenda that my partner OMAN had in mind, which involves promoting tourism among the European public across the sultanate.”
Yann Guichard, skipper of the MOD70 Spindrift racing : “I’m more familiar with transatlantic events and this will be my first participation in a European Tour. I’m very enthusiastic about the idea of helming my MOD70 Spindrift Racing over this course, which will enable me to discover the race zones, particularly as regards the first leg between Kiel and Ireland. Another first for me is alternating between offshore and inshore races, especially over the course of a month! It’s going to be raced at a steady pace and we’ll have to be consistent and perform well, whatever the race format.”
Roland Jourdain, skipper of the MOD70 Veolia Environnement: “It promises to be an enthralling sail… Already at the time of the multihull, and also the monohull, all the racers adored the race. On a sporting level, it’s a superb mix of offshore and coastal courses. On a multihull we’re sure to have a ball!”
Stève Ravussin, skipper of the MOD70 Race for Water : “Germany is a great country for sailors, as it has a particularly important place on the map of Europe. As such I’m very happy and proud to be part of this first European Tour in Kiel. Adventure, speed and adrenalin, a mixture of spectacular offshore races and city races on an equal footing… it is the epitome of everything I love about sailing! In addition to the sports competition, I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness amongst adults and children about problems relating to water… Indeed, with the MOD 70 Race For Water, ambassador for the Multi One Attitude Foundation, we’re going to spread this message to the four corners of Europe as well as battling to sail some fantastic races!”
Sébastien Josse, skipper of the MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild Group : “T he European Tour is proposing an ambitious programme and it will be a difficult race. For three weeks we’re going to link together a series of offshore and city race formats at a steady pace and the team will have very little time to catch their breath. This second event of the 2012 season will showcase the crews’ stamina and their ability to adapt to the switches in format. The North-South route of the race is likely to provide us with some highly varied conditions. The northern part may give us some really lively conditions at that time of year, whilst the second part, in southern Europe, should prove to be milder. However, that’s just a hypothesis as the Mediterranean is never short of surprises and could very well dish out an entirely different scenario. The European Tour will be intense with a line-up of six honed crews after the Krys Ocean Race.”
The MOD70 European Tour 2012 in brief :
- First edition of the European Tour in MOD70s.
- 6 competing sailing teams (6 crew members per MOD70)
- 5,000 miles
- 5 countries visited: Germany (Kiel), Ireland, Portugal (Cascaïs), France (Marseille), Italy.
- 5 offshore races and 5 inshore events (city race and speed match)
Stopover schedule :
Kiel (Germany) from 29 August to 2 September
Ireland from 5 to 9 September
Cascaïs (Portugal) from 12 to 20 September
Marseille (France) from 23 to 30 September
Italy from 3 to 7 October
The multihull and the Course de l’Europe :
- 1st edition of the Course de l’Europe created by Gérard Petipas with the support of the European Community
- Start on 9 August
- 8 legs: from Kiel (Germany) to Porto Cervo (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Philipe Jeantot on Crédit Agricole
- Start on 12 July
- 8 legs from The Hague (Holland) to San Remo (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Daniel Gilard on Jet Services
- Start on 17 July
- 6 legs from Hamburg (Germany) to Toulon (France)
- Victory for Serge Madec on Jet Services V who won 5 of the 6 legs.
- Start on 12 May
- 6 legs from Lorient (France) to Santa Marguerita (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Laurent Bourgnon on R.M.O, just 93 seconds ahead of Mike Birch
- Start on 23 May
- 6 legs from La Rochelle (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
- Start on 20 May
- 7 legs from Venice (Italy) to London (England)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
- Start on 1st June
- 5 legs from Cherbourg (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
- 2 legs from Genoa (Italy) to Lorient (France)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuj
Dates to remember: 2011 / 2012
25 January 2012: Launching of the MOD70 SPINDRIFT RACING
12 april 2012: Launching of the MOD70 OMAN SAIL
January to May 2012: Launching of the MOD70 nr.7
Race Programme: 2012 / 2014
7 July 2012: Start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
2 September 2012: European Tour
June 2013: European Tour
November 2013 – April 2014: Ocean World Tour (6 stopovers, 5 oceans, 12 racing teams)
August 2014: KRYS OCEAN RACE
Having battled upwind for the last few days, it is a case of ‘TGI Friday’ for the only all female crew of the Barcelona World Race having finally been given some respite as they make progress in a south easterly direction. For Caffari and Corbella, this calmer period will allow them to check over GAES Centros Auditivos for any damage caused by the potentially boat breaking conditions they have been experiencing.
Early this morning, Caffari reported:
“What a difference a day makes! Life onboard is happier and easier. The sea state and weather makes us feel as if we are sailing somewhere completely different and the horrible upwind boat breaking conditions were just a figment of our imagination.”
The duo have also noticed a distinct drop in both sea and air temperature above and below deck as they make progress with the clean-up operation required as a result of the intense last few days.
Talking about what can be expected over the coming few days GAES Project Manager, Harry Spedding, said:
“The current weather forecast for the middle of the Barcelona World Race fleet continues to look complicated. GAES Centros Auditivos will be looking for a transition from upwind conditions to faster downwind. However to find these conditions they will probably need to stay further north than they would have preferred, and navigate through a complex trough formed between two high pressures and a low pressure system to the north. The high pressure systems are to the west and east of the girls’ current position, and the tactical decision will be based upon how quickly these systems move easterly around the Southern Ocean. No doubt the next 24 hours are going to be hard work for Dee and Anna.”
Virbac-Paprec 3 continues to lead the Barcelona World Race fleet with Mapfre and Estrella Damn sitting in second and third places respectively. At the 0900hrs ranking today, Caffari and Corbella onboard GAES Centros Auditivos were in 8th place, 222 miles ahead of Andy Meiklejohn & Wouter Verbraak on Hugo Boss
In what has amounted to a very intense, tactical ninth edition of the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, with very many transitions and changes to negotiate Roland Jourdain sailed an impeccable race, consistently choosing a routing for best wind pressure rather than taking unnecessary risks to cut miles. When he had the opportunity he consolidated to manage the fleet, keeping them directly behind him.
In some respects it was a leaders’ race and Jourdain was never out of the top three, at the front for ten of 13 days.
As they worked west after Ushant he chose to tack north later than Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air).
The key move was on the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd when he tacked north in better wind pressure, and by the following afternoon, while both Armel Le Cléac’h erred a little too far south and snared himself in light winds as did Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac 3) Jourdain was ahead, turning a deficit of 3 miles to a lead of 6 miles over that late afternoon.
After that Bilou was never overtaken. He was first to break through the front during Friday 5th and was able to emerge into the fast NE’ly conditions, his reward being a jump out to a 40 miles lead.
Le Cléac’h was first to gybe south on Saturday 6th, Jourdain held on and gained again as lined up to deal with Tomas, the tropical low.
Le Cléach’s early move took him south into less wind.
From here Jourdain has a lead of 55 miles on Thursday 11th when he has some 300 miles to Guadeloupe, and again his routing is spot-on. Le Cléach’s easterly position leaves him in lighter winds.
The leader’s benefit comes when he is into the light SW’ly headwinds, all the time with the fleet now in V formation behind him. And as Veolia Environnement reached the top of Guadeloupe he still had some 74 miles of margin over Brit Air.
Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) quotes: “ The decision to go in the North was not really easy to make. And then there were many transition zones to manage. At that times you needed to be absolutely full on. Bilou did very well in those situations, I believe I did it as well but just after him. He really sailed a perfect race.”
“ I’m happy with this second place. We had a really good season with Brit’Air She was not the newest boat but I knew her very well and I had spent a lot of time with her. We really did great things with this boat. We had a few second places (Vendée Globe, The Transat and now the Route du Rhum but they have all been good. In IMOCA, we will see the level rise again in the next years. Our Transat Jacques Vabre was a bit difficult, that was necessary to bounce back.”
“We had difficult decisions to make at the very beginning of the race. Youneeded to choose that option knowing that it would have consequences forthe 15 next days. When you see Michel and Arnaud both heading South at the time, that certainly gives you a few doubts. “
“ I’m really tired because of the numerous manœuvres required and also the speed to maintain, you need to hold on in those conditions you are on your knees to stack you sails. It’s a bit of a war.
“ I’m happy to have finished. In the first night I discovered I had water on the boat and I had lost one alternator. I had to save energy : shut down the computer, switch off the boat lights at night. I ran short of gazoil since yesterday. It meant I had no way to charge the batteries, I could not cant the keel either. So I am really happy to be here.
” If I have an entry on the Vendée Globe in 2012, I will use this boat but we will have worked on her to make some improvements. We have a few ideas now on how to save some weight, to modify the aft deck layout. Options you can take to increase the performance. To participate in the Vendée Globe that is important
” My best memory is at the start. I was a bit nervous, that’s usually the case when you start this kind of race and, as I was sailing by the Pointe du Groin, I realized how many people were standing there and watching us sail away. It was quite emotional and I felt very small.
Guillemot swoops for third place on the IMOCA Podium Marc Guillemot staged a podium raid within the last 60 miles of the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale transatlantic race stealing third place on the west coast of Guadeloupe when he sailed round the unfortunate long term tenant Jean-Pierre Dick whose Virbac-Paprec 3 was moving at less than half the pace that the IMOCA world champion was making, Arriving out of the north on Safran, having passed close to the east of Montserrat. Guillemot admitted his surprise at seeing the blue branded sails of Virbac-Paprec appear to his left, and when they were just over a mile apart he gybed away because Dick was clearly in a different wind, closer in to the island shore. Safran scarcely missed a beat and went on to passed the Basse Terre mark two and a half hours ahead of Dick
Guillemot, winner of last autumn’s Transat Jacques Vabre race to Costa Rica, paid tribute to both Roland Jourdain and Armel Le Cléac’h who respectively take the top two steps on the podium. But only two days ago Guillemot was back in fifth, behind Vincent Riou (PRB). Indeed on the 0800hrs ranking Sunday he was 28 miles behind deck, and as they converged at the Tête à l’Anglais at the top of the NW corner of the island, Guillemot was still some 20 miles behind.
The Safran solo skipper once more underlined how close the IMOCA Class is, not only highlighting that the races sailed by Jourdain and Le Cléac’h, but how little mistakes or breakdowns escalate to become significant deficits. In the early part of the race Guillemot was compromised by a problem with the halyard hook on his Solent, and also lost a spinnaker overboard.
Racing in his fourth Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, Guillemot finished second overall in 2002 on Biscuits La Trinitaine, when only three multihulls finished.
Breaking the finish line off Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe at 01hrs 30mins 02secs today (Monday, CET/Paris) (Monday 00 hrs 30mins 02secs GMT/ Monday 20hrs 30mins 02secs local time (CET -4hrs)) Marc Guillemot on the IMOCA 60 Safran took third place in the IMOCA Class in the 9th Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale solo Transatlantic race which started from Saint-Malo, France at 1302hrs (CET) Sunday 31st October.
The elapsed time for Safran is 14 days 12hours 28minutes 02seconds
His average speed is 11.55kts for the distance he sailed of 3955 miles.
Over the theoretical course distance of 3539 miles Marc Guillemot’s average speed is 10.16knots
Guillemot finished 19hrs 17mins 06 secs after IMOCA Open 60 winner Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement
Jean-Pierre Dick finished this morning at 04h 13m 13s 9 (CET) taking fourth place, disappointed to have lost out to Marc Guillemot for third, but the Barcelona Race winner suffered with electrical problems the whole way, his battery system failing. His dockside de-brief suggests he feels he should have taken more time to re-assess and not be too head down in the problems, easy to say at this stage no doubt, but clearly he has some work to do on Virbac-Paprec 3, with only limited lead time to the Barcelona start and the boat on delivery by ship. Here is a short summary of what he had to say:
” We need to work on the boat so that don’t I spend my time head down trying to solve problems. The race was really physical and full on for me and I could not even take time to do other things besides what I was having to deal with, far less or think about me, to try to manage myself.
I’ve always been full on, so trying to manage my race and the problems that were happening all the time was not good for me . But overall I believe that I sailed the majority of the race in the top rankings which I am reasonably satisfied with. I have a few problems to sort out to control the boat when reaching. I need to work it out. I won’t even mention the batteries! Even only today they cut our four or five times.
But the basics of it are good. We have some time to tune the boat for the Barcelona World Race and then hopefully the boat and I for the Vendee Globe, that will be the important one for this boat.
Around the island Marco’s choices were impressive. For me I did not press the pedal at the right moment. I was expecting a different wind system. And that is frustrating, disappointing. But every setback allows you to make progress.
My knowledge of the island has improved a lot for the next Route du Rhum!
Crossing the finish line at 06h31m04s (CET/Paris(05h31m04s GMT) Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) took sixth place in the IMOCA Open 60 class, some 2d 00h 18m 08s after class winner Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement). The southern routing, one which also cost him dearly a year ago in the Transat Jacques Vabre, worked for the Ultimate class but this time it clearly did not work for the double Vendée Globe winner with his new VPLP/Verdier design. Desjoyeaux has had time to analyse his result and the way forwards, making ready for the Barcelona World Race which starts 31st December. “It would have been good if they had left us some wind for the finish because in the end it was bit too long at the end. Everyone says it’s a good trick to head off to the sun, but I went too early. We had looked at it and there were good chances of passing over the top, but it was on the Monday morning I took the decision. That was the best routing on the morning, I was on a good shift on the left with Kito and I wanted a trip to the south, I had wanted to go there for a while. I did what I wanted. From time to time you try things when you don’t know if they will be good or not so good. I expected to have 50 miles of deficit in the south of the Azores amticyclone and it was 150. There the mass was said.
I had the toolbox open once for a small allen key to tighten a small screw on the rudder, but I have a list of things to be improved. Speed-wise when you are on your own you are a world champion. The boat is good it was just important to learn how to put it in the right place. I wanted to go to the sun, I went to the sun.”
“He is a great winner. He is a double winner, and what more can you say? He positioned himself, always attacked, he sailed super good. He did not hesitate to push when he needed to and cover the fleet when he needed to. He did the whole race without any technical hitches and that allowed him to focus on his route and to make a beautiful race, more especially because there was a race. I have had time to digest this, now we move on. Life goes on. This is a beautiful boat, and I sufficiently happy with what I saw. We will turn the page.”
Round the World sailing legend Roland Jourdain has thrown his hat into the ring and will be entering his Extreme 40, Veolia Environnement, into the Extreme Sailing Series at Cowes Week this year, bringing the fleet to nine in total. One of the World’s very best ocean racing skippers, Jourdain is a two-times IMOCA World Champion and has won the Transat Jacques Vabre twice as well as the infamous.
Swapping long-haul ocean racing for the short racecourses the circuit has become renowned for will certainly challenge the skipper from Quimper, France, who for the past 15 years has been focussing on long-course monohull racing since being crowned Formula 40 World Champion in 1989, the catamaran made famous in the Hollywood movie, The Thomas Crowne Affair.