Gabart and Cléac´h Battle it Out in the Vendée Globe

French sailors Francois Gabart aboard Macif and Armel Cléac´h aboard Banque Populaire are battling it out in an upwind struggle through the Atlantic Ocean to the finish line. Only 59.2nm behind Gabart, Cléac´h is keeping west in hopes of catching a favorable wind shift.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

French sailors Francois Gabart aboard Macif and Armel Cléac´h aboard Banque Populaire are battling it out in an upwind struggle through the Atlantic Ocean to the finish line. Only 59.2nm behind Gabart, Cléac´h is keeping west in hopes of catching a favorable wind shift. Though Gabart blasted through previous speed records early in the race, both boats have slowed dramatically since the start.

“We now have left Les Sables more than 50 days ago, we sailed over 15,000 miles, but this is the first time we found [ourselves] upwind in strong winds,” said Gabart. “It’s tough... and it's not going very fast so far.”

While the pace of these boats has slowed, the competition has not. The match race is too close to call, and upwind tactical decisions will determine the final outcome. Both sailors are focused solely on their course.

“Our roads converge with Armel, just like an old couple... Please don’t hurt your brain with our distances to the finish. We’ve been sailing upwind for a few days, so the numbers don’t mean anything at the moment. Be patient and you’ll find out who is going faster,” said Gabart.

To track the fleet’s progress, visit vendeeglobe.org

Photos courtesy of Vendée Globe/Jean-Marie Liot

Related

210115-AC36

Prada Cup: Brits Take First Two Races

Who saw that coming? After getting skunked in December, INEOS Team UK has swept the first two races in the Prada Cup elimination series of the 36th America’s Cup  Racing took place on racecourse “C,” sheltered between Auckland’s North Head and Bastion Point to take advantage of ...read more

ac-2048x

Hutchinson: 36th America’s Cup will be a Close On

On the eve of the Prada Cup challenger series, the official start of the 36th America’s Cup, New York Yacht Club American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson says it’s anyone’s game. "As we've seen in the last week, everyone's gotten faster," said Hutchinson said at the event’s ...read more

Episode1_Thumbnail4_00000_00000_00000_00000

Sailing Docuseries Released Online

Endless Media's Reaching Reality is the story of three friends, a 24-foot sailboat and 1,200 miles. With candor and humor, this series proves that you don't need to be an expert or a millionaire to cast off on the journey of a lifetime. Produced by Emmy-award winner Barry ...read more

01-LEAD-nder-sail-3

Prepping for a Transatlantic

Growing up on the coast of northern England, I dreamed about crossing oceans on my own boat. Like most of us, though, education, a family and a career took precedence, and before I knew it, we had mortgages, young children and endless work obligations. We also became landlocked, ...read more

210111-Vendee

Vendée Update: Josche Forced to Abandon

A week ago, the canting keel on Isabelle Jocshe's IMOCA 60, MACSF, failed. She managed a jury rig with a replacement ram, which held the keel centerline and allowed her to keep sailing, but with a major hit to her speed potential. Jocshe had been in 8th at the time and remained ...read more

rudder

Vendee Update: Emergency Rudder Replacement

A devastated Hare talks about the breakage Pip Hare (Medallia) is back in the game after an emergency rudder repair deep in the Southern Ocean. “Every part of my body aches. I have bloody knuckles on every finger, bruises all down my legs and muscles I didn't know I had that ...read more

Oracle-RBYACFEVD3_2870

PRADA Cup Pairings Announced

The schedule for the PRADA Cup has been revealed as a multitiered extravaganza featuring over a month of racing, stretching from January 15 through February 22. First, the three teams—American Magic, INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli—will face off in a 12-race, six-day ...read more

01-LEAD-Opener-ETNZ1_-106_silo

The 36th America's Cup

A Superbowl is a Superbowl, and a World Series is a World Series. Sure, the names of the players and the teams change from year-to-year, but otherwise, the game pretty much remains the same. Not so the America’s Cup. Still, in many ways a hot mess left over from the days of Queen ...read more