Marc Guillemot completes his 1500-mile qualifying passage ahead of round the world race

Marc Guillemot has just obtained his ticket for the forthcoming Vendée Globe. The skipper from La Trinité sur Mer has completed his 1500-mile single-handed qualifying passage. In strong winds and rough seas, resulting from a summer low in the Bay of Biscay, he was able to test the latest modifications made to his Safran monohull. Marc has now fulfilled all requirements to allow Safran to line up at the start of the Vendée Globe on 9 November.

“We sailed with a crew down to Vigo. I then set sail alone West, before going back down to Spain and then climbing back up to la Trinité-sur-Mer,” explained Marc.

“There was quite a bit of wind with a deep low passing over the Bay of Biscay – the same one that in fact led the organisers of the Figaro single-handed event to shorten the course for the final leg of the race. It was a very interesting trip in conditions and on a point of sail that I hadn’t really tested. You always learn a lot when you are sailing alone on board such a boat. Each mile you sail teaches you a little bit more.”

British sailor Jonny Malbon, onboard Artemis Ocean Racing II, set sail last Thursday (14 August) on their Vendée Globe qualifier. He has until 1 September to complete the compulsory 4000-mile passage.

After leaving the English Channel in fine weather with light winds, Jonny headed up the coast of Ireland where the wind strengthened to around forty knots. “The boat crashing off waves, keel juddering, creaks and cracks, all lead to a very stressful time,” reported Jonny.

“This was amplified for me, by the fact that the boat is effectively brand new, and we have not had time to test anything with team, yet alone – alone. So every creak, crack bang and slam are cause for concern. I spent most of the day running around checking stuff to make everything was ok – so far, so good!”