Not all competitors are simply ironing out the final details before the race start in November

Whether they have qualified or not, those taking part in the forthcoming Vendee Globe have preferred to take an active holiday: fine-tuning their boat, PR operations, working on their physical condition… Boats and sailors both have to go through a lot of work before a welcome break that many have planned for August.

Not all of the candidates for the next Vendee Globe find themselves in the same situation. There are those, who having qualified and had some satisfactory races at the start of the season, are now working on the final details. At the other extreme, some are still having to carry out their qualifying passage, if they want to line up on 9th November. That is the case for Marc Thiercelin, the skipper of the brand new DCNS, who has set out on his non-stop 2500-mile qualifying run, taking into account the fact that Marc took part and was ranked in the 2000 Vendee Globe.

It is better with two
Especially when you have the same boat at your disposal. That is what Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron said to each other. After a week of sailing together in Quiberon Bay, they have set out on a single-handed voyage to check out their boats. Both yachtsmen have headed out west towards a waypoint they decided on together. A good way for each of them to pick up some ideas that will probably be extremely useful for the final summer refit.

A balancing act for Sebastien Josse after his qualification
The skipper of BT obtained his qualification during the Artemis Transat. Handicapped by a mainsail headgear problem, while in the lead, Jojo found himself forced to head back to Lorient. However, the distance he covered in the race was sufficient for him to qualify and this has since been confirmed by the race directors. With this good news in hand, Sebastien has gone off to the International Moth World Championships taking place between 5th and 11th July, for those foil dinghies, which are worthy descendants of the hydropter. However, he is not really hoping for a great result, as the yachtsman is still a novice in sailing these machines… Nevertheless, we can be certain that the event will in any case be excellent physical preparation. So it is useful, as well as enjoyable.

The British fight it out around the Isle of Wight
The race around the island is one of the classics of the British season. In this year of the Vendee Globe, no fewer than six IMOCA monohulls will be lining up. Mike Golding on Ecover 3, Jonny Malbon on Artemis Ocean Racing 2, Dee Caffari on Aviva, Brian Thompson on Pindar and Simon Clay on Artemis Ocean Racing 1 will be battling it out against a single Frenchman, none other than Sebastien Josse on BT. For this special occasion, the yachtsman will be accompanied on board by Ellen Mac Arthur. So even if he wins, British honour will be safe. We shall know the result on the evening of 5th August.

Derek Hatfield looking for additional funding
The Canadian yachtsman has not yet managed to secure a budget for the start of the race. While many Canadians have backed his project, he is still missing 500,000 $, required to ensure he can set out comfortably from Les Sables d’Olonne. Quite a modest sum for a company, which would like to improve its visibility in Canada.

A race against the clock for Jonny Malbon
The skipper of Artemis Ocean Racing has still not qualified for the Vendee Globe. The construction of the boat and in particular, the search for a new mast have delayed the British skipper’s preparations still further, after he was unable to take part in the Artemis Transat. In order to qualify, he will have to sail a course drawn up by the race directors passing several waypoints before 31st August. The clock is ticking…