Vendée Globe: On Water and Online
Published on January 11th, 2017
(January 11, 2017; Day 67) – Life in the lead of the Vendée Globe has stabilized as French sailor Armel Le Cléac’h has almost doubled his lead on arch-rival Alex Thomson after finding breeze to the west of the Cape Verde islands.
After several days of painful progress through the Doldrums that allowed Thomson to close the gap to under 100 nautical miles, Le Cléac’h was this morning 180nm ahead of the Brit, a lead that has grown throughout the day.
As this duo fights it out in the North Atlantic, the Virtual Vendée Globe roars on as well. The rankings have six French entries in the top ten, though first and second is currently held by Australia and New Zealand, respectively.
France, with more than 415,552 players, is the most represented country on the internet game. One hundred ninety-nine countries with at least one player are presently on the oceans and are fighting in the Atlantic, the Pacific or maybe, even in the Indian Oceans.
What’s the Top 10 of this ranking?
Switzerland, with 6,555 players climbs on the podium’s second step, ahead of Spain and its 6,246 players. The United States is 4th with 4,632 competitors, just ahead of UK, represented by 4,626 players. Then come Belgium (4,611), Italy (4,047), Canada (3,274), Germany (2,466) and finally Holland (1,644) is closing this Top 10.
The first country from the African continent is Morocco with 394 players, slightly ahead of South Africa and its 354 registered players. Ivory Coast, Gabon, Namibia and Kenya are also represented with around 60 players for each of them.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in South America, Argentina is first with 1,343 players and ranks as 12th of the most represented countries. Brazil comes in second position with 657 players; then come Chile (115 players), Venezuela (92), Columbia (75), Peru (48) and Uruguay (35). In Asia, Hong Kong and Japan are nip and tuck as 31st and 32nd with respectively 262 and 247 players. China is 3rd on this continent with 223 players. Afghanistan is 52nd with 108 players.
It’s hard to list them all here, but by running down the ranking, small countries are also in the game like Micronesia and its 2 players as well as Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi or Samoa. With one player, 6 other countries are also in the Virtual Vendée Globe adventure: Chad, Comoros, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Soudan and Tajikistan. Cape Verde, which the competitors are currently passing, is represented also and is 120th with 14 players.
Ranking (Top 5 of 29 as of 22:00 FR)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), 2163 nm to finish
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), 253.13 nm to leader
3. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), 784.65 nm
4. StMichel-Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), 1259.34 nm
5. Finistère Mer Vent, Jean Le Cam (FRA), 1422.73 nm
The eighth Vendée Globe, which began November 6 from Les Sables d’Olonn, France, is the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance. Twenty-nine skippers representing four continents and ten nations set sail on IMOCA 60s in pursuit of the record time set by François Gabart in the 2012-13 race of 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes.
For the first time in the history of the event, seven skippers will set sail on IMOCA 60s fitted with foils: six new boats (Banque Populaire VIII, Edmond de Rothschild, Hugo Boss, No Way Back, Safran, and StMichel-Virbac) and one older generation boat (Maitre Coq). The foils allow the boat to reduce displacement for speed gains in certain conditions. It will be a test to see if the gains can topple the traditional daggerboard configuration during the long and demanding race.
November 12, Day 7 – Tanguy de Lamotte, Initiatives Coeur, masthead crane failure
November 19, Day 14 – Bertrand de Broc, MACSF, UFO collision
November 22, Day 17 – Vincent Riou, PRB, UFO collision
November 24, Day 19 – Morgan Lagravière, Safran, UFO collision
December 4, Day 29 – Kojiro Shiraishi, Spirit of Yukoh, dismasted
December 6, Day 31 – Kito de Pavant, Bastide Otio, UFO collision
December 7, Day 32 – Sébastien Josse, Edmond de Rothschild, foil damage
December 18, Day 43 – Thomas Ruyant, Le Souffle du Nord, UFO collision
December 24, Day 49 – Stéphane Le Diraison, Compagnie du Lit – Boulogne Billancourt, dismasted
December 24, Day 49 – Paul Meilhat, SMA, keel ram failure
January 1, Day 57 – Enda O’Coineen, Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland, dismasted
Source: Vendee Globe