Vendee Globe: Record Breaking 2016, continues into New Year..

Monday, 02 January 2017


Technical advances over the last few years, has allowed sailors, to reach new boundaries and break all sorts of records, by huge margins. A month wouldn't go by without 3 or 4 record breaking runs, appearing in the World Speed Record Section. It has been a very unusual 2016 on the ground, but at least on the water, it should go down, as a Record Breaking Year. Going into 2017 will be no different. It's the only sport that can improve the times by up to 20% each time, the race is run or an attempt is made.

In what World Sailing described as 'Silliness in the Southern Ocean' the Vendee Globe racers, were joined by Thomas Coville solo circumnavigation, Francis Joyon IDEC Sport fully crewed Jules Verne attempt and for a short time by the courageous Rolex Sydney Hobart Race competitors. All these events are linked and feature heavily in this newsletter...

Even sailors from the Asian region, are embracing these new technologies and taking up the challenge on a global scale. By the time you receive this News, David Liddell's Phuket built 14m Stealth 14GT cat WOW and an all Indian women crew on the Navy's Van de Stadt 56 Mhadei have started on the 14th edition of the 3,600nm (6,000km) Cape 2 Rio Race.

Meanwhile back home, join the yachting crowd to ring in the New Year, at the Royal Langkawi Int. Regatta (January 9th - 14th) and Neptune Regatta (Jan 28th - Feb 4th) to complete the Western Circuit AYGP pointscoring events. Also held on the same weekend this month, is the Nongsa Regatta (January 20th - 22nd) which is a good warm up before the Neptune and the SB20 Asian Grand Slam & Pacific Championship (January 19 – 22) in Singapore, for one design racers to hone their skills.

In the AUSTRAL - ASIAN NEWS readers can view the Vendee Globe video and possibly the closest you’ll ever come, to racing in Southern Ocean. The World Match Racing Tour starts with a triple header in Perth. The Inaugural Sail Maldives Rally, the largest yacht rally to ever take place in the Indian Ocean, kicks off at Uligamu Island on Jan 20th. Details and NOR released for the Freo to Bali Race starting on May 6th.

Speedsters in our sailing community, take a look at the next generation of America's Cup craft being launched this month or sit back and review our complete coverage in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race Updates. Where the Chinese team on Wang Bin's Cookson 50 UBox, jointly skippered by Charles Caudrelier & Lei Wang with crew from the VOR Dongfeng Race Team onboard, are the best performing Asian yacht and earned them 3rd IRC Overall (RYCT Trophy & Storm Bay Cup), 1st ORCi Division 1 (Charleston Trophy), 1st ORCi Overall and bagged the Top Navigator ORCi trophy, on their first attempt.

International News - Francis Joyon's fuIly crewed Idec Sport set off again around the world and our condolences go to "The Great Dane" Paul Elvstrøm who has sailed off into the sunset. Can't wait for the 52 SUPER SERIES to get going again, so we have published the 2017 Calendar.

Now for this months outstanding World Speed records starts with Thomas Coville setting a new solo sub-50-day World Record - Armel Le Cléach Banque Populaire smashed the Vendee Globe reference for the passage from Les Sables d'Olonne to Cape Leeuwin and first to pass Cape Horn - Anthony Bell’s 100ft supermaxi Perpetual Loyal claimed the Sydney to Hobart line honours and smashed Wild Oats XI previous race record by 4 hours 51 minutes and 52 seconds. - Phil Sharp (GBR) on 40ft Monohull "Imerys" sets a new Cowes to Dinard record.

Apart from the Double GC32 capsize on Sydney Harbour during the final of the Extreme Sailing Series, the rest of the "Unluckiest sailors of the month" are from this Vendee Globe edition, where 10 skippers out of 29 starters have already abandoned. - Kojiro Shiraishi broken mast - Sebastien Josse out with wing damage - Thomas Ruyant waterlogged - De Pavant rescued at sea.

Wishing you enjoyable sailing and stay safe, where ever you may roam...

Capt Marty Rijkuris

Last Updated ( Monday, 02 January 2017 )