Limbering up for the Vendee Globe

Jonny Malbon has set sail on his qualifier for next November’s Vendee Globe solo round-the-world-race and admits that it is not easy in the North Atlantic, which is living up to its reputation: huge waves in strong westerlies. Artemis, the British yachtsman’s 60-footer is going through a very stressful period.

The same is true of Vincent Riou, who has suffered one stroke of bad luck after another: after retiring from The Artemis Transat following a collision with a cetacean, Vincent fitted a new keel in Halifax and set sail back to France on a 3500-mile qualifier, as laid down in the rules.

This time, it was a collision with a container that was to lead to a leak, forcing the yachtsman to cut short his voyage. Vincent will have to sail another 400 miles to qualify before 1st October. A very annoying incident, but this does not appeared to have affected the morale of the winner of the last race. In 2004, a certain Jean Le Cam had to carry out his qualifier at the last minute, but this did not stop him from being the runner-up in the Vendee Globe.