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Vendée Globe Concludes

February 22, 2013 – Les Sables d'Olonne


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

Alessandro may have earned last place in the 2012-13 Vendée Globe, but he's still a winner for having finished one of the world's most grueling competitions. © 2014 Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

Time flies when you're watching some of the most talented solo racers sail around the world. It seems hardly any time has passed since the November start of the Vendée Globe, the notorious singlehanded nonstop race around the world. But Alessandro di Benedetto's (Team Plastique) crossing of the finish line today at Les Sables d'Olonne, just 26 days behind winner François Gabart (the shortest-ever gap between first and last place), concluded the 2012-13 edition of the race.

Of course, the skippers who spent between 78 and 104 days trying to keep their boats — and themselves — from falling apart over the 24,000-mile course probably feel differently. We watched as the fleet of 20 racers dwindled down to almost half, and a few of those were big question marks until they actually crossed the line. There wasn't a mile of the course where any racer was safe from having his or her race ended in the most dramatic fashion — and dramatically is exactly how nine of them ended.

What makes this race so compelling to follow? It could be the unimaginable amount of courage each racer musters just to cross the start line, or the tremendous potential for disaster they face every moment of every day, or the intense competition between them, or the amazing sense of accomplishment we know each one feels as they cross the finish line. It could be any of those things, but it's most likely all of them. We fret for the racers, we bemoan their tragedies, and we cheer for them all. We become invested in their success, because deep down a part of us wishes we were out there too, sailing the open seas responsible for no one but ourselves. 

You'll find our final recap of the race in the March issue of Latitude 38, due out on March 1. In the meantime, you can catch up on all the news at www.vendeeglobe.com/en.

Vendée Globe 2012-2013 final leaderboard

1- François Gabart (FRA/MACIF) 78d02h18m
2- Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA/Banque Populaire) 78d05h33m
3- Alex Thomson (GBR/Hugo Boss) 80d19h23m 
4- Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA/Virbac-Paprec 3) 86d03h03m 
5- Jean Le Cam (FRA/SynerCiel) 88d00h12m
6- Mike Golding (GBR/Gamesa) 88d06h36m 
7- Dominique Wavre (SUI/Mirabaud) 90d03h14m
8- Arnaud Boissières (FRA/AKENA Vérandas) 91d02h09m
9- Bertrand De Broc (FRA/Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projets) 92d17h10m
10- Tanguy De Lamotte (FRA/Initiatives-coeur) 98d21h56m
11- Alessandro Di Benedetto (FRA-ITA/Team Plastique) 104d02h34m

DNF
Marc Guillemot (FRA/Safran) lost his keel on November 10
Kito de Pavant (FRA/Groupe Bel) hit a fishing boat on November 12
Louis Burton (FRA/Bureau Vallée) hit a fishing boat on November 14
Sam Davies (GBR/Savéol) dismasted on November 15
Jérémie Beyou (FRA/Maître CoQ) keel jack problem on November 17
Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL/ENERGA) autopilot issue on November 21
Vincent Riou (FRA/PRB) hit a UFO on November 24
Javier Sanso (ESP, ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered) capsized on February 3

DSQ - Bernard Stamm (SUI/Cheminées Poujoulat)

- latitude / ladonna

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Tholke v. Energy Team Deal

February 22, 2013 – San Francisco

Remember back at the end of September when the French Energy Team's AC45 cat broke loose from its mooring off the San Francisco waterfront and drifted onto the rocky western shore of Treasure Island? As you'll recall, local boater Todd Tholke retrieved it and towed it to safety. Initially, he was kind of a hero for doing so. But that only lasted until he claimed big bucks for his efforts. You guessed it, the flap ended up in a lawsuit.


Now that the dust has settled, we hope to see the Energy Team AC45 back in the Bay for future World Series races © 2014 Gilles Martin-Raget

We're happy to report that a settlement agreement has been reached, but don't expect to see the details, as the terms are meant to remain confidential. 

The law firm Edgcomb Law Group, LLC released the following statement this week: "The owners of the America's Cup World Series team, Energy Team SARL, and San Francisco sailor Todd Tholke, jointly announce they have confidentially resolved all claims and counter-claims in the matter of Todd Tholke v. The Sailing Vessel Energy Team AC45, Civ. No. 12-05162, Northern District of California. Energy Team thanks Todd Tholke for salvaging its vessel."

Antoine Mermod, Energy Team’s technical director, was quoted as saying, "This is a very happy day for the team and for its supporters. We wish to thank the U.S. Coast Guard for its assistance in the salvage as well as the team’s countless supporters during the process.” Further good news is that this experience has not soured the team on returning to San Francisco Bay to compete in future World Series events.

- latitude / andy

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Latitude 38 Delivered to Your Desktop

February 22, 2013 – World Wide Web


We're proud to have been publishing Latitude 38 since 1977 -- long before Al Gore invented the internet.
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC

If you're reading this, you're obviously a fan of 'Lectronic Latitude, but did you know it's an extension of something much, much bigger? Latitude 38 is the premier West Coast sailing magazine, packing more stories and photos into each issue than many sailing magazines combined, and it's completely free! If you've never checked it out, you can grab a copy up and down the West Coast, including Hawaii and Mexico, at marine retailers, boatyards and marinas.


You can read the magazine cover-to-cover via the Issuu viewer or download it directly to your computer.
Photo Latitude / LaDonna
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC

If you're outside the area, or have a hard time finding the magazine, you can download it — and issues going as far back as May 2007 — directly from our site ... for FREE! You'll get all the same photos (which are particularly spectacular on a computer screen), stories and ads that are in the paper copy, delivered right to your desktop. And now you can choose between downloading a PDF directly to your computer or reading the issue online via publication viewing site Issuu. Check out the latest issue today.

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Weekend Racing Preview

February 22, 2013 – San Francisco Bay

On Saturday, Redwood City's Sequoia YC start their four-race Singlehanded Series on the South Bay, and Island YC runs their Sadie Hawkins Race for women skippers. Sharing space on the Estuary will be Encinal YC's Small Boat Winter Series.

Wile E Coyote
Jibing the pole on Dan Pruzan's Express 27 Wile E Coyote, one of the invitees to BYC's Winners Race. © 2014 / www.norcalsailing.com

On Sunday, Berkeley YC's Champion of Champions/Winners Trophy Race gives the top finishers of BYC's Midwinter series a chance to race against each other. Thirty-four boats have been invited to race in three divisions. The forecast for the weekend calls for 10-20 knots of wind on Saturday, moderating on Sunday, building swell, and sunny skies.

Ragtime
Trig Liljestrand's J/90 Ragtime placed second in Division A in BYC's Saturday series and first in the Sunday series, and so will race in the Red Division this Sunday. © 2014 / www.norcalsailing.com

Sneaking a peek into early March, we see, besides several local midwinter series wrapping up, free boat rides at Richmond YC's Sail a Small Boat Day on Saturday the 2nd, and Latitude 38's own Spring Crew List Party on Wednesday, March 6, at Golden Gate YC. The Notices of Race have been posted for RYC's Big Daddy Regatta and St. Francis YC's Spring Dinghy on March 9-10.

Balboa YC in Newport Beach is accepting Requests for Invitation from the U.S. and abroad for two-person youth teams (under 21) for the Governor's Cup. The International Junior Match Racing Championship will be sailed on July 16-21 in purpose-built Governor's Cup 21 boats. Go to www.balboayachtclub.com and click on Youth Sailing then Governor's Cup for everything you need to know.

- latitude / chris

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