Saturday, 23 March 2013

Vendée Globe : Comments further to queries received in regard to the Interview with Bernard Stamm, Cheminées Poujoulat

Bernard Stamm aboard Cheminées Poujoulat. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co

by Anne Hinton

It is usual that any boat will work to its maximum performance only if the design criteria match with the way in which it is sailed.

Bernard Stamm was clearly sailing the boat very well prior to the issues with the hydrogenerator, etc, and the top performance was shown by the fact that he was fighting for a podium position in the Vendée Globe until that point – and once again rapidly overtook other boats after his initial repairs.

It is usual for every team and every sponsor to reassess their involvement in any project at the end of a cycle of that project. It is extremely rare for any sponsor to become involved with any project before the ground rules are laid out (the current situation in regard to the IMOCA class and the next Vendée Globe), as also applies to sailing teams.

There are a number of pros and cons with the IMOCA class issues on the table at present, but the views expressed by Bernard Stamm are directly reflective of those put forward by many others to whom the writer has spoken more informally, ranging from boat preparateurs to those who have both competed in the Vendée Globe in the past and newcomers who wish to do so in the future.

The case for a more one design IMOCA class for the next Vendée Globe was put by the class President, Luc Talbourdet, at the Café de la Marine du Télègramme two weeks ago and also in discussions with the writer last week. This article will be published on next week.

The IMOCA class will vote on the rule changes on the table – both a more one design class rule, and also changes to the keel construction – on 19th April 2013.