The latest Juan K Open 60

Mark Lloyd /
Bernard Stamm gives us the guided tour to his new Cheminees Poujoulat
Open 60 skipper Bernard Stamm returns next year for his fourth crack at the Vendee Globe. While the supremely cool Swiss sailor has two victories in the Velux 5 Oceans under his belt, any sort of result in the non-stop singlehanded round the world race has so far eluded him. His first attempt in the 2000-1 race, aboard the Pierre Rolland-designed Armor-Lux, which he had painstakingly built himself, was a little premature and Stamm pulled out just nine days in with steering problems. On a positive note, his retirement enabled him to head to New York from where we ended up setting a new fully crewed west to east monohull transatlantic record time of 8 days 20 hours and 56 minutes, beating the previous record set by the ketch Mari Cha III, a boat more than twice as big. Stamm's chances for the 2004-5 Vendee Globe were scuppered, a few months prior to the start when his yacht’s keel broke off near Newfoundland while competing in the Transat (OSTAR) and he was unable to repair the boat in time. In 2008-9, equipped with a new boat - Jean-Pierre Dick’s first Virbac-Paprec - Stamm was in the hunt, but on attempting to put into the Kerguelens to fix some rudder problems the boat ran aground and was irreparably damaged. So could it be fourth time lucky for Stamm in the Vendee Globe? Certainly on paper he is looking formidable. After a self-build and then a second hand boat, his third IMOCA 60 is some weapon in the form of a brand new Cheminees Poujoulat, designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian and built in Switzerland by Decision SA. Aside from having been responsible for several of Pierre Fehlmann’s Whitbread maxis, Decision also built all of Alinghi’s America’s Cup boats, including their giant catamaran Alinghi 5. Significantly on this