Photo: Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendee Globe

7th place and 10th lap of the planet for Wavre

Impressive record for Swiss Vendee Globe skipper

Friday February 8th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

Dominique Wavre and his IMOCA 60 Mirabaud crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe at 15:16:42 UTC to take seventh place behind Mike Golding's Gamesa. The Swiss skipper's elapsed time is 90 days 3 hours 14 minutes 42 seconds at an average speed on the course of 11.3 knots. However he sailed 27,395.82 miles at an average speed of 12.7 knots.

Like Mike Golding, Wavre, 57, has now finishing three Vendée Globes from four starts, and perhaps most impressively this represents his tenth round the world voyage - an impressive record for the dedicated, passionate Swiss sailor who has shown once again that he can compete at the very top level.

Wavre’s project revolves around his family, enjoying the help and support of his partner Michèle Paret and daughter Magali. Paret has been his co-skipper in the two Barcelona World Races while Magali looks after the logistics. Based in La Rochelle, Wavre’s campaigns are meticulously prepared and, like his contemporaries Jean Le Cam and Mike Golding, he preferred to do his training miles on his own rather than pair up with any sparring partners.

Own pace

Since just after the start Wavre has had to accept that he would not match the latest generation IMOCA 60s, but instead ended up focussing on the fight against Le Cam and Golding. As the leaders extended inexorably away, the 'oldies' had a great fight among themselves, the group having the utmost respect for one another and with collectively more circumnavigations under their belt than all the rest of the Vendee Globe competitors combined.

While the weather systems worked out better for the leaders, especially in the transition from the South Atlantic to the Indian where the leaders jumped on a front while the oldies struggled in lighter winds of an area of high pressure. But Wavre remained in the hunt with Golding and Le Cam.

The trio enjoyed a great, sustained battle across the Indian Ocean until south of Australia when Le Cam slipped ahead hanging on the favourable winds ahead of a depression for longer.

Wavre tenth Cape Horn rounding was hard won. In previous races he had enjoyed the freedom to head deep into the Southern Ocean, but while he has appreciated the safety afforded by the ice gates he admitted missing the days of old when he could sail his own course. The constricting effects of having to pass north of the ice gates more often than not coincided with ridges trapping or at best slowing Mirabaud.

From Cape Horn up the Atlantic, Wavre admitted that he could not remember a South Atlantic as difficult. The winds proved inconsistent, and infuriatingly didn’t match the weather files, with at times boat breaking seas. Wavre, along with le Cam, Golding, Javier Sanso and Arnaud Boissières, struggle in the light upwind conditions and high pressure after Cape Horn, from which Golding and le Cam escaped extending away from him.

In finishing seventh, Wavre has put in another solid racen and who would bet against him being back once again in four years time?

The Race of Dominique Wavre in figures
- The greatest distance covered in 24 hours: 437.52 kts 20th December
- Les Sables d’Olonne to the Equator: 11d 20h 43mn (record held by Jean Le Cam in 2004-2005 10d 11h 28mn)
- Equator - Good Hope: 12d 17h 10min (JP Dick 12j02h40mn record)
- Good Hope - Cape Leeuwin: 14d 20h 50min (record F Gabart 11j 06h 40mn)
- Cape Leeuwin - Cape Horn: 20d 11h 33mn (F Gabart 17d 18h record 35 mn)
- Cape Horn - Equator: 16d 21h 26mn (record 13d 19h 28mn F Gabart)
- Equator - Les Sables d'Olonne: 13d07h32m05s



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