Brian Thompson won Cape2Rio on the former Prince de Bretagne with a South African team

Brian Thompson: “I have always had the ambition to do the solo Jules Verne”

Brian Thompson holds more ocean sailing records than any other British sailor, around the world with Steve Fosset in 2004 and in 2012 with Loick Peyron on Banque Populaire V. He was on Mike Samderson’s winning ABN AMRO crew in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-6 and raced to sixth place on the 2008-9 Vendée Globe. Right now he enjoys a niche as the ‘go to’ super reliable man in what is proving to be an active group of Multi 70s and recently won Cape2Rio victory on the former Prince de Bretagne. Tip & Shaft caught up with Thompson…..

Antoine Mermod prédit une année faste pour la classe Imoca

Antoine Mermod: “We are far from being concerned about The Ocean Race”

After a 2019 season which finished with the Transat Jacques Vabre victory of Charlie Dalin and Yann Eliès, the IMOCA class is setting up for an intense, exciting 2020. It starts with two Spring Transats,  (The Transat CIC and New York- Vendée) and then, of course, the  solo pinnacle Vendée Globe in November. Tip & Shaft takes stock with IMOCA president, Antoine Mermod.

Juan Kouyoumdjian: “Its is very difficult, if not impossible, to design boats and foils that work well at all speeds”

With the design of the new Arkéa Paprec and Corum L’Epargne, Juan Yacht Design returned to the IMOCA class during 2019, coming back to a class which has not yet really yielded the big successes that Juan K enjoyed in the Volvo Ocean Race. 48-year-old Juan Kouyoumdjian remains one of the most interesting architects of this generation. His spectrum of interest spans everything from Olympic class optimisations  (Finn and previously the Star) to the America’s Cup, including record breaking monohulls and production yachts (including the latest ClubSwan 50 and ClubSwan 36). Speaking to Tip & Shaft, he majors this time on the IMOCA and the America’s Cup.

L'Imoca de Boris Herrmann subit un important chantier de transformation pour le Vendée Globe 2020

Imoca: The boatyards are ringing in the changes for the Vendée Globe

Ten months before the start of the Vendée Globe and a very intense build up season which will open with The Transat CIC (starts May 10) and rolls straight into the New York-Vendée (June 16), almost all of the IMOCAs are fully engaged in their winter refits. For some the job list is more comprehensive and may include new foils, for others constrained by budgets it is more about maximising reliability and small incremental performance gains. 

Pip Hare is preparing for the Vendée Globe, a big sail racing step.

Pip Hare: “I have never worked so hard in my life”

24th on the Transat Jacques Vabre – her first big IMOCA transatlantic – Pip Hare, back to her home base in Poole, England, had just lifted her famous evergreen 20 year old IMOCA Superbigou out of the water ready for a refit to be ready for the 2020 season and the Vendée Globe. Hare, 45, a former Mini sailor, is on one of the tightest budgets of the fleet but says if she does not have the money she won’t do the race…

L'Occitane Vendée Globe Armel Tripon

Sam Manuard: “I am super happy to run a projet like L’Occitane”

Sam Manuard is no stranger to success in Class 40 with his Mach series of designs and in the Mini class in which he cut his teeth as a designer and sailor. Recently he has been pushing the design envelope with his rounded chunky bowed Class 40 Banque du Leman which debuted with fourth in the Transat Jacques Vabre just weeks after it was launched. Manuard was chosen by his long time Mini class adversary Armel Tripon to design L’Occitane. Seeking a more radical, clean sheet of paper approach the Multi 50 winner of the last Route du Rhum seems to have just that, according to the images released November 25th.

Conrad Colman: “The Vendée Globe is the race that changed my life”

After losing his mast when he was in 10th place and some 750 miles from the finish line of the Vendée Globe Conrad Colman’s epic 14 day struggle to complete his race highlights his remarkable grit and determination and remains one of the outstanding stories in the recent history of the race. The Brittany based native of New Zealand, 36 next month, confirmed recently that he will take part in the next race after having agreed a charter of the 2004 Marc Lombard design Vivo A Beira which started life as Roland Jourdain’s Sill 2/Veolia and which Sam Davies raced as Saveol. Work starts almost immediately on the boat while Colman confirms he is still looking for a title co-sponsor to complete the budget he wants. Tip & Shaft caught up with Colman.

Christian Le Pape patron du Pôle Finistère Course au large

Christian Le Pape: “A new generation of sailors make their mark”

The Transat Jacques Vabre was a resounding success for the Finistère ocean racing training centre, as all three IMOCAs on the podium were skippered by sailors who train in Port-la-Forêt. This was a pleasing outcome for the director, Christian Le Pape, who examines what is happening in the world of ocean racing and at the Centre for Tip & Shaft.

Le Vendée Globe n'est pas uniquement une course au large sportive. C'est aussi un véritable projet à monter pour chaque coureur Imoca.

Vendee Globe: Qualification tension will continue until July at least

On Sunday November 1st, the SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Globe published the official list of the 37 candidates for the next edition of the famous non stop solo race around the which starts in one year’s time today, Friday. Tip & Shaft provides an update on the 37 candidates and any potential decisions the organisers will have to make on July 1, 2020, the final registration deadline.