Great start for Caffari as Vendée Globe draws huge crowd

A great start for Dee Caffari's Aviva, a premature start for Mike Golding's Ecover, and the prospect of steadily increasing winds formed part of the backdrop to the Vendée Globe race in a jam-packed Les Sables d'Olonne yesterday.

There were estimates that over 300,000 people turned up to see the 30 Open 60s process through the canal which connects the fishing port town to the sea, seven of them with British skippers. Caffari had been the first to leave and she was in the top group as they crossed the line at the start of a race which takes them down the Atlantic, round Antarctica and back up the Atlantic nearly three month later.

Golding had to turn round and restart. It is a war of attrition that means many will not finish and the first casualty was reported after just two house when Switzerland's Dominique Wavre reported he was returning to fix electrical problems which meant he could not charge his batteries. He hope to restart overnight. Alex Thomson had also had to overcome a battery problem, replacing all of them with just 24 hours to go, the last of many upsets which threatened to keep him and his repaired Hugo Boss out of the race. After three hours he was the leading British contender in seventh place as the fleet was led jointly by Sebastien Josse in Ellen MacArthur's BT and Marcc Guillemot in Safran.

In twelth place was Brian Thompson's Bahrain Team Pindar with Caffari one place behind. Jonny Malbon's Artemis was 17th, Sam Davies was 19th in Roxy and Golding was playing catch-up in 24th. Last on the water, but 29th, was Steve White's Spirit of Weynouth.

In Valencia, the British America's Cup squad was making its presence felt and winning praise from the other competitors in their fleet training races - no match racing this time - which forms part of the annual regatta being staged by the Challenger of Record, the Club Nautico Espanol de Vela.

Apart from winning a race in their borrowed Spanish team boat, skipper Ben Ainslie and tactician Iain Percy also gave their Spanish benefactors, skippered by Paul Cayard with John Cutler as tactician, a hard time in the newer of the green Desafio Espanol boats. But, while the cup holder, Switzerland's Alinghi, was putting together a string of wins on the water, it was very clear ashore that it is now expected that the legal challenge to be made Challenger of record abe granted a one-on-one match for the Cup by Larry Ellison's San Francisco-based BMW Oracle will run its course.

Ernesto Bertarelli is still planning for two Alinghi-run events in Valencia next year and his skipper Brad Butterworth will chair a second general meeting for 12 potential challengers in Geneva onTuesday. At the same time the design co-ordinator for a new class of America's Cup boat, Tom Schnackenberg, will lead a technical session with a view to having a new class rule published by the end of this year. Alinghi wants the new boat also to be suitable for racing outside any Cup events. They are still insisting on only one boat per team, including themselves, and that they should be able to race the challengers as part of their own preparation.

Listen to the podcast: Brad Butterworth talks to Stuart Alexander





Download this podcast

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there