Ne wsle tter 27/02/2012 #16
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Dominique Wavre: “The Vendée Globe has already begun!”
Nine months from the start of the Vendée Globe, the skipper of Mirabaud is completely absorbed with preparing for what is one of the toughest challenges in sport: a sprint around the world powered by sail, alone, with no stopovers or outside assistance. We asked Dominique what the next few months have in store. Dominique Wavre: “It is true that this is a very special year for me and that all my energy is focused on the Vendée Globe. The yacht is currently in the yard and coordinating the work is taking up most of my time. I am also training hard to be as fit as possible for the event.” Why are you doing the work on the boat now? Dominique Wavre: “Our Vendée Globe preparations are very carefully set out. We create a retro-plan that includes the training sessions, testing sessions, structural work, technical checks, etc. Planning is absolutely key to succeeding in a race like this, it is often said that these events are 2 www.dominiquewavre.com
won or lost before the start. In my mind and that of my team, the race has already begun.” What sort of work are you doing on the boat? Dominique Wavre: “We are mainly improving the ergonomics of the boat and adapting the deck layout for single-handed sailing, if you remember, the last two races we did were double-handed. One of the changes will be a spray dodger so that I am slightly more protected from the elements, OCD162 COACHROOF G P2 and there are other modifications going on that I would rather not mention at this stage…”
Is it possible to improve the performance of the boat? Dominique Wavre: “From a structural point of view, Mirabaud is as good as it can get, so we are focussing more on the sails. We are allowed 10 in total for the Vendée Globe and it’ll be all about selecting the right ones!” What timeframe are you currently working to? Dominique Wavre: “We would like to get the boat back in the water as quickly as possible so that I can start training. I am hoping for strong winds in April and May so that I can do some heavy weather training. After that, in the summer, conditions tend to get lighter. Then we will get on with the structural tests, absolutely everything will need to be checked, and there will be the provisioning and so it goes…”
is certain; the competition is going to be tough. There will be approximately 20 competitors on the start line with some of the greatest sailors of the moment onboard some very high performance boats. The economic situation has kept the smaller teams away this time leaving the fleet packed with strong teams. The competition is going to be fantastic.” Will we see you in Switzerland before the start? Dominique Wavre: “Yes, of course. I’ll be back for the Mirabaud Bol d’Or, which I wouldn’t miss for (almost) anything in the world. It is always a fantastic event and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family. Then I will be back again in September to officially present my Vendée Globe entry to the media.”
Have you already formed an opinion on the other competitors? Dominique Wavre: “Yes, of course! One thing www.dominiquewavre.com 3
Quite a line-up! The Vendée Globe entry list currently boasts 18 competitors from six different nations and there are 11 additional skippers still hoping to submit a late entry. Jean-Pierre Dick, winner of the Barcelona World Race and the Transat Jacques Vabre is likely to be the favourite, but as the Vendée Globe demands so many different aspects of ability – stamina, speed, strategy, luck, reliability, strength – it is very hard to speculate on how individuals will do. Here is the list of competitors, presented (guess why!) in reverse order:
Dominique Wavre, Mirabaud (SUI) Liz Wardley (Papua New Guinea) Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss (UK) Bernard Stamm, Cheminées Poujoulat (SUI) Javier Sansó, Acciona (ESP) Vincent Riou, PRB (FRA) Armel Le Cléac´h, Banque Populaire (FRA) Jean Le Cam, SynerCiel (FRA) Marc Guillemot, Safran (FRA) Mike Golding, Gamesa (UK) François Gabart, Macif (FRA) Jean-Pierre Dick, Virbac-Paprec 3 (FRA) Alessandro Di Benedetto, Team Plastique (ITA) Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty (FRA) Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel (FRA) Samantha Davies, Savéol (UK) Arnaud Boissières, Akena Vérandas (FRA) Jérémie Beyou, Maître CoQ (FRA)
Join Dominique on Facebook and go behind the scenes Dominique Wavre has 750 Facebook ‘friends’ following his Vendée Globe preparations; these same ‘friends’ also followed his Barcelona World Race and Transat Jacques Vabre progress. ‘Friends’ of Dominique’s fans are also alerted every time their ‘friend’ enjoys a story about Dominique or Mirabaud and they number an astonishing 150,000 people!
These figures are likely to increase as we get closer to the start of the Vendée Globe. As the anticipation mounts, more and more people will head behind the scenes with Facebook to find out how Dominique is getting on with his preparations. In addition to updates, Facebook fans will also get first glimpse of insider photography, this one from the 5 February of Mirabaud covered in snow, is a good example!
Mirabaud & Cie, banquiers privés Laurent Koutaïssoff 29, boulevard Georges-Favon 1204 Genève T: +41 58 816 23 90 M: +41 79 786 78 93
MaxComm Communication Bernard Schopfer T: +41 22 735 55 30 M: +41 79 332 11 76 firstname.lastname@example.org
Crédits photos Jean Guy-Python/Mirabaud Wavre/Paret