Bernard Stamm has requested that the International Jury reopen the case regarding his disqualification from the Vendee Globe. Stamm was disqualified from the solo non stop around the world race for ‘receiving outside assistance’ when his anchor dragged during a technical stop in New Zealand’s remote Auckland Islands on December 23rd.
Meantime Stamm, despite his unfortunate situation, shows no shortage of motivation as he is the fastest of the fleet this morning.
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As they pass 50 miles due south of the Falklands this morning first placed François Gabart (Macif) leads Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) by a relatively comfortable 30 miles, sailing upwind in moderate breezes. Ahead the wind will rise and swing to the SW to return them to fast reaching conditions, a reminder of the southern ocean cavalcade. One obstacle worth avoiding is a research ship in the area which is using underwater cables which are up to 6000m long.
Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson is counting down the miles to his first solo passage of Cape Horn, and they are still dropping fast. With 370 miles to go Thomson should continue to reap the rewards of beneficial conditions, including a shift to the NW. Including his first Vendée Globe in 2004 Thomson has set out for a solo race round the world three times. The British skipper has cut 297 miles from the lead of François Gabart since the turn of the year.
Behind Thomson, in fifth place, Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) is 120 miles from Pacific East gate, whilst Mike Golding (Gamesa) continues to slowly open distance on Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) now some 100 miles or so behind. The British skipper is 420 miles from the final gate spurred by a spell of stronger winds.
Another 100 miles astern of Wavre Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% Eco Powered) the Spanish skipper may have concerns about the threat from Arnaud Boissières (Akena Verandas) who is now just 88 miles behind. So this middle group, sixth to ninth, now has 295 miles separating Golding from Boissières.
Vendee Globe - Top Ten Rankings Thursday, 3 January 2013, 09:00 hrs (UK)
1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Clac'h
2. Macif, François Gabart, 34 nm to the leader
3. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick 334 nm
4. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 677 nm
5. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 1929 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 2355 nm
7. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 2451 nm
8. Acciona 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sansó, 2549 nm
9. AKENA Vérandas, Arnaud Boissières, 2620 nm
10. Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm, 2642 nm
3 January 2013 10:18 GMT