The start of the Vendée Arctique will take place next Sunday, June 12, at Le Sables d'Olonne, specifically at 5:00 p.m. And four days later, the preparers of the participating IMOCAs review and fine-tune all the on-board systems. From greasing winches, pulleys, hooks, mainsail rails on the mast, sheet car, etc. to everything related to electronics so important for a solo sailor. Keep in mind that one of the systems that does the most work on board an OPEN 60 is the autopilot, Achilles heel of these monohulls; the element itself should not fail, in its case there is always a spare, but the interconnection between the wind electronics, electronic compass, AIS system and the pilot is extremely important so that the boat maintains the route pre-established by the skipper.
The autopilot does 99% of the work of steering. According to Matthieu Robert, manufacturer of the MADBrain model, it has reached a level of efficiency of 1/10 in keeping the fast and modern IMOCAs on course. “… we have to work with very fine angles. Even the best helmsman cannot manage to steer to a tenth of a degree with a reaction speed of several times a second. This has a lot to do with the quality of the trajectories. The second special feature is the advanced steering mode, in which the pilot knows when to attack, when to surf and when to relaunch in a flat water situation. Finally, the other specificity of the MADBrain is its reliability. Riders have been racing for 80 days or more without a break during the Vendée Globe. They lit up at Les Sables and went out at Les Sables...”.
The Vendée Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne is the first qualifying regatta for the Vendée Globe 2024. Four others will allow the Vendée Globe candidates to qualify: the Route du Rhum (November 2022), the return of the Transat Jacques Vabre ( November 2023), the Transat CIC Brest - United States (May 2024), the New York - Vendée (July 2024).
In addition, the candidates for the Vendée Globe 2024 intend to accumulate miles in the regatta. This selection criteria will be taken into account in the event that more than 40 solo sailors complete their entry form for the Vendée Globe.
The 25 solo sailors who will participate in the second edition of the Vendée Arctique are: Fabrice Amedeo (Nexans – Art