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The Vendée Globe skippers rally around Bernard Stamm

Photo credits: Thierry Martinez / Sea & Co
Photo credits: Thierry Martinez / Sea & Co

Without passing comment on the jury’s decision, the majority of the skippers competing in the Vendée Globe have expressed their support for Bernard Stamm in the context of his request to reopen the case.

Nobody is calling into question the international jury’s neutrality and impartiality and the skippers have chosen to share their opinion on the matter as they believe that this should be taken into account in the final decision.Hereafter is the letter sent to the Presidents of the Jury, the Race Committee and the SAEM Vendée:


Around the World January 4, 2013,

Attention to:

  • Mr Bernard Bonneau, Chairman of the Jury
  • Mr Christophe Gaumont, Chairman of theRace Committee
  • Mr Bruno Retailleau, Chairman of the SAEM Vendée,

Subject: Protest Race Committee against Cheminées Poujoulat - Cases n°4 & n° 5


We, skippers of the 2012-2013 Vendée Globe, ask that the judgment against Bernard Stamm is revised.
We believe that his disqualification is unfair and that he deserves the right to finish the race and to be ranked.

We ask for this revision on the basis of the following facts:

  • Bernard moored his boat on his own;
  • The Russian ship moored after Bernard did;
  • This became a danger which did not exist when Bernard originally moored his boat;
  • The series of facts that followed are consequences of this danger and they could not be foreseen;
  • The conduct of the Russian crew was in conformity with Article 7.5 of the Notice of Race on rescue and assistance at sea;
  • The conduct of the sailors, on both sides, was exemplary and it deserves to be appreciated not punished;
  • Should Bernard have broken the rule, it would have been unwittingly, and we strongly believe that Bernard strictly conformed to the spirit of the rule;
  • We consider that the situation Bernard has faced is a force majeure event.

We thank you for taking our views into account in your final decision.

Alex Thomson   Armel Le Cléac’h   Arnaud Boissières   Alessandro di Benedetto
Bertrand De Broc   Dominique Wavre   François Gabart   Javier Sanso 

Jean le Cam   Jean-Pierre Dick   Kito de Pavant   Louis Burton
Marc Guillemot   Mike Golding   Samantha Davies   Tanguy De Lamotte   Vincent Riou

Zbigniew Gutkowski

* Jérémie Beyou could not be reached


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