Please select your home edition
Edition
Yalikavak Marina 30% off Leaderboard
Product Feature
Crewsaver Offshore Flare Package
Crewsaver Offshore Flare Package
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

Dutch sailor Pieter Heerema finishes 17th in the 8th Vendée Globe

by Andi Robertson 3 Mar 2017 06:12 GMT 2 March 2017

Dutch skipper Pieter Heerema brought his No Way Back across the finish line of the Vendée Globe at 2126hrs UTC this evening (Thursday 2nd March) to finish in seventeenth place. Heerema, at 65, completes this epic eighth edition becoming the first skipper from the Netherlands to complete the Vendée Globe. His elapsed time is 116 days 9 hrs, 24 mins and 12 secs. He sailed 29,747 miles at an average speed of 10.65 knots.

During his crossing of the Bay of Biscay aboard his brand new foiler, a boat built in Italy for Andrea Mura, based on designs from VPLP-Verdier and launched in the spring of 2015, Heerema faced a few minor technical problems, in particular with his mainsail hook and a rudder that kicked up several times. The Dutch sailor also suffered from back pains for several days at the start of the race. These problems were resolved but he lost miles to most of the fleet and was in 25th place off the coast of Portugal. The list of repair jobs and technical problems continued to grow. Heerema soon vented his frustration openly criticising equipment manufacturers and the way his boat was fitted out. He also realised his sail choices were not suited to the conditions he was facing. By the time he got to the Doldrums he was in a different weather pattern from what those ahead had experienced and the small losses gradually grew in importance. No Way Back crossed the equator at 2000hrs UTC on 19th November after 13 days and 7 hours.

Conditions were much more pleasant as he went down the coast of Brazil, but he knew he needed to prepare his boat fully for the Southern Ocean. However, Heerema soon got used to the big southern swell and higher speeds. In mid-December in the Indian Ocean, Heerema encountered a lot of problems with his autopilot with the instruments malfunctioning, which meant he experienced some very stressful moments. Once again, this led to a lot of frustration for the Dutch skipper, who was unable to get the advice he was looking for about how to set up his autopilot system.

As Christmas approached, the weather worsened and Heerema admitted he was no longer in race mode preferring to stay inside his boat. He would spend Christmas and Boxing Day working on his autopilot system trying to find the right set-up mode. Before entering the Pacific, his list of repair jobs continued to grow with a lot of wear to deal with on his mainsail. After 60 days at sea, Pieter Heerema passed the halfway mark of the Vendée Globe. "From a competition point of view, during the 60 days of racing, I have rarely been in contact with my competitors and my various technical concerns have forced me to make major detours and slowdowns. Today I am sailing at 60% of No Way Back's potential." After 79 days on 24th January, Heerema rounded Cape Horn, a highly emotional moment for the skipper.

The start of the climb back up the Atlantic was far from comfortable. "The banging and smashing worries me. Not for the fillings that may fall out of my teeth. No,no. Not for the teeth that might fall out of my jaws. No, no. Not for the jawbones that may fall out of my head. No, no. I am worried that my head will fall off my torso." A few days later in warm sunshine in the Forties, his mood lifted and he was able to enjoy some good sailing conditions. But his wind instruments and the data fed to his autopilot still continued to pose problems. He was unable to sleep for long periods as he could not rely on his autopilot and consequently was close to exhaustion at times. Heerema crossed the Equator at 2258hrs UTC on 10th February after 96 days of racing.

In the Doldrums, conditions were very wet and he suffered from a lack of wind. He compared the conditions to being in a tropical rainforest. For his penultimate week conditions were fine, offering good sailing, but Heerema continued to suffer from his electronic and instrument problems. During his final week at sea, the Dutch skipper was forced to slow down to let a nasty storm go by in the Bay of Biscay where 9m high waves were forecast.

vendeeglobe.org/en

Related Articles

2020 Vendée Globe poster unveiled
The identity is conserved and the dynamic is updated The Vendée Globe Visual, designed by the Désigne and Pulp agencies, has been unveiled. A dreamlike identity in which are the very essence of the race's main themes are conserved, the planet's oceans, the emblematic colours of the race, red and blue Posted on 19 Dec 2019
A record 37 sailors for Vendée Globe 2020
Ninth edition of this solo non-stop round the world solo race To date, a record 37 sailors have applied to start the ninth edition of this solo non-stop round the world sailing race without assistance. Posted on 3 Nov 2019
More competitors at the start of the Vendée Globe
The number of candidates - 34 so far - already represents a first record for this 2020/2021 edition Ever since its creation, the Vendée Globe - a sailing race round-the-world, solo, non-stop and without assistance - has been an essential reference in the world of offshore sailing. Posted on 3 Oct 2019
Five female contenders for 2020 Vendée Globe
After announcement that Banque Populaire is working alongside Clarisse Crémer With the announcement that Banque Populaire is working alongside Clarisse Crémer, there are now five women hoping to take part in the next Vendée Globe, as she will be joining Sam Davies, Isabelle Joschke, Alexia Barrier and the British sailor, Pip Hare. Posted on 8 Feb 2019
Vendée2020Vision: The final four
Squad of sailors down from six to four In its quest to determine the best candidates to follow Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen Macarthur, Mike Golding and Alex Thomson as Britain's next top singlehanded offshore racing star, Vendee2020Vision has further refined its squad. Posted on 29 Jun 2017
Vendée Globe Closing Ceremony
All 29 skippers attend in Les Sables d'Olonne The closing ceremony for the 8th Vendée Globe took place on Saturday 13th May in Les Sables d'Olonne, in the presence of the 29 skippers that took part. A highly emotional event, this exceptional evening brought this maginificent edition to an end. Posted on 15 May 2017
The 2016-2017 Vendée Globe
A hugely popular event and media success The results of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe show huge increases everywhere: many more people attending the event, unprecedented media coverage and feedback nd a record level of international coverage. Posted on 25 Mar 2017
Sébastien Destremau takes 18th place
To bring the Vendée Globe to a close Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst–faceOcean) crossed the Vendée Globe finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne in eighteenth place at 00hrs 40min et 18 sec UTC on Saturday 11th March 2017 after 124 days, 12 hours, 38 minutes and 18 seconds of racing. Posted on 11 Mar 2017
Conrad Colman finishes 16th in the Vendée Globe
New Zealand sailor overcomes the odds to finish under jury rig New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig. Posted on 24 Feb 2017
Romain Attanasio finishes 15th in the Vendée Globe
109 days 22 hours and 4 minutes in his 1998 boat French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the Vendee Globe non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC. Posted on 24 Feb 2017