Yacht racer's 2013 double celebration

Vendée Globe sailor crosses international date line back into 2012 before marking his second New Year

VENDEE Globe sailor Tanguy de Lamotte turned his racing yacht into a time machine as he celebrated the 2013 New Year twice by crossing the international date line back into 2012 and then arriving again in 2013.

At the helm of his yacht Initiatives Coeur he was one of the first in the world to welcome in the new year just south of Dunedin in New Zealand and sent bonne année messages to his supporters but then a short time later crossed the 180th meridian or antimeridian back into 2012 before celebrating 2013 for a second time.

He is lying 12th in the single-handed round-the-world race but sits nearly 4,300 nautical miles behind the leading pair of François Gabart in MACIF and Armel Le Cléac´h in Banque Populaire.

The leaders are at the other side of the Pacific and have already rounded Cape Horn at the tip of South America to head into the Atlantic.

Gabart and Le Cléac´h are only a few miles apart after 52 days of racing - but well clear of third-placed Jean-Pierre Dick in Virbac Paprec 3 who is 430 nautical miles behind Gabart and Briton Alex Thomson in Hugo Boss who is 840 nautical miles from the leader.

The leaders are still 7,000 nautical miles from the Vendée Globe finishing line in Les Sables d'Olonne but Tanguy de Lamotte is already a winner because his yacht is sponsored as a charity entry by Initiatives Coeur and has already raised more than €72,000 for youngsters in hospital.

His sponsors will donate €1 for the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque association for each "like" on their Facebook page or at Initiatives Coeur

Meanwhile, racer Bernard Stamm on the Cheminées Poujoulat has been disqualified from the race by the independent International Jury. He was said to have received outside help to repair hydrogenerators during a "pit stop" on December 23, when he anchored in Sandy Bay, Enderby Island (Auckland Islands, NZ).
Photo: Tanguy De Lamotte - Initiatives Coeur