to whom it may concern

They haven’t got the entire fleet signed up just yet, but 14 of the Vendee skippers have put their best arguments forward in this petition to reinstate Bernard Stamm’s Vendee Globe effort after the Jury disqualified him earlier in the week.  They’re certainly not alone; past competitors and the big names in the sport have all clamored for the jury and race administrators to let some equity into the ISAF process and avoid a result that just doesn’t seem to make sense, and the public is not letting it go; in fact, the largest of the Facebook “Free Bernard” pages already has more FB friends than Bernard’s regular page.  The debate rages on in the Vendee Globe thread.


Mr. Bernard Bonneau, Chairman of the Jury
Mr. Christophe Gaumont, Chairman of the Race Committee
Mr. Bruno Retailleau, Chairman of the SAEM Vendée

Subject: Protest Race Committee against Cheminées Poujoulat


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:

  1. Bernard moored his boat on his own;
  2. The Russian ship moored after Bernard did;
  3. This became a danger which did not exist when Bernard originally moored his boat;
  4. The series of facts that followed are consequences of this danger and they could not be foreseen;
  5. The conduct of the Russian crew was in conformity with Article 7.5 of the Notice of Race on rescue and assistance at sea;
  6. The conduct of the sailors, on both sides, was exemplary and it deserves to be appreciated not punished;
  7. 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;
  8. 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
  • Dominique Wavre
  • Javier Sanso
  • Jean le Cam
  • Jean-Pierre Dick
  • Kito de Pavant
  • Louis Burton
  • Marc Guillemot
  • Mike Golding
  • Samantha Davies
  • Tanguy De Lamotte