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Vendée Globe: Making the Turn

Published on January 29th, 2017

(January 29, 2017; Day 85, 16:23 FR) – Sébastien Destremau rounded Cape Horn at 1336hrs UTC this Sunday afternoon, the final of the remaining 18 Vendée Globe skippers to exit the Big South and turn safely north into the Atlantic.

The French skipper, who pit-stopped into Tasmania to check and repair the rig of his TechnoFirst FaceOcean, may have rounded in 18th place – 37 days after the race winner Armel Le Cléac’h and four days and 16 hours after his closest rival, the Dutch solo skipper Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) – but said today he could scarcely believe what he has achieved so far on his 1998 launched Finot design which first completed the 2000-1 Vendée Globe course as Josh Hall’s Gartmore.

Until he sailed his IMOCA home from South Africa in August 2015, Destremau had confined his racing experience to grand prix offshore and inshore sailing.

“This type of sailing is not what I have done,” admits Destremau. “Cape Horn has never been a goal of mine. It is something big boys do and I am not one of them. I can’t believe I am within 50 miles of Cape Horn this morning. It is very hard to take in. I have sailed this boat from Les Sables d’Olonne and now that seems bizarre. Pinch me…I’m dreaming. I am so happy. I am so happy to have done this. We will start the long climb back to Les Sables d’Olonne. It is special for the whole team and for my family, they are all watching and sending messages. I know they are all taking huge pride.”

Eric Bellion (CommeUnseulHomme) crossed the Equator in ninth place at 2343hrs UTC last night and looked set for a relatively straightforward passage through the Doldrums. He is looking to live every one of his last days on the race course to its fullest as he remains sure that his Vendée Globe is a once in a lifetime experience.

“Now there is the smell of the paddock, of home,” said Bellion. “When I passed over the line last night it was a bit bittersweet, I had mixed feelings, but here we are coming home. But this I will never do this again. I want to enjoy the last 15 days to the maximum.”

Louis Burton is expected to be the next Vendée Globe skipper to finish into Les Sables d’Olonne, on course to arrive on Wednesday. He was making 17kts this afternoon some 80 miles north of the Azores on his Bureau Vallée.

Ranking (Top 5 of 29)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), Finished, 74d 03h 35m 46s
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), Finished, 74d 19h 35m 15s (+15h 59m 29s)
3. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), Finished, 78d 06h 38m 40s (+4d 03h 02m 54s)
4. StMichel-Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Finished, 80d 01h 45m 45s (+5d 22h 09m 59s)
5. Queguiner – Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies, (FRA), Finished, 80d 03h 11m 09s (+5d 23h 35h 23s)

Race detailsTrackerRankingFacebookVendeeGlobe TV

The eighth Vendée Globe, which began November 6 from Les Sables d’Olonn, France, is the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance. Twenty-nine skippers representing four continents and ten nations set sail on IMOCA 60s in pursuit of the record time set by François Gabart in the 2012-13 race of 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes.

For the first time in the history of the event, seven skippers will set sail on IMOCA 60s fitted with foils: six new boats (Banque Populaire VIII, Edmond de Rothschild, Hugo Boss, No Way Back, Safran, and StMichel-Virbac) and one older generation boat (Maitre Coq). The foils allow the boat to reduce displacement for speed gains in certain conditions. It will be a test to see if the gains can topple the traditional daggerboard configuration during the long and demanding race.

Retirements (11):
November 12, Day 7 – Tanguy de Lamotte, Initiatives Coeur, masthead crane failure
November 19, Day 14 – Bertrand de Broc, MACSF, UFO collision
November 22, Day 17 – Vincent Riou, PRB, UFO collision
November 24, Day 19 – Morgan Lagravière, Safran, UFO collision
December 4, Day 29 – Kojiro Shiraishi, Spirit of Yukoh, dismasted
December 6, Day 31 – Kito de Pavant, Bastide Otio, UFO collision
December 7, Day 32 – Sébastien Josse, Edmond de Rothschild, foil damage
December 18, Day 43 – Thomas Ruyant, Le Souffle du Nord, UFO collision
December 24, Day 49 – Stéphane Le Diraison, Compagnie du Lit – Boulogne Billancourt, dismasted
December 24, Day 49 – Paul Meilhat, SMA, keel ram failure
January 1, Day 57 – Enda O’Coineen, Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland, dismasted


Source: Vendee Globe

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