Vendée Globe: The race to the dock
Published on March 2nd, 2017
(March 2, 2017; Day 117) – The first Dutchman to compete in the Vendée Globe is about to succeed in the challenge of completing the non-stop solo round the world race aboard a new generation IMOCA. At 1730hrs UTC, Heerema was 52 miles from the finish line and sailing at 15 knots.
The skipper of No Way Back should be able to cross the line this evening between 2000 and 2200hrs UTC, but the clock is ticking for his entry into the harbour, as the tide means he must get there before 2130hrs UTC. Any later and he must wait until the next tide for adequate depth.
Will Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) make it into the harbour this evening? For the moment, it is difficult to say, but the Dutch skipper has put his foot down to avoid spending another night at sea. At 1730hrs UTC, he only had 52 miles to go to Les Sables d’Olonne and was making fifteen knots. If he keeps up this pace, he can hope to get there in time. But if he slows down, he will have to wait until tomorrow morning to make his way into the famous harbour entrance channel and be greeted by the public.
Whatever happens, Heerema will take seventeenth place after 116 days at sea. He will be the first Dutchman to complete the Vendée Globe. He will also be the second oldest skipper in the history of the race after Rich Wilson, 66, who finished thirteenth in this edition). A fine performance, aboard a technically and physically demanding new generation IMOCA.
After he finishes, there will only be one competitor left in the 8th Vendée Globe: Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-faceOcean), who is expected in Les Sables around 10th March.
Final Results (Top 10 of 29)
1. Banque Populaire VIII, Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA), Finished, 74d 03h 35m 46s (1/19/17)
2. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson (GBR), Finished, 74d 19h 35m 15s (1/20/17)
3. Maître CoQ, Jérémie Beyou (FRA), Finished, 78d 06h 38m 40s (1/23/17)
4. StMichel-Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Finished, 80d 01h 45m 45s (1/25/17)
5. Queguiner – Leucemie Espoir, Yann Elies, (FRA), Finished, 80d 03h 11m 09s (1/25/17)
6. Finistère Mer Vent, Jean Le Cam (FRA), Finished, 80d 06h 41m 54s (1/25/17)
7. Bureau Vallée, Louis Burton (FRA), Finished, 87d 21h 45m 49s (2/2/17)
8. Spirit of Hungary, Nándor Fa (HUN), Finished, 93d 22h 52m 09s (2/8/17)
9. CommeUnSeulHomme, Eric Bellion (FRA), Finished, 99d 04h 56m (2/13/17)
10. La Mie Câline, Arnaud Boissière (FRA), Finished, 102d 20h 24m 09s (2/17/17)
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.
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