Vendée Globe: Approaching the first cape

Published on November 29th, 2020

(November 29, 2020; Day 22) – Charlie Dalin, the Vendée Globe race leader, should pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow, the first of the mythical 24,296 nautical miles solo round the world’s three Great Capes.

Dalin’s lead remains steady ahead of Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) while Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) and Kevin Escoffier (PRB) have been trading third place during today. With the lead pack now as far south as 42° latitude, Sam Davies on Initiatives-Coeur reports how the game is changing:

“I gybed just before Gough Island, in the clement zone close behind the front with 25 knots of wind but rapidly the breeze built and the instability arrived. It felt a little bit close to Gough Island for comfort so I furled the A7 in order to sail a clear enough course to pass safely to the South West of Gough.

“My feeling was correct as rapidly I encountered the first big gust – 40 knots of wind. The sea state has built. When the breeze goes from 25 to 40 in the middle of the night for the first time, you get caught by surprise! So a little ‘wipe out’ (thank goodness the A7 was already furled!) and Initiatives-Coeur lay flat on her side with a nice cold wave breaking over her!

“Ease all the sheets and back on our feet (that too is a scary maneuver as you have to bear away but not too far so as to avoid a Chinese Gybe on the way out!)

“So then the tricky bit is to find a trim and sail set-up for 22 to 42 knots of wind speed! That’s not easy, when you are sailing solo and you need to rest a little and not stay all night in the cockpit with the sheets in your (cold) hands! It’s a frustrating compromise with a lot of time ‘down speed’ and other heart-palpitating moments of extreme acceleration down waves with a little too much wind.

“Inevitably, I did a few more little wipe-outs, but the night is over, nothing is broken and the average wind speed is starting to drop… later I should be able to deploy a bigger sail and get going a bit faster. The albatrosses that are gliding around in my wake are having fun! In the meantime, I am going to put a thicker pair of socks on because my feet are blocks of ice!”

Ranking – 21:00 (GMT)
1. Charlie DALIN, APIVIA – 17974.9 nm DTF
2. Thomas RUYANT, LinkedOut – 274.28 nm DTL*
3. Kevin ESCOFFIER, PRB – 296.26 nm DTL
4. Jean LE CAM, Yes We Cam! – 300.66 nm DTL
5. Yannick BESTAVEN, Maître CoQ IV – 338.83 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTF – Distance to Lead
* Ruyant damaged port foil on Nov. 24 at 02:00.

Race detailsBoat typesTrackerRankingYouTube

The Vendée Globe is the only sailing race round the world that’s solo, non-stop, and without assistance, and it was all systems go for the 9th edition on November 8. Beginning in 1989 with 13 entries, the start line in 2020 had 33 skippers taking off from Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

The development of the IMOCA Class toward foiling will see these boats hurl themselves around the world, teetering on carbon skates through inhospitable regions, chasing the record set in 2016-17 by Armel le Cléac’h of 74:03:35:46.

2020-21 Attrition
Nov. 16, 2020 – Nicolas TROUSSEL, CORUM L’EPARGNE – dismasted
Nov. 28, 2020 – Alex THOMSON, HUGO BOSS – damaged rudder

Participation history:
1989-90: 13 boats at the start
1992-93: 15 boats
1996-97: 15 boats
2000-01: 24 boats
2004-05: 20 boats
2008-2009: 30 boats
2012-2013: 20 boats
2016-2017: 29 boats
2020-2021: 33 boats

2020-21 Entries
Fabrice AMEDEO: NEWREST – ART & FENÊTRES
Romain ATTANASIO: PURE – BEST WESTERN
Alexia BARRIER: TSE – 4MYPLANET
Yannick BESTAVEN: MAÎTRE COQ IV
Jérémie BEYOU: CHARAL
Arnaud BOISSIÈRES: LA MIE CÂLINE – ARTISANS ARTIPÔLE
Louis BURTON: BUREAU VALLÉE 2
Didac COSTA: ONE PLANET ONE OCEAN
Manuel COUSIN: GROUPE SÉTIN
Clarisse CREMER: BANQUE POPULAIRE X
Charlie DALIN: APIVIA
Samantha DAVIES: INITIATIVES-CŒUR
Sébastien DESTREMAU: MERCI
Benjamin DUTREUX: OMIA – WATER FAMILY
Kevin ESCOFFIER: PRB
Clément GIRAUD: COMPAGNIE DU LIT / JILITI
Pip HARE: MEDALLIA
Boris HERRMANN: SEA EXPLORER – YACHT CLUB DE MONACO
Ari HUUSELA: STARK
Isabelle JOSCHKE: MACSF
Jean LE CAM: YES WE CAM !
Stéphane LE DIRAISON: TIME FOR OCEANS
Miranda MERRON: CAMPAGNE DE FRANCE
Giancarlo PEDOTE: PRYSMIAN GROUP
Alan ROURA: LA FABRIQUE
Thomas RUYANT: LINKEDOUT
Damien SEGUIN: GROUPE APICIL
Kojiro SHIRAISHI: DMG MORI
Sébastien SIMON: ARKEA – PAPREC
Maxime SOREL: V AND B – MAYENNE
Alex THOMSON: HUGO BOSS
Armel TRIPON: L’OCCITANE EN PROVENCE
Nicolas TROUSSEL: CORUM L’ÉPARGNE

Source: Vendée Globe

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