Vendée Globe: Leaders stretch in Pacific

Published on December 17th, 2020

(December 17, 2020; Day 40) – The first three Vendée Globe boats are into the Pacific Ocean today and have passed the midpoint of the 24410 nautical miles race course around the world. Yannick Bestaven, the skipper of Maître Coq IV, has had a very consistent race since the start and now has held the lead for over 24 hours

Charlie Dalin on Apiva has returned to second, benefiting from a problem for Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut who had to stop for several hours last night when his bow compartment filled up when he was asleep.

“The two front hatch latches opened because of the waves. At the time I was sailing at over 25 knots. The boat filled up in 30 minutes while I was asleep. I really believed history repeating itself!”

It was at almost the same point in the race, on December 18, 2016, between Tasmania and New Zealand, Ruyant’s Le Souffle du Nord Pour le Projet Imagine nearly broke in half and Ruyant had to nurse his broken boat to New Zealand.

But this time, the problem was nothing that his high powered suction pumps could not cope with.

Louis Burton, who once threatened the lead on Bureau Vallée 2, plans to stop to make repairs at the tiny, remote Macquarie Island in the Southwestern Pacific. The 15 miles long island is close to his route eastwards and would allow him to climb his mast and make repairs to his mast track and to the other damages which are compromising his speed potential.

“I have tried several times, but the problem is there is always a residual swell and because I had to get the mainsail down on the deck, there was no support and I got whacked in the face each time,” explained Burton. “So it was impossible. My idea is to go and shelter to the east of Macquarie Island, which is 300 metres high in some places, so that should protect me from the wind and swell.

“I shall be arriving from the north sailing straight along it close to the coast, just with my J3 so that I can go up the mast to cut away the mast track, which is damaged and then replace it. Then, I’ll climb to the very top, as the hooks are broken. I shall be setting up attachment points to fix a classic halyard for the mainsail, so that I will be able to use my mainsail correctly.

“If I can avoid having to drop anchor in the bay, it would be better. I think I should be able to carry out this work between Saturday evening and Sunday morning (Dec. 19-20). I can only use my mainsail with two reefs. I should be able to hoist it a bit more, but as the track has pulled away, I can’t tighten it. It’s like a sack of tatties. It’s horrible, as I can’t get my speed up. At the worse, I’ll lose 4-5 hours, but afterwards, I should get a boat that is more or less operational again.”

Ranking – 21:00 (GMT)*
1. Yannick BESTAVEN, Maître CoQ IV – 11679.9 nm DTF
2. Charlie DALIN, APIVIA – 148.58 nm DTL
3. Thomas RUYANT, LinkedOut – 172.24 nm DTL**
4. Jean LE CAM, Yes We Cam! – 493.11 nm DTL
5. Boris HERRMANN, SEAEXPLORER – YACHT CLUB DE MONACO – 510.3 nm DTL
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

* Time awards given to Yannick Bestaven, Jean Le Cam, and Boris Herrmann for their participation in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier will be applied when the skipper finishes. – Details
** 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, and held every four years, 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 – rudder damage
Nov. 30, 2020 – Kevin ESCOFFIER, PRB – hull damage (sunk)
Dec. 4, 2020 – Sébastien SIMON, ARKEA PAPREC – foil damage
Dec. 5, 2020 – Sam DAVIES, Initiatives-Cœur – keel damage (collision)
Dec. 11, 2020 – Fabrice AMEDEO, NEWREST – ART & FENÊTRES – computer failure

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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