Vendée Globe: Next 48 hours will be key

Published on January 5th, 2021

(January 5, 2021; Day 59) – Rested and fully energized in beautiful sunshine, climbing north up the South Atlantic, the mercury rising and sailing in a moderate breeze, Vendée Globe leader Yannick Bestaven’s strategic choices on Maître Coq IV look to be in phase with the cards being dealt.

While the weather modelling is quite unreliable where the race leaders are, as they proved on the descent of the Atlantic some five weeks ago, there seems to be a chance that Bestaven might be able to wriggle out of a high pressure system and escape from his pursuers on a small depression which would sling shot him north.

The next 48 hours will be key.

Having completed his first passage through the southern latitudes, second placed Charlie Dalin (Apivia) reflects on the experience:

“The big South is a special place. It’s hostile, there is always sea, wind, more wind than you think. The wind is heavy, powerful because it is cold. It was a great experience: the permanent change of time and the tiredness, the depressions which follow one another, it is a jumble of feelings to be in the middle of nowhere, far from any civilization. I spoke to a fishing boat at the beginning of the Indian Ocean, it was the only one that I met in the whole South.

“For 30 days, I saw no sign of human life. We forget our life before the south, just as we forget the life before the pandemic. I forgot about life before the Southern Ocean. The other boats no longer existed, the land no longer existed. You are in an endless world of water. It is unique in the world to be in a place where the closest people are the astronauts.

“Right now the contrast is stark like when I spoke with the lighthouse keeper at the Horn, I saw a British RAF plane that flew over me, and now the maritime traffic reappears. It is reminiscent of the movie Waterworld. I feel like I’m coming back from a water world where the land was a fantasy. I come back from another planet. I’ve been through things that I wouldn’t have experienced anywhere else, obviously that will have an influence on me.”

Ranking – 21:00 (GMT)*
1. Yannick BESTAVEN, Maître CoQ IV – 6082.45 nm DTF
2. Charlie DALIN, APIVIA – 193.58 nm DTL
3. Thomas RUYANT, LinkedOut – 329.05 nm DTL**
4. Damien SEGUIN, GROUPE APICIL – 357.67 DTL
5. Louis BURTON, BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 549.87 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 skippers finish. – 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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