Seventh skipper abandons Vendée Globe

Published on January 10th, 2021

(January 10, 2021; Day 64) – The Franco-German skipper Isabelle Joschke has been forced to abandon her Vendée Globe yesterday after a further failure of the keel canting system on board her IMOCA MACSF.

As the first woman in the ranking sailing the 2007 VPLP-Verdier designed IMOCA, she was in 11th place facing 30-35 knots of wind in the South Atlantic, some 1100 miles east of the Argentinian coast when she discovered the hydraulic cylinder which was holding her keel centered had failed.

After the main keel canting system failed on January 3rd, she had been sailing with the keel centered, held in place by this replacement ram. But with the latest failure, she immediately lowered the mainsail and was sailing under storm jib to keep the boat as stable as possible until conditions moderate.

Joschke becomes the seventh skipper to abandon their race, but with 26 skippers still racing, 13 west of Cape Horn and 13 climbing the Atlantic, the leaders now have less than 5000 miles to sail to the finish line.

Alongside Itajai in southern Brazil, the finish port of the Transat Jacques Vabre, this is now a familiar climb back to France which many sailed solo last year after the end of the two handed race to Brazil.

While leader Yannick Bestaven’s continues to see his advantage erode, the next 48 hours – and the passage of the cold front at Cabo Frio by Rio along with strategic choices to get to the Easterly trade winds – is going to be pivotal.

“I am happy to have narrowed the gap so much,” note Charlie Dalin in second place. “But the rubber band should compress again, up to the cold front at Cabo Frio which is ahead for us. The passages in this cold front change vary from model to model, it is not easy to find the right route. It will be the key moment, the last hurdle before the trade winds.

“It is all moving, there will be opportunities which open and close according to the models. Since you can’t teleport from East to West, you have to make choices early enough, which makes it difficult. This front is going to redistribute the cards one way or another. Everyone will have their East / West positioning with which they will have to play until the doldrums. This is the last big strategic obstacle (until the doldrums) everyone will sail their line.”

Ranking – 21:00 (GMT)*
1. Yannick BESTAVEN, Maître CoQ IV – 4849.07 nm DTF
2. Charlie DALIN, APIVIA – 181.81 nm DTL
3. Damien SEGUIN, GROUPE APICIL – 256.11 DTL
4. Thomas RUYANT, LinkedOut – 274.66 nm DTL**
5. Louis BURTON, BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 313.22 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
Jan. 9, 2021 – Isabelle JOSCHKE, MACSF – keel ram 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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