Vendée Globe: Final night for victory

Published on January 26th, 2021

(January 26, 2021; Day 79) – With less than 24 hours until the first solo sailor finishes the Vendée Globe off Les Sables d’Olonne, the merging courses of the front runners has everyone guessing who the likely winner will be of a truly epic ninth edition of the non-stop solo round the world race.

The margin of victory looks set to be down to minutes after 24,350 miles of racing, and with five skippers harboring realistic hopes of winning, the reality is that any one of them – Charlie Dalin, Boris Herrmann, Louis Burton, Thomas Ruyant, and Yannick Bestaven – have delivered performances equally worthy of overall victory.

With less than 400 miles to the finish, Charlie Dalin (Apivia), 36, leads by over 72 miles heading into his long, dark final full night at sea from 39 year old Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) who will become the first German to finish the race.

However, while Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2), 35, trails Dalin by 98 miles in third, his leverage to the north, alongside Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq), could make an end around for first to finish.

While pre-race favourite Dalin has raced surgically precise courses with metronomic consistency on the newest and most proven boat, Burton has been the maverick, collecting three time penalties over the duration of his course while pressing his boat closest to its limits.

After suffering numerous pilot and sail problems, Burton recovered more than 800 miles on the leader and 400 miles on the peloton after he had to repair at remote Macqaurie island.

But beyond the order of finishers, the final results will almost certainly come from time compensations allotted to Herrmann, Bestaven, and Jean Le Cam for their role in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier.

The Bay of Biscay will be the arena for the ultimate showdown. In the south, Dalin and Herrmann work the shortest most direct along Cape Finisterre while Burton, Ruyant, and Bestaven on the longer, faster route from the north.

The harsh reality is that with the time bonuses, Thomas Ruyant might lose out most, left out in the cold in fourth or fifth after an excellent race.

“The reality is in this race now that if we had told Thomas before the start that he was going to finish within four or five or six hours of the first boat crossing the finish line, he would have taken that,” said team manager Marcus Hutchinson. “And that is what he will get, but here we have three or maybe four boats in between him and the first to finish and that is secondary.

“But we have to contextualise these things. All of these guys and girls to get to the start line is an achievement, to get to the finish is even more special. But here we are a day from the finish and we just don’t know how this is going to pan out. So thank you to all of these skippers they have made this an incredible sporting spectacle like we have never seen on this race.”

NOTE: At 200 miles from the finish line, the race trackers will be updated every 30 minutes and then every 5 minutes from 60 miles from the crossing.

Ranking – 21:00 (GMT)*
1. Charlie DALIN, APIVIA – 337.82 nm DTF
2. Boris HERRMANN, SEAEXPLORER – YACHT CLUB DE MONACO – 72.24 nm DTL
3. Louis BURTON, BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 97.85 nm DTL
4. Thomas RUYANT, LinkedOut – 202.35 nm DTL**
5. Yannick BESTAVEN, Maître CoQ IV – 240.34 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
Jan. 16, 2021 – Sébastien DESTREMAU, MERCI – autopilot 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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