Vendée Globe. Two months
There is less than 5,400 miles in front of the bow of the Maître CoQ IV, or 22% of the route. However, the first two months of this 9th Vendée Globe race were not fast, if we think that at this stage there are four, Armel Le Cléac’h was at the crossroads of Ecuador. The comparison is only valid for the anecdote, since it is useless to compare very different editions in terms of weather. Three weeks from the finish line at Les Sables d’Olonne, what are the highlights? First of all, 80% of the fleet is still racing. So the latter has never been so compact, predicting streaky arrivals in late January or early February.
61 days is a big part of life on the marine planet Since the beginning of Les Sables-d’Olonne exactly two months ago, lone sailors have been roaming freely through the vast liquid. Free, yes, but subject to the tyranny of your best travel companion, your monohull, which demands constant attention and care. What is at stake is performance, but also, and above all, safety.
Like most of his competitors at one point in the race, Pip Hare was forced to perform a difficult operation. Last night, in a sea still very rough, he managed to replace the port rudder, whose tip had been broken. In this grueling manipulation – he comes out stiff and covered in bruises – he’s certainly lost two places, but he’s on his way again. And that’s the main thing: “I’m proud of myself!” However, I don’t say it that often, ”the Medallia boss confides, that he is eager to rest. “You are my hero,” says Bernard Stamm, who built with his own hands (20 years ago) the ship with which the British woman impresses her world.
Worn out ships and sailors
Over the course of these endless days spent under the tarp slowing down and clenching our teeth on the train of depressions, the impatience to pass Cape Horn grows more pressing for the platoon stretching from Alan Roura (now 15 º), Kojiro Shiraishi in (21 º). This morning, after noticing a tear in his J2, Jérémie Beyou (18th) did not hide his fatigue, not to say that he is fed up: “From the Tasman Sea, the wind has not dropped below 35 knots, it is quite exhausting. three days, it was garbage, it was super violent. There was between 6 and 7 meters of gap and it was coming from one side to the other. The boat was going on a wave and suddenly a breaking wave came from the side. They threw me into the back of the I bounce several times. You really have the impression of not being much, it’s impressive. ”
At the rear of this group, Manu Cousin had his share of trouble today: during an inadvertent gybe due to a failure of the autopilot, a mainsail saber wagon broke, the main one – the veil itself is partially torn overhead. of the 3 e ris, which forces the adoption of Sablais to anyone left behind. He currently cruises at low speed with J3 alone, knowing that this little headsail also shows some signs of weakness.
Another 850 miles, or a little less than 3 days of self-sacrifice along this stretch of the Pacific.
After two months at sea, the equipment wears out and so does the food reserves. Those who had not taken a margin may well have to deprive themselves a bit before the end. Fortunately, most have not eaten all of their deep southern servings (7,000 calories a day) and have nothing to worry about. “I have enough to do a second round the world,” jokes Alexia Barrier. This is not the case for Thomas Rettant, who had only packed 80 days of food and will miss out on breakfasts and some sweet snacks when the line is crossed.
The trust of Bestaven
The LinkedOut pattern does not seem undermined by this perspective. Returning to Charlie Dalin after a good high pressure crossing from the west, Thomas climbed like clockwork. It is true that he will have to undergo a new climb to his mast to repair an air that the fashion of the wind deprived (the 5th climb!). But the clinch with Apivia prompted him to go back to the board he was paying homage to this morning: “If there’s a chance to do something, you can count on me!” But Yannick is in great shape, everything is fine! He’s going fast, he’s having an amazing Vendée Globe. He must have confidence in himself and in his important boat right now. ”
Slowed down at the end of the morning, the Maître CoQ IV skipper has regained speed in front of Buenos Aires, so much so that at the moment he remains more than 400 miles ahead of Charlie and Thomas. But the weather is still uncertain in front of him. Yannick will experience several slowdowns in his advance north (perhaps passing very close to the Brazilian coast!) Before he can escape in the south-east trade winds. He will be many “blows daccordion “in the next 48 hours. To our greatest delight …
Some statistics after 2 months of career:
– The leader, Yannick Bestaven, completed 78% of the route
– Against 48% of the latter, Sébastien Destremau
– Skipper with the most number of times at the top of the official scores: Charlie Dalin (137 times) who will be joined in the 18-hour ranking by Yannick Bestaven
– 10 leaders have shared the lead since the start (in order of time spent in the lead): Charlie Dalin, Yannick Bestaven, Alex Thomson, Thomas Rettant, Jean Le Cam, Maxime Sorel, Jérémie Beyou, Damien Seguin, Louis Burton, Benjamin Dutreux
– Longest distance traveled in 24 hours from start: Thomas Rettant, on November 21, 2020 with 513.3 miles (954.3 km), at an average speed of 21.6 knots
– More than 30 ascents on the mast for repairs
Leaders advance times:
Ecuador: HUGO BOSS on 11/18/2020 at 13:19 UTC after 9:23:59 of the race
Cape of Good Hope: Apivia on 11/30/2020 at 11:11 UTC after 22d 09h 51min
Cap Leeuwin: Apivia on 12/13/2020 at 11:25 UTC after 34d 22h 05min
Cape Horn: Maître CoQ IV on 02/01/2021 at 13:42 UTC after 55d 00h 22min