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Jérémie Beyou Will Restart Vendee Globe Race on Tuesday

16th November 2020
Jérémie Beyou, who was the outstanding favourite to win the race, hit a floating object on the third evening of the race Jérémie Beyou, who was the outstanding favourite to win the race, hit a floating object on the third evening of the race

Jérémie Beyou, the 44-year-old French Vendee Globe skipper who had to sail 600 miles back to Les Sables d’Olonne after damage to his Charal on the second evening of the solo non-stop around-the-world race, has confirmed that he will re-start the race on Tuesday afternoon despite the leaders being around 2,500 nautical miles south, approaching the Doldrums tomorrow.

Beyou, who was the outstanding favourite to win the race, hit a floating object on the third evening of the race. The impact damaged one of Charal's rudders, its mounting and control mechanisms, he broke a backstay and there was sundry composite damage to the deck of his IMOCA.

A round the clock team effort by up to 20 people who have been working flat out ever since the bitterly disappointed Beyou docked his boat back in Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday afternoon, has returned the boat to 100% of its full potential, according the solo racer who finished third on the last Vendée Globe. Speaking during an online press conference from his apartment in Les Sables d’Olonne, he said: “It’s strange to be replying to your questions away from my boat, Charal. But I’ll soon be back there, as thanks to the work carried out after the past few days, we now know the boat will be ready tomorrow morning and ready to take off on the tide in the afternoon. Excellent news. I would like to thank the whole team, as they have given it their all since I arrived back here in Port Olona. The Vendée Globe is a team effort and if everyone pulls together, we can work miracles. The main problem, the one that made me turn back, was the issue with the rudder. Technically, however the most problematic to repair was the traveller, but actually, it was the rudder mounting and the control arm which had broken, and it is a structural part of the boat. We had to survey the damage first to see where the water had leaked in to and up to where we needed to repair this on both sides. We had to work with a whole series of experts to figure this out and all within the time constraints. We also had some wind vane issues, mainsail damage from the series of gybes when the rudder hit something. I really have to thank the whole team.”

Beyou has been locked down in isolation with his partner since arriving back. He purposely detached himself from all race updates and social media.

“It was very hard for me to not be there (during the repairs) but also I had to take my head out of the race and I did not look at the rankings. I shut out and did not look at any social media, all this whilst I was trying to stay close to my team and support them remotely. Since the start, we have been working as a very close-knit team. On the first night they sent me a message to say that they did not think they would manage to fix it within the time limit, but deep down I knew they would. So it was probably a good thing that I was not with them so I could get time to recover and really figure out the whole meaning behind the project. How everyone feels about it, the public, the Charal employees, the press, friends…I just did not answer any messages, but I knew that I had to go back to the race. I did hear about Nico’s dismasting...I know I said I cut myself out of the race coms, but I did hear that and I am so so sorry for him and his whole team. I know how much energy it takes to do a Vendée Globe and what is needed to get a project off the ground and going."

"There were 10 to 15 people who put all their combined efforts together to get the job done. The architects from VPLP, Gurit composites, Manu Le Borgne, and behind them you have the logistics team, the team who did the hardware components, the splicing and ropeworks guys, the team at North Sails ready to do repairs to the mainsail, the Pixel electricians. The list is endless. When I got to the pontoon the other day and saw what a team of experts was there waiting, I said to myself, my goodness! You also feel you need to be there and to be on site and respect all the work that has been done, that is being done and you just have to go. I have often said that the Vendée Globe is a race that is carried out by a team, and here you go, that is demonstrated by these people. Miracles can happen when you really try.”

Speaking about leader Alex Thomson he said, “I am happy for Alex being in the lead, I know he has a really good boat, and I am happy for him. He did a great move a few days ago. All I know is that Jean was in the lead for a bit and now that Alex is leading the charge. I did just try to disconnect a bit. After all that we will see what happens back on the sea. I really prefer to have no expectations, I don't want to set any goals. I don't know what we will discover. So we will see.”

Published in Vendee Globe
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The 2020/2021 Vendée Globe Race

A record-sized fleet of 33 skippers will start the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe: the 24,296 nautical miles solo non-stop round-the-world race from Les Sables d’Olonne in France, on Sunday, November 8 at 1302hrs French time/1202hrs TU and will be expected back in mid-January 2021.

Vendée Globe Race FAQs

Six women (Alexia Barrier, Clarisse Cremer, Isabelle Joschke, Sam Davies, Miranda Merron, Pip Hare).

Nine nations (France, Germany, Japan, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, and Great Britain)

After much speculation following Galway man Enda O’Coineen’s 2016 race debut for Ireland, there were as many as four campaigns proposed at one point, but unfortunately, none have reached the start line.

The Vendée Globe is a sailing race round the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance. It takes place every four years and it is regarded as the Everest of sailing. The event followed in the wake of the Golden Globe which had initiated the first circumnavigation of this type via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn) in 1968.

The record to beat is Armel Le Cléac’h 74 days 3h 35 minutes 46s set in 2017. Some pundits are saying the boats could beat a sub-60 day time.

The number of theoretical miles to cover is 24,296 miles (45,000 km).

The IMOCA 60 ("Open 60"), is a development class monohull sailing yacht run by the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA). The class pinnacle events are single or two-person ocean races, such as the Route du Rhum and the Vendée Globe.

Zero past winners are competing but two podiums 2017: Alex Thomson second, Jérémie Beyou third. It is also the fifth participation for Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson, fourth for Arnaud Boissières and Jérémie Beyou.

The youngest on this ninth edition of the race is Alan Roura, 27 years old.

The oldest on this ninth edition is Jean Le Cam, 61 years old.

Over half the fleet are debutantes, totalling 18 first-timers.

The start procedure begins 8 minutes before the gun fires with the warning signal. At 4 minutes before, for the preparatory signal, the skipper must be alone on board, follow the countdown and take the line at the start signal at 13:02hrs local time. If an IMOCA crosses the line too early, it incurs a penalty of 5 hours which they will have to complete on the course before the latitude 38 ° 40 N (just north of Lisbon latitude). For safety reasons, there is no opportunity to turn back and recross the line. A competitor who has not crossed the starting line 60 minutes after the signal will be considered as not starting. They will have to wait until a time indicated by the race committee to start again. No departure will be given after November 18, 2020, at 1:02 p.m when the line closes.

The first boat could be home in sixty days. Expect the leaders from January 7th 2021 but to beat the 2017 race record they need to finish by January 19 2021.

Today, building a brand new IMOCA generally costs between 4.2 and €4.7million, without the sails but second-hand boats that are in short supply can be got for around €1m.

©Afloat 2020

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