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Vendee Globe's LinkedOut is Doing the Business Afloat & Ashore

18th November 2020
Up and at it – Thomas Ruyant's LinkedOut is the first IMOCA 60 in Vendee Globe 2020 to break the 500 miles per day barrier as he whittles down the Hugo Boss lead Up and at it – Thomas Ruyant's LinkedOut is the first IMOCA 60 in Vendee Globe 2020 to break the 500 miles per day barrier as he whittles down the Hugo Boss lead Credit: Pierre Bouras

Thomas Ruyant's Advens Cybersecurity-sponsored IMOCA 60 LinkedOut is steadily whittling away at Alex Thomson's lead with Hugo Boss in the Vendee Globe 2020 as the front runners cross the Equator through Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, LinkedIn became the first boat to break the 500-miles-in-24-hours barrier, logging 508.2 miles as she streaked southward past the Cape Verde Islands, thereby putting Jean le Cam in the veteran Yes We Cam astern, while keeping Charlie Dalin in near-sister-ship Apivia firmly in Ruyant's wake.

While the gap to leader Alex Thomson in Hug Boss had at one stage opened to 130 miles and more, by Wednesday evening, with LinkedOut on the Equator, it had been pruned back to 70 miles, with LinkedOut on a VMG of 19.2 knots while Hugo Boss – seeking a better angle with a more westerly course – had a VMG back at 12.4 knots.

LinkedOut shore manager Marcus Hutchinson of Kinsale reports some problems with the J2 halyard system which may require Ruyant going aloft when he finds a calm spot in the doldrums, "but for now, there's no sign of Doldrums or calms spots, and it's all systems go".

The tie-in between Advens Cybersecurity and alternative contact and hire network LinkedOut came at a late stage of the Vendee Globe countdown, so it is only this week that LinkedOut began processing the cohort of offers and job-seekers which has resulted from this spate of publicity. Despite France being in the throes of high COVID-19 incidence and extreme lockdown, 70 fresh offers are in the pipeline, 11 interviews have been held, and four positions have already been filled.

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Published in Vendee Globe
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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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