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Vendée Globe Has New Race Leader Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut, Managed By Marcus Hutchinson

21st November 2020
It is the first time 39 year old Ruyant, a past winner of the Mini Transat, has lead the Vendée Globe It is the first time 39 year old Ruyant, a past winner of the Mini Transat, has lead the Vendée Globe

The Vendée Globe has a new race leader in Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut. The solo racer is managed by Kinsale and Howth's Marcus Hutchinson and who, for the second successive Vendée Globe, carries the hopes of businesses, supporters and fans from his home region from the northeast of France, took over the race lead on this morning’s 0400hrs ranking report. After five days at the top of the race classification, Britain’s Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS) is second today at 26.5 nautical miles behind with Charlie Dalin (Apivia) some 64.5 miles behind Ruyant his compatriot.

It is the first time 39 year old Ruyant, a past winner of the Mini Transat, has lead the Vendée Globe.

“I’ve just looked to this morning’s ranking and I’m in the lead. I’m very happy. It’s nice to be the leader of the Vendée Globe in the South Atlantic but to be honest I am even more happy to be part of this trio with Alex and Charlie. It’s great to be in close contact at this stage of the race. Anyway I am very proud of this being in first place for the first time.” Ruyant said this morning.

Vendee Globe leader Thomas Ruyant (above) on LinkedOut is managed by Kinsale and Howth's Marcus Hutchinson (below)Vendee Globe leader Thomas Ruyant (above) on LinkedOut is managed by Kinsale and Howth's Marcus Hutchinson (below)

Vendee Globe leader Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut is managed by Kinsale and Howth's Marcus Hutchinson (above)

The Vendée Globe, as always, offers different objectives right through the fleet, something for everyone. And as the 32 solo racers contemplate the start of their third week at sea tomorrow, short term goals are common to the leading trio. They just want to position themselves best to make it onto the same high speed eastwards ride in the Southern Ocean together and not be left behind.

Ruyant, Thomson and Dalin have enjoyed a quick ride down a frontal system passing the latitude of Rio today in favourable breezes but from Sunday afternoon or evening they look set to encounter a zone of much lighter downwind conditions, requiring multiple gybes, a transition area which is a barrier between them and the Southern Ocean.

Behind them, the sheer scale of the race hit some of the younger rookies, racing down the Brazilian coast. Elsewhere the build-up of fatigue starts to affect emotions. And near the back Franco-Australian Seb Destremau (MERCI) is simply enjoying another round the world odyssey, oblivious to the race around him, as he seeks to challenge himself.

Maxime Sorel in 14th on V and B Mayenne, a first timer on the Vendée Globe on a long, long port gybe to the south, racing today off Salvador, Brasil, noted “It is a real step up to be racing on the Vendée Globe! I'm starting to be aware of how long the race will last. For me, I love contact racing, I love manoeuvring, I almost love it when it's hard. This is not my favourite part of the Vendée Globe, it's a bit monotonous. I have the impression that the friends in front are going a little faster. It's getting a bit monotonous; I'm not used to it. We're going to be on the same tack for several days, with not a lot of trimming, no sail changes. It's the first time I've ever been on the same tack for so long. The descent of the South Atlantic is going to be on the same angle, quite tight. It's not very fast for me. My boat isn't super powerful, these are clearly conditions for the foilers, but that's part of the game.”

And Briton Pip Hare, who is having a great race on Medallia in 21st admitted she has been having her ups and downs in the Doldrums, “Sometimes it is easy to get lazy and not do things to the best that you can, and I have to bully myself to make sure I don’t let things slip.” She said on the LIVE show today. Hare is having just the exact match race with Spanish fireman Didac Costa that some predicted, 77 miles of lateral separation, but less than one mile apart in terms of DTF after 13 days racing on two of the most famous boats in the race, Medallia being formerly Bernard Stamm’s Superbigou and Didac’s having started life as Ellen MacArthur’s Kingfisher.

Facing a major repair but with no significant structural issues, just behind Sorel is Isabelle Joshcke (MACSF) whose pushpit and some aft stanchions were ripped from the deck when a sheet block exploded. Joschke is unhurt but will need to improve her security at the back of the boat before she heads into the Big South for the first time.

After a marathon five days of repairs to his mainsail and battens, Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi, is finally back on track with DMG MORI. Having repaired the tear, which was near the top of his mainsail, with laminate cut from below the first reef point Koji, will have to complete his Vendée Globe with a reef in all the time. And, in order to protect the repaired sail, he will only tack rather than gybe – a slightly more time-consuming process but 53-year old Shiraishi is more determined than every to complete this Vendée Globe.

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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