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Yannick Bestaven Back in the Lead of the Vendee Globe Race

26th December 2020
Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq) tops the Vendee Globe Race on St. Stephen's Day Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq) tops the Vendee Globe Race on St. Stephen's Day

Still racing upwind but having changed on to the ‘making’ port tack – the angle taking them closer to the mark than away from it – Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq) is back in the lead of the Vendee Globe race but only by a small handful of miles over Charlie Dalin (APIVIA).

The seven-strong peloton are now compacted into a postage stamp area some 50 by 70 nautical miles but are once again bumped into the light winds of the high-pressure barrier, they are all making much less than ten knots.

The significant movers over the course of the last night and yesterday are the ‘comeback kids’ Jérémie Beyou (Charal) now making continued inroads at good speeds, averaging over 20kts for much of the time and so now up to 18th place passing Didac Costa (OnePlanet-One Ocean) and Stéphan Le Diraison (Time for Oceans). And Armel Tripon (L’Occitaine en Provence) has passed Roman Attanasio (Pure-Best Western) to take over 13th place. They are feeling the effects of a new high-pressure system which is slowing them.

The slow down for the peloton, the group led by Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) and Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) has been good for Maxime Sorel (V and B Mayenne) and especially for Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) who have made miles back in the group, Burton more than 250 miles over four days.

Alan Roura (La Fabrique) in 15th is more than 300 miles ahead of Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Pip Hare (Medallia): the start of the Pacific is quite good for them although they have this depression chasing them. At the moment three solo sailors (Beyou-Le Diraison-Costa) are in the system in thirty knots as they leave the Indian Ocean. Manu Cousin (Groupe Sétin) has preferred to sail much further north.

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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