Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Vendee Globe Presents Bestaven with Best Birthday Present

27th December 2020
Happy 48th Birthday, Yannick Happy 48th Birthday, Yannick

(Day 49 - One week to Cape Horn) Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) shows again today why he is the leader of the Vendée Globe as he has positioned himself well to take the best advantage of a long-awaited low-pressure system which will finally break up the southern Pacific Ocean stalemate. Slow, tactical sailing has largely prevailed for nearly 1,500 nautical miles and some five days of racing.

Bestaven’s optimal upwind course sees him clip the corner flag of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone as the new weather system breathes life back into his attack, allowing him to slant slightly more to the south, passing some 300 miles south of Point Nemo tomorrow

The solo racer from La Rochelle has today opened another handful of miles on second-placed Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) not least because Dalin’s unfortunate timing, as they are still upwind, on the new weather system has required him to tack back to the north in order to make the corner of the ice barrier.

Bestaven should celebrate his 48th birthday Monday with the perfect gift, seeing his lead increase still further, as he crosses the low into fast reaching conditions. Adorned with relatively flat seas in front of the system he might press the accelerator hard on Maître CoQ IV or simply enjoy the fast birthday ride on his VPLP-Verdier design which was launched as Safran for the last Vendée Globe.

The leader has more than 22 years of ocean racing under his belt, his first major success being winning the Mini Transat in 2001.

When Bestaven won the Mini Transat in 2001 the runner up was the amateur British skipper Simon Curwen who drove a wedge between the victor and his third-placed pal Arnaud Boissières.

Friends Boissières and Bestaven – who grew up together in Arcachon – had identical twin Nivelt designs which proved extremely potent. The current Vendée Globe leader won both legs of that Mini Transat, actually, the first sailor ever to do so after Arcachonnais mentor Yves Parlier did - but Parlier was penalised 16 hours on the first leg. He was a major influence on the early sailing career of Bestaven.

“Building your own boat and crossing the Atlantic alone is unforgettable.” Bestaven told the Vendée Globe website before the start, “My career happened little by little, but in particular thanks to the influence of Yves Parlier who took me on board with him. But the Mini-Transat was a real eye-opener. Winning the Mini Transat was transformative, winning both stages and therefore the race on a boat that I built myself. You can hardly do more at that stage of your career.”

Brit Brian Thompson actually led the second stage to Salvador de Bahia but chose to stay offshore overnight to stay with the breeze whilst Bestaven went along the shore to win. Thompson finished sixth and Sam Davies 11th.

A typically virulent low-pressure system is forecast to converge from the north-west, coinciding with the leaders projected rounding of Cape Horn on January 2nd. Presently the weather files predict 45kts averages which would surely require the two leaders -at least- to throttle back and time their passage of the notorious rocky islet better.

“I was sold a Pacific experience of fast surfing and smooth downwind sailing. But is has been like climbing a mountain. So now the idea is to continue down towards the Ice Zone to get closer to the centre of the low. We then cross it and pick up the wind shift on the other side, with fairly strong winds, 40-knot gusts. We’ll be the first to take advantage of that, so that should - if the charts and forecasts are right - propel me as the leader eastwards, towards Cape Horn. So if everything works out as forecast, we should be at the Horn in 6-7 days around the 2nd January. For the moment, we have to be patient. Here it’s cold and wet. If that appeals to you, come and join us aboard Maître CoQ in the South Pacific.” Bestaven said today.

The chasing pack of ten is, to all intents and purposes, now eleven. Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) is in contact with the peloton, 60 miles behind tenth-placed Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA-Water Family) who struggled yesterday with a problem with his J2 headsail, which as yet remains unresolved and will require a mast climb at some point. There is a question whether Burton will be able to hold on to the back of the same low pressure as the peloton.

Nonetheless, the shape of January’s race up the Atlantic is taking shape this week. It seems unlikely that it will be restricted to a Bestaven v Dalin match race such as has decided the 2012 and 2016 races. If the second pack can – as predicted – be within striking distance at the Cape then this is still anyone’s race to win.

Ranking at 17:00

1. Yannick Bestaven [Maître CoQ IV] —> 9,256.64 nm from the finish
2. Charlie Dalin - [ APIVIA ] —> 100.92 nm from the leader
3. Thomas Ruyant [ LinkedOut ] —> 313.73 nm from the leader
4. Damien Seguin [ Groupe Alpcil ]—> 365.49 nm from the leader
5. Jean Le Cam [ Yes We Cam! ] —> 376.14 nm from the leader

Published in Vendee Globe
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating