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Fast Burton & Consistent Dalin’s Northwards Vendee Globe Duel in Trades

19th January 2021
Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) has been in first twice, and one of those times was on start day after he jumped the start gun! Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) has been in first twice, and one of those times was on start day after he jumped the start gun!

After more than 25,000 miles of racing this Vendée Globe hangs in the balance. Who will win? At the head of the fleet now Charlie Dalin (Apivia) has been in first place 178 times since November 8th when the race started, Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) has been in first twice, and one of those times was on start day after he jumped the start gun!

Dalin is racing harder on the wind, on a tighter angle as his port side foil is compromised but trying to be closer to the Azores, to the east, when he hooks into the low pressure which will accelerate him to the finish. Burton has the bow of Bureau Vallée down, powering on a more westerly slant at 17kts trying to go faster to reach the low earlier but more to the west. This climb up the NE’ly trades blowing at 16-18kts will take another three days.

Bureau Vallée 2 has smaller foils and is the defending Vendée Globe champion the winner of the Vendée Globe 2017 in the hands of Armel Le Cléac’h. Even if its general condition will be a bit degraded Burton can still operate at close to 100 per cent potential as he takes his option to the west. The leading duo have a lateral separation of 200 miles and it will grow today.

Behind them there is a certain symmetry, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) has a truncated port foil he cannot use whilst Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) should be close to full power and may take more of the lower, faster road as Burton is doing, or something in between the two options.

As for the ‘chasers’ they are now all out of the doldrums on Tuesday morning, with the exception of Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA-Water Family) who was still struggling under a cloudy mess. Maxime Sorel (V and B-Mayenne), he crossed the Equator at 2157hrsUTC last night in tenth after 71 days 08 hours 37 minutes. He was slowed down immediately as the doldrums are very close to the equator. Armel Tripon (L’Occitane en Provence) should reach the equator tonight. He is a day ahead of Clarisse Crémer (Banque Populaire X) who in turn is nearly 500 miles ahead of Romain Attanasio (Pure-Best Western). As for Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) out of the race is still progressing at reduced speed towards Salvador de Bahia in easterly trade winds and on calm seas. She is 800 miles from the port and the Franco-German skipper should reach there before this weekend. And 2,200 miles from the leader, Jérémie Beyou (Charal) is sailing steadily away from Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Alan Roura (La Fabrique) the trio is sailing upwind in front of the permanent cold front.

Clément Giraud (Compagnie du Lit-Jiliti) seems happy even if he has lost some distance to the boats in front, he is off Patagonia "There are quite a few currents in the area! And then I saw my first boat since Rio de Janeiro (on the way down)! A big fishing boat that I contacted in English by VHF radio ... It was on a kind of step where the seabed went from 800 meters to 200 meters! The continental shelf is quite extensive around here.”

And next weekend will be important for Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet) who is still close to the retired Sam Davies (Heart Initiatives) and has this Finnish pilot Ari Huusela (STARK) 200 miles behind, these three solo sailors should be at Cape Horn at the weekend, or just after.

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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