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Charlie Dalin Leads & Louis Burton Carries on to the North West in Neck & Neck Vendee Globe Race

19th January 2021
Charlie Dalin is back in the lead with 2596.42 nm to the finish Charlie Dalin is back in the lead with 2596.42 nm to the finish

The Vendée Globe remains wide open. A leading group of nine skippers form the vanguard with a slight advantage for two skippers, Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton. The skipper of Bureau Vallée 2 continues his more westerly route and all eyes are on the weather files. But all the way through the fleet, even at day 72 of racing, there is an intense satisfaction in still being in the race, from the front runners all the way through to Finland’s Ari ‘Super Happy’ Huusela who should round Cape Horn this weekend, and shut the exit door from the Pacific behind him

Depression, gales, three-storey building-sized waves, even the Doldrums, at 72 days most are deeply happy. The morning on the Vendée Globe started today at 0400hrs UTC with the voice of Clément Giraud, a happy Cape Horner since Sunday. The skipper of Compagnie du Lit / Jiliti, send positive messages to those who are following him from land, “We are the lucky ones, we are really very lucky, we sailors in the Vendée Globe, because we don't talk about money! The word "euro" has been struck from our vocabulary ... Here, "happy" is the most used word!"

And a few hours later Armel Tripon (L’Occitane en Provence) echoes the same message: "Happy? Yes, I still am. Several times a day, I tell myself that I have an incredible chance to do this race, that I am having strong, intense and fabulous moments. And I'm having a blast! " So too Ari Huusela “I have a month left to the finish and I feel like I could do another month beyond that. I am so happy out here. At less than a week to Cape Horn I am loving every day.”

Rankings, a moveable feast? “The situation has not really changed since yesterday,” smiled Christian Dumard, the Vendée Globe weather expert. Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) are still out in front. The skipper who now lives in St. Malo has moved slightly further west. “His is an interesting strategy,” added Christian Dumard. “As if the timing (of the incoming low) is not as forecast, he will have no margin to play with.” Burton was the guest on the French Vendée Live this lunchtime: “I am trying to build on the fact that I got quickly out of the Doldrums, so am sticking with this strategy.” Armel Le Cléac’h, the winner four years ago, believes that five sailors are in with a chance of winning this time. The two frontrunners, Dalin and Burton, along with Thomas Ruyant, Boris Hermann and Yannick Bestaven. “We are going to have to take into account that the sailors are tired and their boats too,” he added.

The meaning of the Vendee Globe rankings

Beware of the rankings! “The further we go forward, the more they give a one-sided picture,” added Christian Dumard. The battle between the nine skippers at the front of the fleet is so hard fought that their position in the rankings should be taken with a pinch of salt. The skippers are ranked according to their position based on the distance left to sail to the finish. However, it is impossible to head straight for Les Sables d’Olonne… The weather expert added that the measurement uses the longitude. So, while Damien Seguin retook second place today at noon, he is in a much less favourable position than Louis Burton, who is currently fifth. In fact, Groupe APICIL is more than 450 miles from APIVIA from west to east, while Bureau Vallée 2 is just 230 miles away in longitude from the leading boat.

Rankings at 17:00 hrs

1. Charlie Dalin [Apivia ]—> 2596.42 nm from the finish
2. Thomas Ruyant [ LinkedOut ] —> 116.35 nm from the lead
3. Damien Seguin [ Groupe Apicil ] —> 118.96 nm from the lead
4. Louis Burton [ Bureau Vallée 2 ]—> 131.25 nm from the lead
5. Boris Herrmann [SeaExplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco ] —> 152.84 nm from lead

Published in Vendee Globe Team

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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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