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Yannick Bestaven Crowned as Vendée Globe Winner at Official Prizegiving in Les Sables-d'Olonne

22nd May 2021
31 of the 33 skippers entered in the 9th Vendée Globe attended the prizegiving
31 of the 33 skippers entered in the 9th Vendée Globe attended the prizegiving

Thirty-one of the 33 skippers who competed in the 9th Vendée Globe mustered in Les Sables-d'Olonne today for the official prize-giving and closing ceremony which saw Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ) receive top award as the overall winner.

There were two further key announcements, the 10th edition will leave from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 10, 2024 and the sailors should finally have a chance to meet with race fans later this year, at a popular festival to be organised on Saturday, September 25, 2021!

This ninth 9th edition was celebrated today Saturday 22 May in the Espace des Atlantes, in Les Sables-d'Olonne. The health situation in France means crowds were strictly limited and it was a relatively muted affair compared to previous years. But the smiles were broad and the laughter audible as the skippers met up for the first time since the start last year, and had a great chance to finally share memories in person.

31 of the 33 skippers entered in the 9th Vendée Globe were there. Only Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco) and Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS) could not come. Pip Hare (Medallia, already on her way to the next edition) and Ari Huusela (Stark) both made it to Les Sables d’Olonne.

For Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ) the winner, the day started in an atmosphere more reminiscent of Hollywood as the 2020-2021 champion added his handprints to the Remblai winners where Armel Le Cléac'h (2016- 2017) who he succeeds and those of, François Gabart (2012-2013), Michel Desjoyeaux (2000-2001, 2008-2009), Vincent Riou (2004-2005), Christophe Auguin (1996-1997), Alain Gautier (1992- 1993) and Titouan Lamazou (1989-1990).

The programme featured an hour-long TV show, broadcast on vendeeglobe.org and social media. Skippers recounted their memories, the highlights including Jérémie Beyou talking of his changed perspective on racing round the world, Clément Giraud talking of his voyage of self discovery, but also the rescue of Kevin Escoffier relived and of course that epic, close battle to the finish line.

Quotations from the Vendee Globe Organiser & Competitors

Yves Auvinet (President of the Vendée Globe):
“We are staying the course: there will indeed be a Vendée Globe in 2024! And if all goes well, the start will be given on Sunday, November 10, 2024 at 1:02 p.m. We are extremely frustrated to have organized this Vendée Globe with a lot of it on camera only and not in person but we are meeting on Saturday September 25 to celebrate, if conditions allow, with all the public, our heroes of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021 ”.

Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV):
“Winning has changed a lot of things, finishing the Vendée Globe. is already a victory. The second win was to have a partner, who trusted me and my team. And, over the course of the race, the ambitions came. I never said to myself that I had secured the victory: there were so many twists! It wasn't until the finish line was crossed that I knew I had won. I want to get back out on the water, but on the Vendée Globe? I don't know yet, we'll see ”.

Charlie Dalin (Apivia):
"This here today is the last event of this edition! It's been something great today to be able to look back at the channel, the port, the finish line. I had only spent 20 days at sea before this race and so I discovered a lot of things.”

Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2):
"Certainly the notion of surpassing oneself is very strong in sailing. When we meet a few weeks later, everyone has a great story to tell. The Vendée Globe is sailing competition at the very top level."

Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco):
“The Vendée Globe is more than a race. Between us, there are stronger bonds between humans than between us as competitors."

Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group): 

"It's a strong emotion! The first thing I did this morning when I got here was come and see the way out the channel. All the memories flood back. We had the chance to experience something intense in emotions, exceptional. I had lots of meetings, and that's also the richness of an event like that. What unites us: the same emotions, the same difficulties”.

Stéphane le Diraison (Time for Oceans):
"This Vendée Globe is so intense that I felt like I was living in another dimension. Coming back here reactivates all these beautiful emotions. It’s nice to see the faces of everyone with whom I have shared this adventure. And I'm coming back as a finisher, yes, I was so keen to come back to the end of the story! "

Didac Costa (One Planet One Ocean):
“As it was my second edition, I was able to enjoy my surroundings more. The circumstances of life mean that I took advantage of my passion for the Vendée Globe before very quickly returning to my professional life (Didac is a firefighter in Barcelona), that's how it is, life is like that ".

Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One):
“I really wanted to complete this world tour not only for my mentor Yukoh Tada, but also for all the Japanese people. I must continue to race offshore for them too and open up this future to them”.

Published in Vendee Globe
Afloat.ie 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

At A Glance - Vendee Globe 2024

The 10th edition will leave from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 10, 2024

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