On the morning of this 39th day of racing, Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) took the lead in the Vendée Globe. By succeeding Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut), the Rochelais becomes the 8th leader of this Vendée Globe which, this afternoon, experienced the compensation awarded by the race jury to the baffled solo sailors to assist Kevin Escoffier on November 30.
This Wednesday morning, down there along the Antarctic exclusion zone, in 54 ° South, in a fairly constant flow of 20 knots of north-westerly wind, Thomas Ruyant and Yannick Bestaven crossed paths, and have jibed. Alone in the lead since Charlie Dalin (Apivia) was forced to let them pass on Monday, the time to build a new low hold on which his port foil must rest, the Northerner and the Charentais-Maritime have made the trunk. Yannick Bestaven has taken the lead in the Vendée Globe. He is the 9th leader of this Vendée Globe, after – in order – Jérémie Beyou (Charal), Maxime Sorel (V and B – Mayenne), Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!), Damien Seguin (Groupe APICIL) , Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA – Water Family), Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS), Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia).
From the start, and even more so from the foothills of the Saint Helena high pressure system, Yannick Bestaven has felt like a Master CoQ on his feet on his 2015 foiling IMOCA, ex-Safran. If his monohull had experienced a short Vendée Globe in 2016-2017 after Morgan Lagravière had witnessed an unfortunate encounter between one of his rudders and an OFNI, this VPLP Verdier plan has continued to improve in reliability and performance, first of all. in the hands of Roland Jourdain and his Kaïros team, then under the incubator set up by Jean-Marie Dauris, sporting and technical director, and Stan Delbarre, the boat captain since the acquisition of the quasi-sistership of Banque Populaire, winner of the Vendée Globe 2016 -2017. Closer to the great circle in the morning, Yannick Bestaven pointed his bow east, towards the longitude of Tasmania, which the leader is expected to cross tomorrow, entering Pacific waters. A stage at least as symbolic as the crossing of Cape Leeuwin. This afternoon, the Rochelais was still the fastest in the fleet over the last four hours (19.9 knots) just behind Jérémie Beyou (Charal), who was pushing from 21st place to 20.2 knots in a completely different system weather.
Bestaven, Le Cam, Herrmann « repaired»
What should be noted is that Yannick Bestaven was one of the four skippers who diverted on the evening of November 30 to rescue Kevin Escoffier, shipwrecked in the southern seas, to the west of the longitudes of South Africa. This midday, the skipper of Maître CoQ IV obtained compensation from the international jury of the Vendée Globe, which awarded him 10:15 of compensatory time for his intervention in the area of the sinking, and its consequences.
Georges Priol, President of this international jury composed of five members, announced this afternoon that Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco) and Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) were also credited with a compensation time of respectively 6 hours and 4:15. Sébastien Simon (ARKÉA PAPREC), who had also been diverted from his inital route, was unfortunately forced to retire.
Asked during the Vendée Live program, Georges Priol explained the process: “These decisions come after a lot of work. We received a request for a “rectification” from the President of the Race Committee, Christophe Gaumont. We ask the race director (led by Jacques Caraës) to give us the times, and to provide us with a scenario of what happened on the water. To decide, we take into account the time during which the time was out of the race, which gives a first estimate of the time. Then we take into account the fatigue, and the stress on the water. We know very well that they used up a lot of energy, that they went through something very hard. (…) We use a procedure that is specific to ocean racing: we are not directly confronted with the different parts of the instruction. Then we communicate with the skippers concerned. And all these exchanges take time ”. These compensation times will be deducted from their race time once the finish line is crossed. This mission will fall to the President of the race committee, Christophe Gaumont, in due course.
Fast forward to the Pacific
Behind the two leaders, 25 other boats still in the race progress in the Indian. After completing his repairs, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) left 24 hours ago to stop the bleeding. It was 149.2 miles behind the duo in the 3pm standings on Wednesday. The Normand is already moving in the flow which will take from the North in the hours to come and will offer 25 knots, a priori regular, in a westerly sea of around 3 meters.
459.1 miles behind Yannick Bestaven, Jean Le Cam has gained a little margin over the group with which he sailed on sight yesterday, in light winds. Carried by a westerly wind of more than 20 knots (on the files), but undoubtedly hampered in their descent towards the AEZ by a high pressure bubble which emerges from the west of the ice zone, King John and his fellow travelers (Damien Seguin, Benjamin Dutreux, Boris Herrmann and Louis Burton) should keep a trajectory further north than the leading trio.
Finally, the group formed by Alan Roura (La Fabrique), 15th, and Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle), Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans), Manu Cousin (Groupe Sétin), Pip Hare (Medallia) and Didac Costa (One Ocean One Planet) evolve on a wire between the Mascarene high pressure in the North and the low pressure which will widen this Thursday in the South, and which promises them winds above 35 knots and sea well formed. Better to keep both feet on the wire, actually.
Charlie Dalin (Apivia)
It has been a hard day’s work aboard Apivia. When the damage happened, it was a shock and a huge disappointment, because the first thing I said to myself was that it was over, that I couldn’t continue like this. It was a difficult time. My team mobilized in “Apollo 13” mode. They have the list of the equipment I have on board, they offered me a solution to fix it. There were a lot of carbon cuts to do, we had to redraw the carbon piece from a plane and then glue it with the piece of foam to make a sandwich… Then we had to adjust the piece. I was suspended from a halyard on the outside of the boat to secure the part. After that, I made countless trips back and forth in the boat to put the grinder back in to adjust the part. I could see the light starting to fade, I was a little at the end of my rope. Fortunately, an hour before nightfall I managed to fit the room in. I unrolled a sail and slept through the night. It was a lot of emotion, a lot of energy. When I received the team procedure I felt like I had an insurmountable mountain in front of me, it was huge. I took it step by step. It feels good to have managed to do it. I put a lot into perspective, it puts things in perspective with regard to the little problems I might have had before. I wasted a lot of time, but I’m not doing too badly. I am within range of fire from my two friends! I am on par with Thomas (Ruyant) in terms of foiling concerns. They are not far away, I have them in my sights. I have nothing more to lose, I will sail all the way to hang them up.
Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut)
Ah, this Indian Ocean with its crossed and short seas! It’s hard to find the right canvas. I’m on the port tack, it will get better, even if the VMG bearing down is not the best for the foilers. What is certain is that we are heading east, mostly on the port tack and a few gybes. It will be a due east road for quite a while, at least until the day after tomorrow. There may be transitions to negotiate with a little less wind. I got some info on Charlie’s problem, it’s unfortunate because we were a good little group, but he’s not far behind. I know he’s crazy, he’ll be able to come back, and the gaps are not crazy. The race is still long. I’m happy to be in the lead halfway around the world. Yannick Bestaven is very comfortable in these conditions, he seems to be going faster than me. It is a good traveling companion to gauge yourself. We had each other on the VHF, we passed each other at 7 miles, it was fun chatting… This is my first time in the Fiftieth. Four years ago, I stopped in New Zealand, I’ve never been this South … and it’s curdling in the South. I closed the door, did an engine charge, took the opportunity to dry my feet near the engine. Last night I was cold. I sail with the door closed to keep the heat in the cabin. We feel like we are in the South Seas!
Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans)
It cheered me up a lot to have some wind, in the right direction, and to re-strategize about positioning the lows. This is what we are looking for in the deep south, so I’m super happy! In six days it will be Australia, I want to say “finally”! I’m over four days behind my 2016 times, which is still amazing. Those four days I took them in the Indian Ocean, sharply. It would have taken almost 40% more time between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin. I’m happy to go ahead and head east, as I’ve already lost a lot of time along the way. There is still a long way to go and a lot can happen for everyone, even if the gaps with the front group are abysmal.
Rankings at 3pm French Time
|1. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, at 12 239,3 milles from finish|
|2. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, at 15,86 milles from leader|
|3. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, at 149,16 milles from leader|
|4. Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam!, at 459,12 milles from leader|
|5. Damien Seguin, Groupe APICIL, at 477,43 milles from leader|
Photo Credit : JM Liot
– PR –