This Sunday, after 7 full weeks of racing, and while the leaders’ roads have finally converged, Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) leads the fleet with 101 miles ahead of Charlie Dalin who, discreetly but surely, wins day after day like a contender for victory.
Yannick Bestaven and Charlie Dalin are sailing again in the same weather system, four days after having opted, each on his own, for the trip that was imposed on him, the Arcachonnais in the North and the Normand in the South. It seems like you spend your life chasing what you don’t have.
Last Wednesday, in the 3pm standings, 90.8 miles separated Master CoQ IV from Apivia. This Sunday, at the same time, the two men are 81.4 miles apart if we refer to the reference point of the classification, located somewhere near Cape Horn, and a little more if we estimate their longitudinal distance. Taking into account Yannick Bestaven’s placement advantage in the face of the depression which twists in front of them, and Charlie’s need to counter-border once again so as not to find himself cornered close-hauled against the limit of the zone ice in the coming hours, the gap between the two men will take a further waistline in the hours to come: in the 3 pm standings, it was 101 miles. Yannick Bestaven continues his brilliant recital again and again at the head of this unexpected Vendée Globe.
Despite these crude numbers, it should be noted that Charlie lost little in this episode as his winding road in the South promised him a much heavier bill. And if he managed to maintain a gap of ten hours with the leader, it was because he too did a really good job.
The force of habit is terrible in that it normalizes what, if not exploits, is excellent. Present in the top 3 of the Vendée Globe without stopping since the 9 am ranking of last November 18, Charlie Dalin has suffered the silent wrath of normality.
We saw him in November bypassing the storm Theta by the open sea and understanding what his entourage kept telling him, namely that, to go far, he would have to spare his mount; we saw him in December stop 6 p.m. to sculpt a new low wedge for the well of his port foils, circular saw in hand, set off again, and comment on his setbacks with the distance of the one who knew very well that he would end up stopping on the “broken” square of the Vendée Globe Monopoly one day or another.
Caught between the aura of divine surprise constituted by the domination of Yannick Bestaven (Master CoQ IV) and the epic resistance of Thomas Ryuant, “the man who takes the lead in front of Alex Thomson, who climbs the mast, who amputates himself of a half-foil and which empties his boat of the water which the sea makes him embark after having opened a hatch at the front ”, the native of Le Havre traces his route to intuition since he refers to it , by dint of analyzes since it is its mode of operation. And discreetly.
On the water, the track is beautiful. We’ve seen him settle for the rubber band, but he’s working on getting even better. Charlie Dalin is given the task of shouldering the king’s office and responsibilities – as he is the front-runner – without wearing the crown. One step from the top of the porch, he leads without being the Chosen One. He is the Prince who gets away with unprecedented weather. But between his affability tinged with Anglo-Norman humor and his ability to tack while waiting for the moment to snatch his prey, like a good figarist, Apivia’s skipper discreetly traces his route. Here in the shade, the Normand speaks to the French.
The Vendée Globe forward has a new episode. After the one on the history of men in a hurry upset by a huge high pressure, it’s time for the next one, in which the leading role is played by a depression which rolls up on itself and requires the skippers to aim very well to take advantage of the strong winds. .
Ruyant is doing well
There was, in the words of Thomas Ruyant this morning, a form of relief. The universe of the LinkedOut skipper has not yet turned blue, but his thoughts were less gloomy this Sunday morning. After falling in the standings to 10th place, due to placements on the water, Thomas Ruyant was once again third in the 9am standings this Sunday morning. “A few days ago, the strategy was quite unclear, quite unreliable. With a high pressure regime like that, it’s hard to have a very precise vision. My northern route was dictated by the high pressure bubble. It was a mandatory road given my position, I had no choice but to go up there. Rather, the questions were how far to go up and when to go back down. It was a bit difficult for a few days, watching the mileage counter increase between the head of the fleet and me. It was a level crossing. There will be a fairly significant gap at Cape Horn, but I’m not giving up, nothing is being done! There are still several weather systems here at Cape Horn “.
As Thomas Ruyant set off from the South-East on his route, the hunting party was forced to head north to bypass the high pressure zone, which was about to slip permanently below the line of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. In this readjustment, Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil), new 4th, Jean le Cam (5th) and the rest of this peloton of 10 skippers lost a little ground. 11th, Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) is 533.1 miles from the lead. 12th, still averaging 16 knots over the last four hours, Clarisse Crémer (Banque Populaire X) at 837.6 miles… and Armel Tripon at 1053.6. L’Occitane en Provence will no doubt return to join in the fight for the places of honor (initially) by Wednesday.
Further on, in 16th and 17th places, Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle) and Pip Hare (Medallia) had the presence of mind to land at the front of a depression in which winds blow. West of a good thirty knots. For now, they are taking advantage of perfect conditions to advance to 21.9 for the first, to 19.6 for the second, astonishing at the helm of Superbigou, the boat built by Bernard Stamm at the end of the last millennium. The two sailors, as well as Romain Attanasio (Pure – Best Western Hotels & Resorts) are already preparing to see this depression pass over them. Careful, honey, it’ll shake.
A little further, if Jérémie Beyou (18th) is experiencing poor tailwind weather, Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) is benefiting from sustained winds, heralding the imminent passage of a low.
Alan Roura, La Fabrique
I had a bit of heat yesterday. I’m starting to saturate the hydraulics in the boat a bit. I’m trying to pick up a bit of speed because the conditions are pretty good, but I’m very tired. We are close to the land, to New Zealand, we had to find the solution at that point before moving away into the Pacific. For now, everything seems to hold. The problem with these hydraulic keels is that they put on and take a lot of strain. The hoses or the pump system can break, these parts tire and they cannot be controlled. I have no more repair materials for this. We have a cool week ahead of us, so we have to rest. It’s a pretty amazing Vendée Globe. We have to fight ! I hope I will be able to fight to the end.
Arnaud Boissières, La mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle
It’s brewing a bit around here! It’s windy (25-35 knots) because we’re ahead of a front, but it’s sunny and not too much sea. And I’m passing Macquarie Island. I’m 110 ° to the wind but outside, it’s Karcher atmosphere … Fortunately, the weather is nice and that changes everything. I sail with Pip Hare in the area and we chat a lot. We still have 24 hours to be shaken. What is positive is that we are able to stay in front of this active front and are making good progress towards Cape Horn! The depression will accompany us for a few more hours before going to die in the Great South. It’s a nice Christmas present and it’s not that cold: the northerly wind is less cool around here. Plus, I’ve gotten into the habit of putting a “heater” in each boot overnight: that’s great. This is a highlight right now!
Rankings at 3pm French Time
|1. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, à 9 532.83 milles de l’arrivée|
|2. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, à 28.92 milles du leader|
|3. Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam!, à 267.98 milles du leader|
|4. Boris Herrmann, SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco à 269.26 milles du leader|
|5. Damien Seguin, Groupe APICIL, à 290.18 milles du leader|
Photo Credit : V. Curutchet/Alea/Disobey
– PR –