NauticNews

VG2020 : eleven Cape Horners storming the Atlantic

In a video uploaded today, Bestaven sings at the top of his lungs in front of a wonderful sunset. The sliding conditions are perfect. Vocal side, it derails a bit in the treble. But in terms of the race, no false note to deplore. The leader unrolls a perfect score.

Since taking the lead in the turn to the South Atlantic, the skipper of Maître CoQ IV has been on a clear course. The afternoon of January 4 passed at an average of 20 knots. Today, the red boat has slowed down as it begins to cross the high pressure ridge that stretches its meshes north of the Falkland Islands. Yannick could jibe tonight, but he still won’t be out of the woods.

After rushing through Lemaire Strait, his main rival Charlie Dalin (2nd at 177 miles) took to the inside of the turn in an attempt to cut through the high pressures. The skipper of Apivia has been riding all morning on reaching, on his clean foil. But he may have eaten his white bread. Closer to the center of the high pressure, it is flirting with weaker winds and starting to slow down. He will have to play finely to escape the calm.

Thomas Ruyant as a maverick

Will the LinkedOut skipper be rewarded for his daring? He is the only one for the moment to have left the Falkland Islands to starboard and to attempt an attack of the anticyclone from the west … a risky option which recalls his way of sailing when he was in Figaro: to deviate from the pack and hit the corners to find fortune.

It is difficult today to draw definitive conclusions on all these options, because the high is moving eastward in a somewhat haphazard fashion and it only takes a few more or less knots near its center to make a complete difference.

In any case, the rest of the troop which followed one another all night in front of Cape Horn seems to be following “the Bestaven route” to cross the pass of the ridge.

Among them, an amazing man who seems to find his strength in each of the challenges he overcomes: Louis Burton, the fastest man of the day with an average of 18.5 knots.

End of the world atmosphere

The 11 sailors who have passed Cape Horn since January 2 have all described appalling scenes. Hollows of 6 meters, winds of 45 knots, as if the Deep South wanted to make sailors pay a last tribute, before disappearing in the turbulent wake of their large monohulls.

Maxime Sorel was treated to a huge bulk: his boat set off and lay down, mast horizontal, before being beaten by the breaking waves. Longlines were torn off by the force of the waves and two of her sails went overboard, which had to be recovered by force of arms …

Boris Herrmann, handicapped by a torn mainsail (and lowered for repair), was filming a rough sea. Isabelle Joschke, 11th to pass the Cap Dur this Tuesday morning at 5 am, described an atmosphere of the end of the world.

Even Jean le Cam, who has seen others – it was his 7th Cape Horn – recounted his relief at crossing this geographic and meteorological border, in a laconic “it was done and it was not won”.

After Yannick Bestaven, Charlie Dalin, Thomas Ruyant, Damien Seguin, Benjamin Dutreux, Louis Burton, Jean Le Cam, Maxime Sorel, Giancarlo Pedote, Boris Herrmann and Isabelle Joschke, Clarisse Crémer will in turn cross the first Cape Horn of her young career of navigator. And she can’t wait! “I am in the cartridge with 38 knots established for several days… There, I am starting to get tired of it. But I know it’s when you get close to the goal that you usually start to go wild … “she confesses.

It will be delivered around 10 p.m. this evening. Armel Tripon is expected there tomorrow, Wednesday, around 3 am. And Romain Attanasio at the end of the day.

At the rear, the entire fleet is swept away by successive fronts that dot the Pacific Ocean.

Quotes

Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV

The wind has eased now, because I am coming into the high pressure area, the sea is calm, there is a beautiful moon, a sky full of stars, that is happiness. Like any high pressure, it’s hard to have precise models. But if we’re optimistic I should pass, for sure he’s going to slow me down, but he’s going to slow everyone down. First out, first served! This is also why yesterday, I put coal to go to 100% of the boat’s polar. We must not waste time now.

I was burnt out at Cape Horn, I got shaken up. Yesterday I forgot to put the alarm clock on, I lay down it was daylight and I woke up it was daylight! I slept a lot, which you never do in class, but I was lucky, the wind didn’t budge a bit, the boat was stalled at the same speed. All night long I slept, I even retaliated 40 miles from Charlie! It shows that I needed to rest.

It’s a new race that starts on terrain we know a little better from Itajai, in more moderate winds. We’re going to be able to shoot the machines, see everyone’s potential, it’s going to be pretty funny to see the differences in speed. I’m happy because on the port side, I showed that I can keep up. I was afraid of it, but I’m happy!

Charlie Dalin, Apivia 

It’s a beautiful night’s navigation with the sea calming down. We have a starry sky with the moon, it’s a very beautiful night! I was still at the end of the Falklands windfall, but here I just found some wind, I’m peaking at 24 knots. The short period with a little less wind allowed me to recover well, to take nice naps. It’s cool, I’m in good shape! The high pressure is complicated. I’ve turned the problem all over the place and I think it’s going to get over me at some point. This is not obvious. I do road simulations to find a solution. I hope to have one, we’ll see in 24-48 hours. It’s a moving high pressure system, not like a northern hemisphere high. He moves and the strategy is not obvious. I’m going to do the best I can, in any case I’m motivated, upbeat, ready to fight on this Atlantic climb. There are 6,500 miles left, I will give my all until the finish.

About the Deep South: For 30 days, I saw no sign of human life. We forget the life before, as we forget the life before the pandemic. I forgot about life before the South Seas. The other boats no longer existed, the land no longer existed. You are in an endless world of water. It is unique in the world to be in a place where the closest people are the astronauts. The contrast is stark with the last few days when I had the lighthouse keeper of the Horn, I saw a British Navy plane that flew over me, and there the maritime traffic reappears. It is reminiscent of the movie Waterworld. I feel like I’m coming back from a water world where the land is fantasy. I come from another planet. I have experienced things

Isabelle Joschke, MACSF

I was impatiently awaiting the passage of Cape Horn. The conditions were tough, they just started to calm down. The sea was quite heavy, with a strong wind. There are still big waves, it gives quite difficult shocks and swerves for the boat. I can’t wait to get into the windfall to calm down. There is a little ray of sunshine, I live again! But last night, I had the impression that the sky and the sea melted into each other, it was all gray, it gave a funny atmosphere, it illustrated a passage of Cape Horn.

Now that’s something else waiting for me. It’s not going to happen overnight, there will be a transition, but the seas will undoubtedly be milder.

About her keel damage: I’m going to have to learn to sail with my keel in the middle. This is a colossal loss of performance. I start to digest, it was very hard because in 3 days it was a sequence with various and varied problems. I hadn’t slept much so morally it was hard. There I slept a lot, it’s getting better. I’m sad because the competition in the top 10 is going to be tough to keep and that’s what made me happy the most. I will learn to sail differently, find pleasure elsewhere. I’ll see where I can gauge myself. Regarding loss of performance I can’t say too much, it’s a minimum of 20 to 30% loss, but it will depend on the conditions. (…) It was important for me to be able to live with my difficulty for two days, and not to pretend to put things into perspective too soon. Now that I’ve hit rock bottom, I’ll be able to come back up!

Miranda Merron, Campagne de France

It’s easing, it’s addicting. It was manageable last night, the conditions were nice. There wasn’t too much sea but now things are starting to change. I don’t focus on the race at all, I focus on my pilot problems. One of the pilots in wind mode must have a connection problem, as soon as it hits, it cuts. And the other, for a few hours, has been pushing the bar tremendously. He’s going to jibe eventually and it’s super dangerous. There I am in compass mode. The road is long ! It won’t take long for me to have a westerly wind. Before the pilots of the boats did not have a wind mode… We will live with it, but hey, it’s not terrible. And I am not the only one in the fleet to have this type of problem. Anyway, we’ll make do with it. It stresses me to death, I’m tired, I’m hungry … But there is nothing I can do.

Rankings at 3pm French Time

  1. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, 6 126.24 miles from finish
  2. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, 177.43 miles from leader
  3. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, 344 miles from leader
  4. Damien Seguin, Groupe APICIL, 417.13  miles from leader
  5. Benjamin Dutreux, OMIA – Water Family, 612.34 miles from leader

Photo Credit : Louis Burton

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