VG2020 : a new start

This Tuesday January 12, 65 days after the cannon shot on November 8 in front of Les Sables d’Olonne, the first 5 IMOCAs are starting a new start. Dalin, Seguin, Bestaven, Ruyant and Burton are only 25 miles apart and will have to contend with the unstable weather as far as Recife, the horn of Brazil, to finally race in stable and vigorous south-easterly trade winds. In the meantime, the skippers are busy adjusting, looking for the right gust, observing the squalls in a stifling dampness. Energy-guzzling little earner!

Another 24 hours of unstable wind

“The road is straight north but not clear. Up to Recife, the northeast trade winds are not stable, there are bubbles with less wind, and variations in strength and direction. On the water, there must be pressure differences and therefore speed differences between the boats. Not easy at all! Sébastien Josse, weather consultant for the Vendée Globe race director, explained this morning. The long solo race now takes on a different face, that of a regatta in contact between 5 IMOCAs, if not 9 by adding Herrmann, Dutreux, Pedote and Le Cam. “Yannick’s chased position is really not easy because he has to hold it. The worst thing is that we risk coming back to everyone because the area of ​​weak wind will go away ”confided King John to the morning session, wound up like a clock, fresh complexion after his very first shower and morale in the morning. beautiful fixed. The gaps in this leading group are unprecedented, presaging an arrival at Les Sables d’Olonne in burst mode. Jean Le Cam pointed out in the same way as eight years ago, “Gabart arrived in Vendée, when I was still in Cape Verde in 5th position. What indeed to put things in perspective! And to think that the first 9 are held in 127 miles only …

Foiler and drift boat: same fight in light airs

“I have a port foil that I keep going in and out depending on the gusts of wind and which I hope will be of use to me in the hours and days to come” Yannick Bestaven said at the midday vacation. The appendices of Master CoQ IV are indeed in their entirety, like those of Bureau Vallée 2, which is not the case with LinkedOut or Apivia. Unless Charlie Dalin pulls out the lethal weapon for a few hours to regain the advantage at the right time? It will be very difficult to know except to look at the speeds on the map. The fact remains that while in the strong trade winds, the advantage of the downwinders is undeniable, below 15 knots of wind, the differential is minimal. The drift boats will therefore play cards on the tables as far as Recife …

Navigate smoothly and do a round back

The fleet stretches less than 7,000 miles on Tuesday, and now 17 IMOCAs have been sailing the South Atlantic since Pip Hare rounded Cape Horn last night. Two competitors are still shaken: Romain Attanasio off Montevideo and Alexia Barrier 800 miles west of Point Nemo. Tonic conditions on chaotic seas for Romain who only has a few more hours, strong wind and waves of more than 6 meters for Alexia who has been eating her black bread for more than 24 hours in the middle of a depression coming from Antarctica. On the Cape Horn side, the next to enter the Atlantic will be Stéphane Le Diraison and the Spaniard Didac Costa. The two men will shout a good blow to celebrate their victory over a harsh Pacific tomorrow noon!

Land objective for Isabelle Joschke

After her retirement from the Vendée Globe on Saturday east of the Malvinas Islands off Argentina, and the understandable depression that resulted, Isabelle Joschke and the MACSF team quickly got back on track. In the hours that followed, a race against the clock began to ensure the safety of the sailor, who was obliged to continue her journey in very difficult sea conditions (5 to 6 meters of swell, more than 40 knots of wind). . Isabelle Joschke is therefore forced to navigate differently on her IMOCA, which no longer reacts in the same way. The technical team stepped in to help him choose the best route to take and determine the best speeds. It also benefits from the invaluable help of Christian Dumard, weather consultant to the Vendée Globe race management. “Isabelle will now have to be patient. It is currently crossing an area without wind. It is more likely to dock in Brazil than in South Africa, although the issue is not yet fully resolved. However, the tip of the African continent seems far away and involves risks. The port could be Itajai, Rio de Janeiro or Salvador de Bahia. The goal is for it to move north as quickly as possible to find a flow of easterly trade winds in latitude 25-26 south. We are in the process of setting up arrival solutions to have a team ready to welcome him “explains Alain Gautier, team manager of the MASCF project.


Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV

We’re in a soft spot, I’m starting to get a little more trained than the others because I’ve been there for two days. We must make do. This is the hard law of the regatta. I knew that there was this Saint Helena high which cut in two before it leaned back on us, so there is no surprise. We haven’t really been varnished by the weather conditions from the start and it’s not at this speed that we’re going to break records. Today’s whole day is going to be complicated, East and West. I thought at first that being further west I might be going out first, but I can’t say, file to file changes all over the place. I am where I could go with the breeze I had in the soft. I “win little” trying to get closer to the direct route. We will resume the race when we have more established winds.

Charlie Dalin, Apivia

This semi-permanent cold front is a weather phenomenon that is almost always present in this area. It begins in Cabo Frio and extends to the South-East. This transition zone has played the leading role in recent days. Yannick (Bestaven) got in first, he stumbled into it a little earlier, while we had a stronger wind behind, which allowed us to get back on him at high speed. The second phenomenon that came into play (in the redistribution of roles) is that, being shifted to the West, Yannick is in a slightly less favorable average wind angle, with the wind almost from the North. Yesterday and the day before, I was experiencing passages at an average of 24 knots while he was making headway at 5 knots. Obviously, the margin is reduced at high speed.

Nothing is settled yet, the wind is not established in the area in which I am sailing. I still see 24 hours of unstable winds in strength and direction. As long as we haven’t recovered from the more constant wind, there will still be things going on. In the ranking of 5 hours Wednesday, we will know who worked the best.

Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam!

I must have stayed 45 minutes at the top of the mast yesterday. I have bruises all over the place because you have to tighten the mast very hard so as not to give inertia in the choppy water. I don’t know how sailors can climb the mast with more sea, it’s madness. I will have to go upstairs to return my J2 when it is out of the sailmaking workshop. Yannick’s chased position is really not easy because he has to hold it. The worst part is that we risk coming back on everyone and the calm will go away. I haven’t had much luck in my life, but if it could be done, and it likely, it would be okay. We’ll see. When François Gabart won in 2013, I was 5th and I was in Cape Verde when he was in Sables d’Olonne. Usually the first go away. This year, it’s coming back from behind. After this calm, it will be crosswind, trade winds, a little Doldrums, so things should go away. We’ll have to put all the gear together and roll my hen!

Sébastien Destremau, merci

I had a long series of problems, with the helm, the pilot, but it was all linked, I just couldn’t sort it out. Now it’s a new problem, the bowsprit that’s cracked, it’s all my fault. Often the trouble I have is because of a mistake on my part. For the autopilot, I had burnt an electronic board doing a real mistake and it cost me dearly in terms of trouble. There, I saw for a long time that the underbeard, that is to say the cable which holds the bowsprit, was a little soft. I was planning to retighten it, for that we have to stop the boat, but I was busy with the pilot’s worries and I put that off. Things should not be postponed in the Vendée Globe. When something is wrong, you have to put in the effort to do it. The proof, with this sub-beard, I broke the bowsprit. The boat is good, but it lacks preparation and navigation. We did what we could. So, it’s my fault and I’m biting my fingers today. The Vendée Globe is intractable, too bad for me.

Rankings at 3pm French Time

  1. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, 4 611.85 miles from finish
  2. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, 4.32 miles from leader
  3. Damien Seguin, Groupe APICIL, 19.3 miles from leader
  4. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, 19.52 miles from leader
  5. Louis Burton, Bureau Vallée 2, 25.76 miles from leader

Photo Credit : C.Dalin

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