VG2020 : one option, one goal and 23 realities

The closer to the finish, the more uncertain the outcome of the race. Of course, Louis Burton could do well, but you have to take too many tweezers to already believe it. This 74th day of racing is also an opportunity to express himself on the effect of such a long trip alone at sea. Maxime Sorel evokes the difficulty of projecting himself to the finish, Manuel Cousin his way of surpassing himself , Clément Giraud his podcasts and Kojiro Shiraishi the happiness of being at sea. So goes the Vendée Globe, where some suffer from squalls, extreme heat and even snow…

Louis Burton still slightly advantaged …

The suspense continues, more tenacious than ever. However, the hypothesis of a small advantage for Louis Burton, mentioned on our site yesterday, is confirmed again this Thursday in the study of the weather files. Sébastien Josse, weather consultant for the Vendée Globe, explains: “it can sneak around the edge of a very localized southerly wind corridor”. Yet this advantage is precarious. “The slower Louis, the narrower the hallway and the faster it gets, the wider it gets.” The only certainty: the skipper of Bureau Vallée 2 is the only one in the leading group to be able to benefit from this “corridor”.

… But nothing is done

This does not mean that what awaits Louis is a long quiet river. We can also see the presence of a windless bubble a few miles to the west of the corridor that Bureau Vallée 2 must cross. Sébastien Josse attests: “It is important to take care not only of the file, but also of that happens at sea. There are clouds, squalls, fronts and rain… You have to be very observant, also navigate by feeling. It’s on the bridge that it’s going to happen! “Yannick Bestaven (Maitre CoQ IV) shares the observation:” There will be a lot of maneuvers, gybes, front crossings, it’s not won for anyone! “Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco), happy 2nd since this morning” even if that doesn’t mean much “he tempers, adds:” the coming week will be the most incredible in the Vendée Globe and of all the Vendée Globe! “

When it gets closer, it gets complicated

There is one factor that the skippers talk about little at the head of the race: the difficulty of seeing the finish come closer when so much remains to be done. This transition stage between the long adventure and the finish, Maxime Sorel (10th, V and B – Mayenne) stuck in recent hours in the Doldrums, mentioned it during the vacations: “of course I am plans on arrival. The closer you get, the harder it gets. We see the routings, we have the impression of being there because there are less than ten days to go. And yet there are still some very big chunks, the trade winds and a nice series of gybes until the finish and probably two winter lows that will calm us down … “

Kojiro, the words of a fulfilled skipper

“Every day at sea, I am the happiest in the world”. Talking with Kojiro Shiraishi is guaranteed to fill up with enthusiasm. The skipper is currently on the farthest point on the globe from Japan, his native land. So he receives dozens of messages from fans, admirers and the curious. “They all tell me that the name Vendée Globe is now known to everyone in Japan”. For Kojiro, being still racing was a “miracle” as his mainsail tore. “I didn’t think she was going to resist that much. There is still a lot to do and I hope she will hold out to the end. ” DMG MORI Global One is currently in 19th place in the race.

Manuel Cousin, poignant testimony

21st in the fleet, Manuel Cousin continues to bypass the Saint Helena high pressure northwest. Nothing is easy after relieving the effort in the southern seas, leaving the Falklands, and seeing that those ahead are progressing faster and those behind (Miranda Merron and Clément Giraud) are coming back strong. So what ? “Of course morally it’s complicated. But when it does, you have to remember how extremely lucky I am. It pushes me to know myself better, to learn about myself, to forge my character, to draw on resources that I never suspected, to fight despite the fatigue ”. The skipper of Groupe SÉTIN continues: “It may be utopian, but that’s what I came for”. And the sailor then cites “all these extraordinary moments”: a sunrise, a tint of the water, a feeling and the idea, always as intense and magical, of “going around the world with the sole force of wind ”.

Snow on the Vendée Globe

Everyone has their own route and everyone their conditions in the Vendée Globe. More than 5,900 miles from the lead, Alexia Barrier is still making progress in the Pacific. “Cape Horn is a must! », She blurted out at the morning session. She should take it this weekend, but before, nothing is easy in the deep south. After a depression with gusts of 50 knots, TSE-4myplanet should face more than 40 knots again tomorrow. And there, the mercury is approaching 2 ° C. “I even had snow and in the squalls there is sometimes hail …” At the vacation, she laughs: “I feel like the snow queen! It is far, very far, from the strong heat felt by those who skirt the Brazilian coast.


Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco)

I feel good, it’s good for morale to be second on the charts, although right now that doesn’t mean much. The coming week will be the most incredible of the Vendée Globe and of all the Vendée Globe. The six or seven boats in front can be close to each other and Jean Le Cam too. I don’t have a place on the podium, it’s of course my dream and my goal, but everything will be very tight. There is a lot to play. It’s going to be a tough week, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV)

I’m going to pass near the Azores archipelago and there will be a lot of maneuvers to get there! Gybes, front crossings: it’s not won for anyone yet … Especially since I have all my downwind sails: I was able to repair my furlers a little and I have, apart from my large spinnaker, a gennaker of head and one of capelage. I have nothing to lose as I am currently in fifth place and some have technical issues to resolve. It makes you want to try options …

Maxime Sorel (V and B Mayenne)

I am finally out of the influence of the big crowd that made up the doldrums. I stopped tinkering. We are on the edge, very leaning, it wets a lot. I am monitoring what I have tinkered with previously. I’m watching my sails, but some aren’t going to be used much until the end. We allow ourselves to shoot a little more on it, at worst it breaks! I don’t have a 100% boat, but she’s doing fine. I will continue to do my max!

Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One)

With my mainsail damage, I thought about retiring from the race. If I’m still in the race, it’s thanks to the strength of my team and my supporters. I didn’t think the sail would hold up so well. It is almost a miracle! I am the happiest in the world, everyday. I’m still in the race, although I’m a little behind the pack. I am happy to be on the water, to sail. There were moments of small pleasures like Christmas, New Years… These are special moments to experience on the water. I am currently sailing the furthest point from Japan, I am really the opposite of land. I have received a lot of messages from my supporters in Japan. The Vendée Globe is now known there and I am really happy!

Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet)

It is not really hot! I even had snow and in the squalls, there is sometimes hail… But it will soon be over: I am only 1000 miles from Cape Horn and therefore I am heading towards warmer days. and better. Last week, we spent five days in the same low with wind between 35 and 50 knots … And in less than 24 hours, I’ll have 40 knots again. To say that Cape Horn has to be earned … And the Deep South is something to experience: there are absolutely fantastic lights, clouds, sunrises and sunsets!

Rankings at 3pm French Time

  1. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, 2 114,68 miles from finish
  2. Boris Herrmann, SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco, 76,82 miles from leader
  3. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, 88,37 miles from leader
  4. Louis Burton, Bureau Vallée 2, 108,38 miles from leader
  5. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, 129,42 miles from leader

Photo Credit : A.Barrier

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