VG2020 : the fantastic three

With five days to go, the race scenario is still uncertain. Still, Charlie Dalin, Louis Burton and Boris Herrmann seem to have taken a slight advantage which could increase over the weekend. Behind, Armel Tripon encompasses the miles, Alan Roura has been forced to dive, Alexia Barrier and Ari Huusela are about to experience chaos and Jean Le Cam is opening up on a finish that promises to be rich in emotion.

Dalin-Burton-Herrmann, a trio stands out …

There are three of them to step on the accelerator. It was not just Louis Burton who managed to take the famous southerly gale, fed by a widening secondary depression. Charlie Dalin, although he is 4-5 knots less than his rival, and Boris Herrmann have done it too. This route allows them to continue their progress with one goal: to benefit from a new low on Saturday evening which generates southwesterly winds. “Between the two, there is an area of ​​less sustained wind,” explains Sébastien Josse, weather consultant for the Vendée Globe. In short, the suspense is always intense but to have a clear view of the forces involved, it should be added that in the home stretch, depending on the positioning of the gybes, it will be necessary to rely on the speed of APIVIA on the port tack which allows you to use your operational foil. Boris Herrmann could have an advantage on the finish as he receives 6 hours’ compensation after diverting to Kevin Escoffier’s rescue.

For those primarily concerned, the time is at maximum concentration. “The next few hours of racing will be decisive in maintaining the right pace,” Boris Herrmann confided to the Vendée live in English. Charlie Dalin, too, recalls “a close finish”: “The outcome of the match is not yet clear but I continue to sail as well as possible”.

…. In their pursuers, mixed feelings

Behind the three current leaders, the pursuers are unlikely to benefit from the chain of the two low pressure systems. “They will continue to sail from the North,” says Christian Dumard, the Vendée Globe meteorologist. If they can’t take the first system, they should benefit from the second system which is much larger. ” Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group), who is part of this group, does not say anything else: “We are going to continue heading north to follow the rotation of the wind. And as soon as we get out of this high pressure area, we will take the winds from the low to downwind and reach to Les Sables d’Olonne “.

For the Italian sailor, nothing is decided (“in sailing, anything is possible”). However, some are more measured, like Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!): “It’s going to be difficult to be in the game until the end, we were a lot behind”. Guest of the Vendée Live, Benjamin Dutreux also thinks that “it will be very difficult. We just have to be careful to go at our own pace and sail ‘clean’ to the end.

Behind, an ascent that looks like a ride

Armel Tripon (11th) continues to swallow the miles at top speed. L’Occitane en Provence, little slowed down by the Doldrums, is the 2nd in the fleet to have covered the longest distance in 24 hours (360 miles) . This allows him to close the gap with Maxime Sorel (10th, V and B – Mayenne) who is now less than 240 miles. It’s hard to imagine that Armel Tripon couldn’t pass him …

Roura, a dive and wind!

Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle) and Alan Roura were stuck yesterday afternoon in a “mini” Doldrums. We sometimes counted less than two knots for the two men! The skipper of La Fabrique took advantage of this lull to… Dive! “Alan went under the hull to see if there was any delimitation,” said Jacques Caraës, the race director. The Swiss also tried to climb the mast but the conditions were not suitable. But, true to his habits, keeps his motivation intact: “I got back to work! “

Alexia Barrier and Ari Huusela, alone in the face of chaos

They are almost 6000 miles from the lead. And for Alexia Barrier (TSE – 4myplanet) and Ari Huusela (STARK), it is not really time to think about returning to Les Sables d’Olonne. The two skippers are indeed facing particularly tough conditions as they approach Tierra del Fuego. For the past eight days, they have been battling in the same low pressure system which brought them its share of squalls, rain and even hail … The wind should even increase in the next few hours: approaching Cape Horn, gusts of 45 knots and dips of 5.50 m are to be expected. “Cape Horn is a must,” says Alexia Barrier rightly.

Already thinking to the after

It is difficult for the survivors of the Vendée Globe to focus only on the race. While Giancarlo Pedote said he was only thinking of this final rush, others are not. Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) Spoke for a long time about the finish: “I try not to think about it too much because we have all experienced very strong, very intense things. At the end of the day, it will be released, it will be an explosion of emotions, it’s difficult to know how we will react. “Romain Attanasio (Pure – Best Western ©), he sees further:” I am passionate about sailing so inevitably, we think with my team about what to do next, how to improve the boat, namely how we continue the project. It’s impossible not to say to yourself that after such an adventure everything begins. I too want to fight with my comrades aboard a flying boat! “


Giancarlo Pedote, Prysmian Group

For the finish, we know that in sailing anything is possible, we can never know! I don’t think too much about the standings, I am focused on having a good race, a good trajectory. We don’t really know what condition the boats in front are in. There are 2,000 miles left, it’s huge, it’s a whole race and it’s a crazy finish. I saw that yesterday the weather patterns have changed again. It’s going to be fun, it’s great! I want to race to the end!

Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam!

It’s going to be difficult to be in the game until the end, unless the leading boats have problems, because we are still a lot behind. For me, it will be played between Apivia (Charlie Dalin), Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton) and the outsider Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco (Boris Herrmann). The finish is bound to be complicated. It was a very difficult race. I don’t know how it’s going to be. The more difficult the race, the more intense the finish. And there we went through something sick, I had never known that before. So it will necessarily be very intense. It’s hard to imagine what’s going to happen until you’re there. But you know all of a sudden it’s released, it’s an atomic bomb, fireworks! It’s an explosion of emotions.

Alan Roura, La Fabrique

I managed not to go too badly last night, but my friend Cali (Arnaud Boissières) came back in front. And that is not right at all! Still, I don’t feel like I’m stringing pearls, far from it. I closed my eyes for an hour, cumulatively, last night, under the stars. I put my little bed in the back of the cockpit, already because it was 32 ° C. I remain pumped up, I want to get out of this area as quickly as possible because I’m starting to saturate. I am so motivated that I forget that my boat is disabled.

Stéphane Le Diraison, Time for Oceans

I had a waterway through a foil well. I must have pumped over 2 cubic meters of fleet! It was the port foil inspection hatch that exploded, the starboard one had already caused me misery in the Indian Ocean … It is under control now! Yesterday, in a few minutes I changed air mass! I was in a rather temperate atmosphere and all of a sudden there was a breath of tropical air that replaced it … It was startling! And as I manage to squeeze like an eel between windless bubbles, all is well on board. Heading 20 °, road parallel to the Brazilian coast …

Didac Costa, One Planet One Ocean

I remember that in 2016 it was quite difficult to catch the trade winds. This time it looks like the last few days until the finish will be easier. I also remember the feeling of starting to think that there isn’t much left to complete a new round the world trip. It’s hard to think I’ve been sailing for so many days. Now and for now, it is time to continue to be very mindful. It will be difficult to approach another boat, but despite everything, I am motivated to finish as quickly as possible and be able to descend under 100 days at sea!

Rankings at 3pm French Time

  1. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, 1789 miles from finish
  2. Louis Burton, Bureau Vallée 2, 12 miles from leader
  3. Boris Herrmann, Seaexplorer – Yacht Club De Monaco, 64 miles from leader
  4. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, 100 miles from leader
  5. Damien Seguin, Groupe APICIL, 117 miles from leader

Photo Credit : B.Herrmann

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