VG2020 : expected arrivals and a new start

While Jérémie Beyou and Romain Attanasio are due to cross the finish line tomorrow, Isabelle Joschke (out of the race) left the port of Salvador de Bahia to reach Les Sables d’Olonne. In the rest of the fleet, a match between six skippers, who rounded the high pressure, promises to be particularly breathless. After 89 days at sea, the voyage up the Atlantic has not finished revealing all its secrets.

Two arrivals in one weekend

They are the next two skippers to be announced at the finish line. Jérémie Beyou (Charal) and Romain Attanasio (PURE – Best Western Hotels & Resorts) should arrive this Saturday. True, both are currently stuck in mole areas of North, North-West. But that does not prevent them from progressing, Jérémie being 120 miles northeast of Romain. The latter has fun: “It’s so much to come! I know you shouldn’t think about it but I can’t help it. ” The skipper of PURE – Best Western Hotels & Resorts, grappling with airline problems and obliged to constantly monitor the maritime traffic nearby, does not hide the difficulties of the moment.

“It’s the worst Atlantic comeback I’ve been on and there are hardships to deal with all the way,” he says. But he keeps smiling: “I know I’m going to spend my last night in this Vendée Globe, so we’re hanging on! “He has already planned the meal on arrival:” prime rib and fries, salad, beer and nun “. Charal is expected around 8:30 am to 9:00 am this Saturday morning if he agrees with what the routings provide. PURE – Best Western Hotels & Resorts is scheduled to arrive in the evening (between 5 pm and 9 pm). Note that the channel will only be accessible this Saturday between 8:50 a.m. and 2:10 p.m. and then between 9:50 p.m. and 2:50 a.m.

Behind, a hell of a fight

For the rest of the fleet, the situation has not seen any significant change since the previous day. Nearly 1300 miles west of the Beyou-Attanasio duo, there are six of them launched in what Alan Roura called a “hell of a ‘match race’”: Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle, 15th), Alan Roura (La Fabrique, 16th), Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI – Global One, 17th), Stéphane Le Diraison (Time For Oceans, 18th) and a little further Pipe Hare (Medallia, 19th) and Didac Costa (One Planet One Ocean , 20th). “It’s incredible to be so close after 89 days at sea and it spices up this ascent,” says Stéphane Le Diraison.

“They circled around the high pressure and are now benefiting from a downwind flow,” said Sébastien Josse, weather consultant for the Vendée Globe. The good news takes place behind: the two depressions which were announced and which seemed particularly virulent evacuated more quickly, enough to facilitate the progression of the group of six.

Isabelle Joschke, heading for the Sables d’Olonne

She had been forced to retire in early January following damage to her keel cylinders. Isabelle Joschke then moored in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, where she worked to repair. Now out of the race, she still intends to ‘come full circle’. “The boat will leave but not with 100% of its potential,” explains Isabelle. I could only half bowle “. The MACSF sailor will not be alone: ​​she has decided to join Les Sables d’Olonne alongside Sam Davies, also out of the race. The duo are expected in the channel between February 19 and 20.

“The boat looks like a fish shop”

Clément Giraud in the middle of the Sargassum. The skipper of Compagnie du lit – Jiliti, who is progressing alongside Manuel Cousin and Miranda Merron, launched into a text explanation about his photo from the day before: a huge brownish expanse of Sargassum. “I saw them well on the beaches in the West Indies when I was little, but I did not see them in so many quantities. I often have to stop the boat, each time you have to remove the algae stuck in all the appendages. They are everywhere, the boat looks like a fish shop, it smells very strong! These are Christmas garlands on the lines! “

So delicate return to earth

It has been a little over nine days since the sailors finished with the Vendée Globe. Some went to Paris for a media tour (Yannick Bestaven, Charlie Dalin, Thomas Rettant, Jean Le Cam, Kevin Escoffier), others took the road to the capital this Friday (Clarisse Crémer) and some are mainly taking advantage of more peaceful days with family or couples. At Les Sables d’Olonne, we crossed the smile of Maxime Sorel or even that of Benjamin Dutreux. The return to earth? “The hardest part is that I feel like I’m totally out of place,” said Benajmin, skipper of OMIA-Water Family. It must have been difficult to find the rhythm of the land, to be in good shape when you need to … “On land or at sea, nothing is decidedly easy …


Romain Attanasio, PURE-Best Western Hotels & Resorts

I think about the finish all the time, I tell myself not to think about it, but I can’t help it. I really want to arrive, it’s starting to get tough. The boat is tiring too, the night has been complicated, I no longer want to eat what I have … It is the hardest climb up the Atlantic that I have had. I want to be able to tell myself it’s okay, that there is no need to wonder if it’s going to do it or not anymore. After the arrival, I will find other worries, those of the land, and I will regret being at sea, but for now I just can’t wait to arrive.

Stéphane Le Diraison, Time For Oceans

It’s pretty incredible, it’s been 90 days since we left and finding ourselves with 4 boats, even 6, after so many options, differences of boats and ways of sailing, it is disturbing. It’s nice because it allows us to play the game to the end and to give our best to move our boat forward. The only downside is that fatigue has set in heavily and this pitiful fight at the end is terrible for the body. I want a little more calm, so it’s a bit trying. It’s true that the boat is tired so it’s not easy to position the cursor correctly, when do I stick, when can I pull a little more. We did 95% of the course, this fight is fun, but we must not miss our goal.

Clément Giraud, Compagnie du lit – Jiliti

I have been fighting with Manu (Cousin) and Miranda (Merron) for a long time. Sometimes I think to myself that if I had been trained more and knew my boat better, maybe I would have been a little closer to the finish today. Obviously it’s going to do something to see others happen. The old competitor demons stand out. We do an introspection on what we did well or badly. So obviously we think about the arrivals, but at the same time I’m really good at sea. I can’t wait to find mine. Everything will depend on the anticyclone because the one in which we will run into is very extensive.

Pipe Hare, Medallia

The last 2,000 miles I have left to go make me feel small. As I passed the equator, I thought the finish was near, but this huge detour in the Atlantic only pushed it away. Now, about a week before arrival, we expect to encounter a huge weather system and that’s when my boat seems so small to me for the size and power of nature. I think the Atlantic is, in a way, more difficult than the South. The weather systems seem less stable and I miss the pace that got me so hard in the Southern Ocean. It seemed more uniform.

Rankings at 3pm French Time


  1. Jérémie Beyou, Charal, 250.89 miles from finish
  2. Romain Attanasio, PURE – Best Western®, 118.3 miles from 13th
  3. Arnaud Boissières, La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle 1422.95 miles from 13th
  4. Kojiro Shiraishi, DMG MORI Global One, 1426.88 miles from 13th
  5. Alan Roura, La Fabrique, 1437.77 miles from 13th

Photo Credit : G. LEBEC

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