Another incongruity in this Vendée Globe which definitely defies reason! After 93 days at sea, Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans, 17th) and Alan Roura (La Fabrique, 18th) are on board, less than 600 miles from the finish. The two men, who are used to battling together, do not give up like the nine other skippers still in the race, including the first – Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle, 15th) and Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG Mori Global One, 16th) – are expected in the freezing cold of the night from Wednesday to Thursday.
Le Diraison – Roura, “do not leave me”
They were over 1,000 miles apart and are now sidelines. “See you, we’ll be side by side soon and we can even have a coffee together,” laughs Alan Roura. On the charts, La Fabrique and Time for Oceans are so close that the two skippers are sailing in sight. We even heard the alarm go off on board Stéphane Le Diraison’s boat! The latter explains: “We are side by side, it’s quite strange! This was already the case in the Indian Ocean two months ago. We had different conditions, problems in the ascent and there we find ourselves in the same system ”.
Alan Roura adds: “We are very close to the night it is sport, we have to stay very awake and pay more attention. It’s a great fight! But we have to play it intelligently until the end so as not to damage our boats “. If the two men keep such a small gap, they could repeat the feat of the last Route du Rhum: when they arrived at 7th (Alan Roura) and 8th place (Stéphane Le Diraison), they were only separated by 4 minutes and 43 seconds!
Update on the race: staggered ETAs
Contrary to forecasts over the past few days, no skipper will arrive at Les Sables d’Olonne before Thursday. Christian Dumard, the Vendée Globe meteorologist, explains: “the ETAs have slipped. The wind is quite variable, there is a little inertia on the sail changes and the low shifts a little faster in the south. The first four – Arnaud Boissières (15th), Kojiro Shiraishi (16th), Stéphane Le Diraison (17th), Alan Roura (18th) – should thus arrive close-hauled. The skippers of La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle and DMG MORI Global One are expected early Thursday morning, on the coldest night of the week. “There will be a very cold wind, 15 knots of wind and up to -8 ° C felt between 1 am and 6 am”, specifies Christian Dumard.
Manuel Cousin reassures and leaves!
Four days after the breakage of his keel cylinder rod, the skipper of Groupe SÉTIN set about making repairs. He headed for the high pressure to have better conditions for sailing. “I had to work 48 hours non-stop to be able to repair and find a system allowing the keel to be maintained and fixed in a central position,” explained Manuel Cousin. The sailor explains that he finished his work “yesterday at midnight”. “It was only moving at 2 to 3 knots this morning because it was in the high pressure, but it will find some wind again,” said Christian Dumard. “I’m back on my way towards Les Sables d’Olonne! »Appreciates Manuel Cousin. Miranda Merron congratulated him: “he worked like crazy. I say hats off! “
The rest of the fleet continues to grow
Didac Costa (One Planet One Ocean, 20th), who passed west of the Azores, should benefit from the next front to reach downwind this weekend. 700 miles further south, Clément Giraud leads a trio with Miranda Merron and Manuel Cousin. “I lost ground because of the doldrums, but we are finally done with the northeast trade winds which were very unstable and particularly exhausting,” said the sailor from Campagne de France. Further on, crossing the Doldrums should be less problematic for Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet, 24th) and Ari Huusela (STARK, 25th). Sam Davies (Initiatives Cœur, out of the race) is also out of the doldrums as Isabelle Joschke (MACSF, out of the race) tries to get out.
Already departures on the pontoons of Sables d’Olonne
It’s a page that turns and a hint of nostalgia emerges. Some of the boats that have already arrived have left the Port Olona pontoon. Yesterday afternoon, LinkedOut set sail for Lorient before being followed a few hours later by SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco. During the day, the Groupe APICIL team was also preparing to carry out its delivery. APIVIA’s departure is also scheduled for Wednesday. It should also be noted that Newrest-Arts & Fenêtres, Fabrice Amedeo’s boat, was taken out of the water and started. “The boat will be repainted,” he explains. It is important to leave with new colors to start this new cycle which will lead us until 2024 “.
Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle)
I am less than 700 miles from Port Olona. It’s gray, it’s raining. The front is coming. I created a gap with Alan (Roura) and Stéphane (Le Diraison), but nothing has happened in these tough conditions. I also watch Kojiro (Shiraishi) who accelerates a little too much for my taste! I am rested, but I am tired, like my boat. I learned about Manuel (Cousin’s) bowling problem. He is resourceful, Manuel, and I hope with all my heart he will do it. And then it’s great to see the map of your country appearing on the screen.
Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans)
We are side by side with Alan (Roura), it’s quite unique! We had different conditions, different concerns about the ascent, and now we find ourselves in the same system. We have the same boats, we receive the same weather files and we have about the same level of fatigue, so our decisions converge. Having a boat nearby is an additional motivation, a landmark. We talk a lot. On the Route du Rhum, the gap was very small between the two of us at the finish. It’s recurring with Alan!
Alan Roura (La Fabrique)
I have always assumed that each Vendée Globe is different: the conditions, the state of mind… For me, this one is the opposite of the first. For the sailor, this is a pretty tough test, whether mental or physical. Overall it’s rough from start to finish. The last two days at sea are going to be still very difficult, it will have been really slow. It’s a test for the nerves, for the patience. I would have liked to finish the race quietly at my own pace with Stéphane (Le Diraison) a little behind. I would like to get in front of him, that’s kind of the goal, but don’t get too caught up in the game.
Pip Hare (Medallia)
There are currently multiple wind changes. The waves come from all directions. A wave hit Medallia, crashing over the top of the cockpit: the water descended to where I’m sitting, as we rode a wave from behind. It is impossible to stand or move without holding onto something. The path to the finish is neither easy nor obvious and seems to change every day. The conditions are very unstable. With these constant changes, it’s impossible to meet the speeds that my routing options suggest. It would be easy to get demoralized with all of this. It was definitely the worst moment of the whole race. These conditions are no fun but they are part of the race and I haven’t done 97% of the round the world to get discouraged now.
Miranda Merron (Campagne de France)
The conditions are sublime. It’s not very windy, the weather is nice, the night was beautiful with lots of stars. I have 9 knots of wind, the sea is quite flat, that is changing. I take advantage! I’m doing great, I’m super happy to have almost finished with the northeast trade winds, it was very unstable, it was draining mentally and also physically on the boat. I’m touching wood so I don’t have any further damage before arrival. I know Manuel (Cousin) worked like crazy. Really, I say hats off!
Rankings at 3pm French Time
- Arnaud Boissières, La Mie Câline – Artisans Artipôle, 402,62 miles from finish
- Kojiro Shiraishi, DMG MORI Global One, 25,63 miles du 15th
- Stéphane Le Diraison, Time for Oceans, 132,63 miles du 15th
- Alan Roura, La Fabrique, 136,8 miles du 15th
- Pip Hare, Medallia, 195,97 miles du 15th
Photo Credit : C.Breschi
– PR –