Les Sables d’Olonne rocked all day yesterday to the rhythm of the last five finishes. Arnaud Boissières (15th) opened the ball of the day a little before 9am, which ended at 12.57am exactly with the crossing of the line by Pip Hare in 19th position.
With Kojiro Shiraishi (16th), Alan Roura (17th) and Stéphane Le Diraison (18th), the club of five arrived in 16 hours! The welcome was very warm: a number of competitors who had arrived at Les Sables several days ago were present, such as Jean Le Cam, Yannick Bestaven, Benjamin Dutreux, Romain Attanasio and Louis Burton.
From dawn to midnight, the Vendée Globe pontoon trembled with emotion on Thursday 11 February. The tears of happiness, the bursts of laughter warmed bodies and hearts despite the polar cold. Cali, Kojiro, Alan, Stéphane and Pip returned from their world tour with stars in their eyes. “I’ve been floating for three months now, and now I’m floating with happiness” smiled the skipper of La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle as he landed, starting a swaying approach through nearly 95 days at sea.
Looks beyond words
Hilariously, Kojiro Shiraishi beamed, thanking his team and his proud ship for helping him come full circle. He is the first Asian to have registered his name in the Vendée Globe: “My greatest satisfaction is that now, when you write Kojiro Shiraishi on the internet in Japan, the Vendée Globe is the result. I’m super proud of it. I’m the first Asian sailor to complete the lap, now I hope another skipper will line up for the start of this race in the future. The incredible Pip Hare, almost unknown to the general public, won hearts and wore the same smile as at sea: that of a happy and fulfilled woman. “These were the three best months of my life! »She explained this morning during her press conference. La Fabrique and Time for Oceans entered the channel this afternoon leaving the honors to Pip Hare. Fellow travelers and competitors who have created strong links. “With Kojiro we were on sight in the Azores on the first leg, Pip Hare had a very good race with his old boat, Didac too. The six of us won’t need to talk to each other a lot, looks will be enough, we know what we’ve been through and what we’ve shared. We can’t wait to spend some time together and we deserved it. Said Stéphane le Diraison just before arriving.
The last six IMOCAs in the North Atlantic
After 97 days at sea, Didac Costa is expected to cross the finish line late tomorrow afternoon. The skipper of One Planet One Ocean is now alone, the peloton he stuck with having arrived yesterday.
South of the Azores archipelago, Clément Giraud and Miranda Merron, followed by Manuel Cousin, who was able to resume his race after 48 hours of repairs following a keel damage, are approaching Les Sables d’Olonne in monstrous conditions. They are currently having to bypass a depression south of the Azores which has generated a swell of more than 6 meters, making navigation difficult for the sailors.
Alexia Barrier and Ari Huusela crossed the equator for the second time on this world tour and are therefore now in the Northern Hemisphere. They continue their ascent with as much enthusiasm as ever and should close this fabulous ninth edition at the end of the month.
Alan Roura, La Fabrique
I thank my boat for bringing me here, it was my last race with it, it was a way of saying goodbye. It’s a boat that I like a lot. That was the last word.
With hindsight, we realized with other skippers that when you go on the 2nd, you know what to expect so you pull the boat differently than the first time, there is less passion for the youth.
It was a difficult Vendée Globe with many technical problems. We had to put the race aside to bring the boat back to port. I started off as a competitor and ended up as an adventurer. I’m very happy to see my competitors, it’s nice to meet again. It’s a moment of sharing, because we know what we’ve been through, we know how difficult it was and it’s a source of pride to be together.
There were several races in the race, with different pelotons. I spoke a lot with my competitors, it was unforgettable moments, I got to meet and know sailors. It was a great fight and a lot of fun sailing with people with good spirits.
It’s very surprising to arrive at night. And today, even if the docks are blocked, going up the channel was very moving, very intimate. We did something great, even though the finish was difficult. It’s a great event.
Stéphane Le Diraison, Time for Oceans
How to sum up such a demanding and complete event? It’s the race of all extremes and contrasts. I came here to challenge myself to achieve this round the world race. I have faced a number of obstacles, whether weather, technical or in the head. It is a sublime exercise to go to the end of yourself to exceed your limits. It has an impact on the rest of my life, it has allowed me to think differently, because you find yourself facing yourself and alone with your strengths and weaknesses. I think I know myself very well now. There was a lot of joy in simple moments of pure pleasure, I think of the passage of Cape Horn that I dreamed of so much while reading the stories of the sailors. It was something very strong.
Kojiro Shiraishi experienced the same damage in 2016, we shared the same emotions in the race. A few looks are enough to share these emotions. It’s great to share this success together. In heavy weather, there is a lot of benevolence and advice sharing. Something special happened in this edition, there was a lot of discussion.
They say the Vendée Globe is one problem every day. When we left the mooring, we went forward instead of going backwards so we took an end in the propeller, it is not very serious normally, but with the swell the propeller shaft s’ is ripped off. I saw it right away so I limited the damage. In the end, this is not a big deal, because the boat is secure and the electrical system has not been flooded. We’re going to fix it now! A semi-rigid arrival is also chic!
I came with the firm intention of giving the best of me, but always with the firm focus to complete the tour. This is what is great.
Pip Hare, Medallia
I thought it was important to have a sporting objective in this Vendée Globe, but it was also necessary to do according to the age of the boat. Being a British skipper my goal was to set a better time than Ellen MacArthur in 2000, which was 94 days. For part of the race, I thought I would get there. I could have, I know where I wasted time, where I won it and in the end I’m not far from that goal. I have no regrets, I started with nothing. At first, I took out a personal loan from the bank. I did the best I could for the time allotted to me.
There is a lot of talk, but if I could have access to a 2016 generation boat it would be amazing. The reflection is on the boats of 2016 first of all for financial reasons, but also, because I do not see myself on one of these last generation boats. It’s too far from the way I know how to sail, I find the skipper too detached from his boat.
With Didac, we had discussions, we said to ourselves that there must be two races in this race, those who had a cockpit and those who did not. Compared to the others up front it was a lot more physical. For example, to take a reef, I had to go around the boat 4 times, to adjust the front sails, each time I had to go forward on the furlers so I had to go out. It was more trying. But what I realized was that in the South Seas, when those in front had to slow down, I could push my boat, I loved it!
Rankings at 6pm French Time
- Didac Costa, One Planet, One Ocean, 269.52 miles from finish
- Clément Giraud, Compagnie du Lit / Jiliti, 775.15 miles from 20th
- Miranda Merron, Campagne de France, 1145.1 miles from 20th
- Manuel Cousin, Groupe Sétin, 1468.48 miles from 20th
- Alexia Barrier, TSE – 4myPlanet, 2848.22 miles from 20th
Photo Credit : JL Carli
– PR –