Please select your home edition
Edition
Typhoon 2021 - FOOTER

Vendée Globe Day 64: Final 5,000 miles set to be a cliffhanger

by Vendée Globe 10 Jan 17:33 GMT 10 January 2021
Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée during the Vendée Globe © Louis Burton / Bureau Vallée #VG2020

"Any one of four or five skippers can still win this race." Warned Jean Pierre Dick on the French Vendée Globe Live show this afternoon.

With less than 5000 miles to sail now to the finish line, the leaders are passing Itajai in southern Brazil, the finish port of the Transat Jacques Vabre, and therefore retracing a now familiar climb back to France which many sailed solo last year after the end of the two handed race to Brazil.

But with the chasing group now having eroded Yannick Bestaven's lead to 226 nautical miles and five skippers withing 345 nautical miles, the next 48 hours - and the passage of the cold front at Cabo Frio by Rio - and strategic choices to get to the Easterly trade winds is going to be pivotal.

In second place, 224 miles behind Beataven, Charlie Dalin explained, "I am happy to have narrowed the gap so much. But the rubber band should compress again, up to the cold front at Cabo Frio which is ahead for us. The passages in this cold front change vary from model to model, it is not easy to find the right route. It will be the key moment, the last hurdle before the trade winds. it is all moving, there will be opportunities which open and close according to the models. Since you can't teleport from East to West, you have to make choices early enough, which makes it difficult. This front is going to redistribute the cards one way or another. Everyone will have their East / West positioning with which they will have to play until the doldrums. This is the last big strategic obstacle (until the doldrums) everyone will sail their line."

Isabelle Joschke trying to bring MACSF to safety with a keel swinging

Still fighting through big winds and seas with her keel swing Isabelle Joschke is attempting to extricate herself from the nasty low pressure which dealt a final blow to the temporary keel fix which had been set up to hold her keel central after her ram failed a week ago. She still had 30 knots today but sent a moving video, saying, "I am bitterly disappointed, so sad not to be able to finish this course. But I am proud. Proud of sailing this far and proud of my race. Proud to have rounded the three capes. And to have shown that with MACSF we are all present and a force to be reckoned with. That's something they can't take away from us." bravely stated The Franco-German skipper who had been lying 11th in the South Atlantic after actually sailing more than 21,000 miles on the water and with less than 5,700 miles to sail.

She explained, "This is not the easiest thing at the moment. I'm sailing in conditions that are fairly rough with quite heavy seas. There must be a swell of 5m and and between force 7-9 Beaufort. A bit like the conditions when I rounded Cape Horn. I spent the night bailing out the boat, as there is an ingress of water. I bailed and I pumped. I have managed to stem the flow of water. Now the most important thing is to get to a port and safety and to get myself to safety. I am extremely sad to have to retire. I think the Vendée Globe has been cruel to me."

Technical Director of the MACSF team Alain Gautier recapped, "A few days ago, Isabelle had an issue with her hydraulic cylinder which is used to cant the keel from one side to the other and so when there is an issue, we had a cylinder which allowed us you to block the keel in the central axis. We set up a form of false cylinder that allows you to maintain the keel blocked in the central axis so you can continue sailing and this is what failed."

To the Magic Point and beyond...

According to JP Dick - fourth in 2016 and in 2012 and sixth in 2004 - the battle in the South Atlantic is all about getting to the 'magic point' when the skippers can set up on starboard tack and accelerate on the brisk climb in the trade winds to the Doldrums.

For the first five it is about finding the best transitions between the small weather systems and avoiding the calm areas. Yannick Bestaven has seen his losses stabilise and he will be first into the cold front transition when every leading mile will be worth double when it comes to touching the trade winds which will gradually strengthen.

Behind him, four skipper (Dalin, Seguin, Ruyant and Burton) who will group even tighter in the next 24 hours will put him under real pressure. And so from here to Les Sables d'Olonne where the winner is expected from January 29, the Vendée Globe is going to be electrifying.

To the Horn and beyond...

Tomorrow Monday will start a great new week on course for Arnaud Boissières, Alan Roura, Jérémie Beyou and Pip Hare. The four skippers will reach Cape Horn to end a very hard time all the way across the South Pacific. The conditions are still anticipated to be difficult on the approach to the mythical cape in a freezing southerly wind. The rough weather is expected to last almost as far as the Falklands Islands for this group of four IMOCAs.

Boissières, 'Cali', who is passing the Horn for the fourth time said today, "I'll be happy to get out of this Pacific! But I know that the Horn is a still a long way to the finish, we are still in the south after the course, we must continue to be careful and remain vigilant."

Rankings at 17H00 UTC:

PosSail NoSkipper / Boat NameDTF (nm)DTL (nm)
1 FRA 17Yannick Bestaven / Maître Coq IV4867.60
2 FRA 79Charlie Dalin / APIVIA5079.6212.1
3 FRA 1000Damien Seguin / Groupe APICIL5138.1270.5
4 FRA 59Thomas Ruyant / LinkedOut5163.4295.9
5 FRA 18Louis Burton / Bureau Vallée 25190322.4
6 FRA 09Benjamin Dutreux / OMIA ‑ Water Family5316.2448.7
7 FRA 01Jean Le Cam / Yes we Cam !5329.9462.4
8 MON 10Boris Herrmann / Seaexplorer ‑ Yacht Club De Monaco5339471.5
9 ITA 34Giancarlo Pedote / Prysmian Group5362.2494.6
10 FRA 53Maxime Sorel / V And B Mayenne5452.3584.8
11 FRA 02Armel Tripon / L'Occitane en Provence5755.7888.1
12 FRA 30Clarisse Cremer / Banque Populaire X5827.9960.4
13 FRA 49Romain Attanasio / Pure ‑ Best Western Hotels and Resorts6277.21409.7
14 FRA 14Arnaud Boissieres / La Mie Câline ‑ Artisans Artipôle7290.92423.4
15 SUI 7Alan Roura / La Fabrique7297.92430.3
16 FRA 8Jérémie Beyou / Charal7342.22474.7
17 GBR 777Pip Hare / Medallia7375.22507.7
18 FRA 92Stéphane Le Diraison / Time For Oceans7774.82907.2
19 ESP 33Didac Costa / One Planet One Ocean7835.42967.8
20 JPN 11Kojiro Shiraishi / DMG MORI Global One7936.83069.2
21 FRA 71Manuel Cousin / Groupe Sétin8367.13499.5
22 FRA 50Miranda Merron / Campagne de France9127.44259.8
23 FRA 83Clément Giraud / Compagnie du lit ‑ Jiliti91724304.4
24 FRA 72Alexia Barrier / TSE ‑ 4myplanet102675399.4
25 FIN 222Ari Huusela / Stark105835715.5
26 FRA 69Sébastien Destremau / Merci11975.57108
RET FRA 27Isabelle Joschke / MACSF  
RET FRA 56Fabrice Amedeo / Newrest ‑ Art et Fenetres  
RET FRA 109Samantha Davies / Initiatives ‑ Coeur  
RET FRA 4Sébastien Simon / ARKEA PAPREC  
RET GBR 99Alex Thomson / HUGO BOSS  
RET FRA 85Kevin Escoffier / PRB  
RET FRA 6Nicolas Troussel / CORUM L'Épargne  

Find out more...

Related Articles

Vendée Globe Day 79: The perfect layline to win
Three boats in four hours on Wednesday afternoon? After 24,300 nautical miles and more than 80 days of racing around the world victory or a place on the podium on this ninth edition of the Vendée Globe might go down to the final lay line. Posted on 25 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 78: Tumbling Dice
Burton leads, Bestaven opts for northern route, Dalin & Ruyant at full potential Less than 1000 nautical miles to the finish of the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe in Les Sables d'Olonne and it is still too close to call, not least as the Saint Malo maverick Louis Burton seized the race lead from Charlie Dalin. Posted on 24 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 78 morning update
Tunnel Vision, cutting out the noise as the finish beckons As the leaders pass the Azores the leading skippers are starting to play different options. Behind the top group Yannick Bestaven and Damien Seguin were first to gybe and are heading north in search of the stronger breeze. Posted on 24 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 77: When to gybe at the Azores?
Heading towards the closest victory margin yet? The margin of victory on this Vendée Globe may be down to minutes rather than hours. Posted on 23 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 77 morning update
Azores ahead are prelude to winning moves At 350 miles SW of the Azores this morning Charlie Dalin (Apivia) is still proving able to hold off the advance of Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) as they negotiate a key phase looking to be able to transition from the north side of the Azores Posted on 23 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 76: Dalin, Burton & Hermann lead
Three Musketeers strike out for Vendée Globe victory? With just five days or under 2000 miles to go until the first skippers finish the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe the outcome still hangs in the balance. Posted on 22 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 76 morning update
Burton's option pays, now up to second Louis Burton, now up to second, is starting to see his westerly route pay a dividend. He has negotiated the western side of the high pressure zone quickest and into the weekend should see his gains continue, sailing faster and back on a more direct route Posted on 22 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 75: Dalin's lead at 77 miles
All Quiet on the Western Front? The relative silence from among the leaders speaks volumes. Increasingly background activities are pared back to only what is necessary as the solo skippers devote all their energies to weather strategy, keeping fast and managing their energy reserves. Posted on 21 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 75 morning update
Can a corner be cut? For the leaders who are 1000 or so miles SSW of the Azores this morning this stretch of the Atlantic is not as cooperative as it was forecast to be. Posted on 21 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 74: Seven days to destiny
Louis Burton could benefit from his position further west but has been slowed for two rankings The race at the front of the Vendée Globe is electrifying. None of the eight previous editions has ever witnessed a race finish as open and intense. Posted on 20 Jan