Vendée Globe, two sailboats side by side under the equator
As the race leader prepares to enter the northern hemisphere, the Vendée Globe is far from over. Two candidates are in the lead, very close to each other. And two other competitors are behind them.
At the midday check-in, this Saturday, January 16, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) are only separated by 3 nautical miles (about 5 km). They are followed a few tens of miles away by Thomas Rettant (LinkedOut) and Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco).
Five sixths of the distance covered
After 69 days at sea, the leader is now 3,500 miles from the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne. These sailors have already covered more than 20,000, or five sixths of the total distance to be covered.
They must now tackle the Doldrums, a very unstable intertropical convergence zone where they will be forced to slow down. This passage could serve as a justice of the peace, before the last sprint towards the French coast.
During an audio press point on Friday, Charlie Dalin unveiled his cards a bit: ” We started at a fairly tight end of the race. Physically no problem. Obviously there is deep fatigue that sets in “, he said, while saying to himself “Attack for the final sprint”. In this inventory, he also indicated that all the ships suffered: “There is no 100% boat in the fleet”.
He explained that he was looking for the “Good entry point into the doldrums”. “This is the issue that could be quite decisive for the next few days”, he concluded.
Twenty-five competitors still in the race
In the meantime, the race was marked by another retirement, the eighth since the start: that of Sébastien Destremau (Thank you). The navigator was in last place and had just passed New Zealand. He has not yet specified the reason for his decision.
The Finnish Ari Huusela (Stark), who is near Point Nemo, the farthest point on all earth, is therefore the new red lantern. It is one of the last three in the fleet to have yet to cross Cape Horn, in southern America. The other two are Clément Giraud (Compagnie du Lit-Jiliti), who is approaching it, and Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet).
Twenty-five ships remain in the race to complete this round-the-world sailing solo and non-stop. They were 33 at the start, on November 8.