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Vendée Globe Day 74

The race at the front of the VendĂ©e Globe is electrifying. None of the eight previous editions has ever witnessed a race finish as open and intense. Right now the leading skippers are trying to get their heads around a do-or-die sprint to the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne which has now less than one week to run.

Even the most informed of France’s pre-race race prognosticators did not project a podium finish for the maverick 35 year old from Saint Malo Louis Burton, but most avid race watchers now see the skipper of Bureau VallĂ©e as having a small lead as he is furthest north and faster than his nearest rivals.

Even if the rankings have him fourth this evening – as he is to the west of his rivals – it looks like he may be first to round the Azores high pressure and connect with the low pressure express train to the finish line.

“He can be into the southwesterly winds first and benefit from a lane through the high pressure corridor with a more constant wind flow and then with a more sustained better angle than his pursuers,” suggested SĂ©bastien Josse the weather consultant for the VendĂ©e Globe. “The others will be more downwind, forcing them to manoeuvre more. Louis could stay in the same flow as far as Les Sables d’Olonne and be in several hours ahead at the finish.”

But the leader on the rankings Charlie Dalin says the two will re-connect, “We will meet again under the Azores and we will have to do a series of gybes and sail changes, there is still a lot of work to do before the finish!”

Vendée Globe Position Report 17H00 UTC 20/01/2021 - photo © Vendée Globe
VendĂ©e Globe Position Report 17H00 UTC 20/01/2021 – photo © VendĂ©e Globe

As the tension builds and time counts down to the finish, the skippers are feeling the pressure like never before. Thomas Ruyant continues to be quick but the skipper who originates from Dunkirk, Normandy was clearly frustrated that with no port foil he will be compromised during the final sprint and may lose out.

“I knew the Atlantic climb was going to be complicated with a lot of starboard tack,” he told the radio session this morning. “With a compromised boat it is difficult and frustrating not to compete with those around me on equal terms. But here I am, I take my troubles patiently and hold on to a competitive spirit. In a few days, the downwind conditions will allow me to stabilize things a bit. There might be less of a performance gap so I’ll do everything to keep in touch.”

Germany’s Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) has progressively recovered miles since his passage across the Doldrums and is back pacing the leaders mile for mile, quickest on all of today’s measures and looking like he has the potential to finish across the line in a podium position.

“It is pretty bouncy in the trade winds. Boris is looking forward to getting into the high pressure system and getting into the lighter regime to really make sure he in the best shape for the finish sprint. He is intent in really looking after himself these next couple of days. He is very even headed and in a good place in his head. The breeze is dropping sooner than expected and you can see Louis is into light winds already,” commented Herrmann’s usual co-skipper Will Harris.

Predictions have the leaders arriving into Les Sables on the 27th January with as many as six boats arriving on the same day.

Rankings at 17H00 UTC:


Pos Sail No Skipper / Boat Name DTF (nm) DTL (nm)
1 FRA 79 Charlie Dalin / APIVIA 2353.3 0
2 MON 10 Boris Herrmann / Seaexplorer ‑ Yacht Club De Monaco 2467.3 114
3 FRA 59 Thomas Ruyant / LinkedOut 2471.4 118.2
4 FRA 18 Louis Burton / Bureau Vallée 2 2497.2 143.9
5 FRA 17 Yannick Bestaven / Maître Coq IV 2525.1 171.8
6 FRA 1000 Damien Seguin / Groupe APICIL 2531.9 178.6
7 ITA 34 Giancarlo Pedote / Prysmian Group 2576.5 223.2
8 FRA 01 Jean Le Cam / Yes we Cam ! 2701.1 347.8
9 FRA 09 Benjamin Dutreux / OMIA ‑ Water Family 2718.7 365.4
10 FRA 53 Maxime Sorel / V And B Mayenne 2982.6 629.3
11 FRA 02 Armel Tripon / L’Occitane en Provence 3142.1 788.9
12 FRA 30 Clarisse Cremer / Banque Populaire X 3573.3 1220
13 FRA 49 Romain Attanasio / Pure ‑ Best Western Hotels and Resorts 4079.9 1726.6
14 FRA 8 Jérémie Beyou / Charal 4913.7 2560.4
15 FRA 14 Arnaud Boissieres / La Mie Câline ‑ Artisans Artipôle 5046.7 2693.4
16 SUI 7 Alan Roura / La Fabrique 5082.3 2729
17 GBR 777 Pip Hare / Medallia 5216.1 2862.9
18 FRA 92 Stéphane Le Diraison / Time For Oceans 5513.7 3160.4
19 JPN 11 Kojiro Shiraishi / DMG MORI Global One 5679.5 3326.2
20 ESP 33 Didac Costa / One Planet One Ocean 5698.4 3345.1
21 FRA 71 Manuel Cousin / Groupe SĂ©tin 6217.6 3864.3
22 FRA 50 Miranda Merron / Campagne de France 6470.4 4117.2
23 FRA 83 Clément Giraud / Compagnie du lit ‑ Jiliti 6576.6 4223.3
24 FRA 72 Alexia Barrier / TSE ‑ 4myplanet 8278.6 5925.4
25 FIN 222 Ari Huusela / Stark 8414.5 6061.2
RET FRA 69 SĂ©bastien Destremau / Merci
RET FRA 27 Isabelle Joschke / MACSF
RET FRA 56 Fabrice Amedeo / Newrest ‑ Art et Fenetres
RET FRA 109 Samantha Davies / Initiatives ‑ Coeur
RET FRA 4 SĂ©bastien Simon / ARKEA PAPREC
RET GBR 99 Alex Thomson / HUGO BOSS
RET FRA 85 Kevin Escoffier / PRB
RET FRA 6 Nicolas Troussel / CORUM L’Épargne

Find out more…

by Vendée Globe

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