Less than three days before the finish in Les Sables-d’Olonne, very smart who could say which sailor will win the 9th edition of the Vendée Globe. The naval battle is raging at the head of the race between five skippers, determined not to give up after 77 days at sea yesterday. Never had such suspense taken place during the eight previous solo tours of the world, without stopovers or assistance.
All eyes are on the mano a mano that the Breton Louis Burton is engaging (Valley Office 2) and the Normand Charlie Dalin (Apivia) din about ten days. Pointed off the Azores 15 nautical miles (27.8 km) from Le Havrais in the early hours of the morning, the Malouin had, Sunday January 24, in the 3 pm ranking, 7.3 miles ahead, or 13.5 km. In other words, nothing … But their pursuer Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco), provided with a bonus of time, clings like iron to his third place, which could allow him to climb on the first step of the podium.
The German, who was 46.6 miles from Burton (82.7 km) on Sunday, will benefit from six hours of compensation on arrival, for having diverted in early December, at the request of the management of race, to participate in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier (PRB). If he remains in contact with the two leading men until Wednesday, the estimated day of the finish, he could well be crowned without having crossed the line in front and become the first foreigner to win in the Vendée Globe.
Yannick Bestaven has chosen a route further north
For Charlie Dalin, the most easterly of the fleet on Sunday, anything is still possible. “I have a little less wind, I’m starting to hit a bit at the front of the system, he explained. But there is still plenty to do! I prefer to be there than behind. “ In fourth position, Thomas Rettant (LinkedOut), which was sailing near Santa Maria Island on Sunday, was 114 miles (196 km) from the leader and was advancing north. Long leader but now fifth, at 260 miles (482 km), Yannick Bestaven (Master Rooster IV) has, meanwhile, chosen a route further north to bypass the archipelago to the west. Like Boris Herrmann, he knows he will benefit from a time cut of 10 hours and 15 minutes at the finish. “I didn’t want to go through the windings of the Azores, he explained on Sunday. It spices up a bit. My routings make me say that we will all arrive at the same time, so we might as well try an option by going north, rather than following the herd. ” NG