Vendée Globe: regatta for the braves hearts

Share:

The 9th edition of the Vendée Globe started on November 8, 2020. It is a single-handed, non-stop, round the world race and perhaps the most difficult race in the world. Yachtsmen compete in the open ocean, all alone, without stopping and outside help on open 60′ (18 meters) yachts.

The regatta takes place every four years. The race starts in Les Sables d’Olonne (Vendée, France). Then the route passes south through the Atlantic, along three legendary capes – the South African Cape of Good Hope, the Australian Cape Luyn in the Indian Ocean and the Chilean Cape Horn (Pacific Ocean). Once again, finding themselves in the Atlantic Ocean, the yachts come back to France having covered approximately 25 thousand nautical miles. Along the way they don’t enter ports, make stops or get any outside help.

Despite the complexity of the regatta, the number of daredevils who want to test their strength and the capabilities of their yachts is growing. There is a record number of participants in the 2020/21 race, 33 contesting skippers from nine countries, as well as a record number of women contesting. Six yachtwomen have dared to take part in this ocean challenge.

An excellent way to isolate oneself while under the global pandemic, we might joke. But there is nothing to laugh about. After all, yachtsmen, in addition to managing a yacht, must independently cope with any unforeseen situations and breakdowns, otherwise, they may fall out of the race. The numbers speak for themselves: since the founding of the regatta 8 competitions have been held, 167 professional yachtsmen have taken part and only every second has finished. 78 participants could not cover the distance.

During the current regatta, 8 participants have already retired from the race, among them the Englishman Alex Thomson, who was the favorite to win at the start of the regatta, as this is his fifth Vendeé Globe which he tried to pass on the new hydro-foil yacht Hugo Boss. Samantha Davies also retired from the race, in spite of showing excellent results before and coming in 4th in the 2008/09 regatta.

Unsurprisingly, the regatta has been nicknamed “the Everest of the Seas”. There is hardly a more complex, exhausting, superhuman effort demanding competition and the difficulty is not only in unpredictable weather conditions or the three months of solitude. Skippers must survive the competition: sailing a yacht, developing a strategy, reacting to the weather, dodging icebergs, tankers or other vessels, dodging floating debris that can also damage the yacht and of course eat and sleep sometimes.

And sleep is the most important component, because in such conditions setting up the sails, turning on the autopilot and sleeping all night long is not an option. Yachtsmen tend to develop their own sleep patterns, and most often they alternate 20 minutes of sleep with 20 minutes of wakefulness.

The 18-meter yachts of the IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) “Open 60” class participate in the Vendée Globe. This class of yachts does not have a fixed design and allows any modification as long as it does not contradict with the class restrictions.

The main innovation of recent years is the appearance of hydrofoils, which allows the yacht to practically float above the water and accelerate to the maximum speed. This year more than half of the yachts are foil boats, and they have already shown their effectiveness. All participants on boats without foils are far behind the leaders, being at the end of the tournament table. The large sail area, up to 300 square meters, also allows yachts to reach speeds of 30 knots (56 km/h).

It was predicted that this season the participants would be able to break the record set by Armel Le Cleache, who covered the distance in 74 days in the 2016/17 season. But this did not happen, on the 74th day the leader of the race was two thousand miles from the finish line.

Today for some yachtsmen the race is almost coming to an end. The three leaders of the regatta have passed the Azores and are heading towards France. They have already managed to overcome 28 thousand nautical miles.

The first is the Frenchman Charlie Dahlen. This race is debut in the Vendeé Globe and he has performed well in other transoceanic competitions in the IMOCA class. Louis Barton and Boris Hermann are actually breathing down his back, the distance between the yachts is no more than 80 km and all three have about 500 miles left to finish.

Even now, it is very difficult to predict who will win. Previous years have shown that sometimes the circumstances can be completely unpredictable. In the 2016/17 race, for example, the aforementioned Alex Thompson had been the first but lost the lead on the approach to the Cape of Good Hope, when his yacht collided with an identified object and lost the right foil. Very soon we will find out how each participant has fated in this capricious race.

NEWS YR

Last weekend, the 71m yacht ‘Juice’ majestically left the dock in the Netherlands. This event attracted a large number of guests and those who just wanted to appreciate its exterior. The new Feadship combines classic looks with contemporary elegance. Traditional materials such as polished stainless steel, glass and teak are complemented by futuristic and sleek

Unfortunately, boot Düsseldorf was overboard for the second year in a row. On December 28, additional restrictions came into force in Germany, including on holding exhibitions. As a result of a meeting at which the situation with the pandemic was discussed, major events were banned in January. Boot Düsseldorf also falls under these restrictions. North

The creative agency Wolfgang LA has unveiled an electric SUV with a futuristic look called the Thundertruck. According to the developers, the electric vehicle promises “superior performance on the road and off-road” and “a whole new level of functionality” with zero emissions. Thundertruck was developed during the first coronavirus lockdown, where designers used their automotive

Triton Submarines has expanded its fleet with several new models that will allow their guests to start observing underwater life to a new level. The two submarines 660/9 AVA and 660/7 AVA provide each guest with a stunning panoramic view of the underwater world. A special feature of the underwater vehicle is its elongated sealed

The Italian shipyard Rossinavi presented the concept and details of its new project. The first renderings of a displacement yacht with an aluminum hull and superstructure Portofino 52 were shown at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021. Rossinavi has been collaborating for several years with the design team Team for Design and Enrico Gobbi at the

AQUARAMA AND RIVAMARE KNIFE Among the many items traditionally associated with yachting, the sailor’s knife certainly ranks high on the list and still hasn’t been supplanted by its digital counterpart. Riva, together with cutlery manufacturer Saladini from Scarperia, has developed two types of accessories. The first one is inspired by the classic Riva Aquarama boat,

Despite reasonable concerns, boot Düsseldorf organizers are looking forward to 2022. Preparations for the world’s largest water sports exhibition, to be held from 22 to 30 January 2022 at Messe Düsseldorf, are well under way. Due to the fact that the rules of the North Rhine-Westphalia region were updated on November 24, the organizers made

The history of this 58-meter yacht PHI at Royal Huisman is closely watched by the entire yachting community, and the process of her construction is very vivid and memorable. Firstly, this yacht was the first model to come off the stocks of the new dock in Vollenhove, Netherlands. PHI also became the longest motor yacht

Pininfarina Nautical teamed up with Carkeek Design Partners and Persico Marine to create a unique project called Persico F70. It is intended to become unique in terms of characteristics and design, and how its creators position it – a “hyperboat”. The project was first mentioned in March 2020, and now more details have appeared. The

Across the Atlantic, the highly anticipated 62nd Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in Fort Lauderdale (FLIBS) kicked off. It takes place this year from 27 to 31 October at the Bahia Mar Yacht Center. Owned by the Marine Industry Association of South Florida (MIASF) and run by Informa Markets, FLIBS will continue to have the

ALL NEWS

SUBSCRIBE

yachtreview magazine buy

Hardcopy + complimentary subscription to digital edition

1 year 640.00 UAH
2 years 1100.00 UAH
Subscribe

ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE YEAR

300.00 UAH

Subscribe