Bestaven third over the line but wins on time difference for helping fellow competitor Kevin Escoffier
Yannick Bestaven, the 48 year old French skipper of Maître Coq IV, is the overall winner of the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe. Although third over the line at Les Sables d’Olonne, he carried a time compensation of 10 hours and 15 minutes, awarded for his role in the search for fellow competitor Kevin Escoffier, who eventually took to his liferaft and was rescued by Jean le Cam.
Besthaven arrived at 03hrs 19mins 46 secs early this morning, taking victory 2hrs 31mins 01secs ahead of Charlie Dalin and 6hrs 40mins 26secs of Louis Burton who both finished ahead of him and take second and third respectively.
The skipper of Maître CoQ IV was one of the two skippers who led the fleet for the longest time: 26 days, or 32% of the solo non-stop round the world race, finishing in Biscay drizzle on a 2m swell in 20 knot westerly winds.
The ninth edition of the race saw a record entry of 33 skippers and has been marked by complicated weather patterns for both the descent down and the ascent back up the South Atlantic, including regrouping of the leading pack in persistent period of light winds early in the Pacific, and again off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The most dramatic moments of the race came on the 22nd day of racing, November 30th when PRB, the IMOCA of third placed Kevin Escoffier broke up suddenly 640 miles SW of Cape Town.
Escoffier was forced to abandon into his liferaft in minutes. Four skippers were requested to reroute help locate and rescue Escoffier. Although 61 year old veteran Jean Le Cam was first on the scene and got close to Escoffier it was 11 ½ hours later when Le Cam was finally able to rescue the stricken skipper from his liferaft.
The international jury announced their time compensations on December 16th at six hours for Germany’s Boris Herrmann, 10hrs and 15 mins for Bestaven and 16hrs and 15 mins for Le Cam. Little then did race watchers realise that this redress would ultimately decide the final winner after the closest, most competitive race finish in history, the first three skippers crossing the line in less than eight hours.
Germany’s Boris Herrman was in contention for a podium position until he struck a fishing boat at 90 miles from the finish line. He is bringing his Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco to the finish at reduced speed.
Podium of the ninth Vendée Globe
1 – Maître CoQ IV (Yannick Bestaven), finished 28/01/2021 03:19:46 UTC, elapsed time 80d 13h 59min 46s. Time compensation : -10h 15min 00s, Offical corrected time : 80dj 03h 44min 46s.
Average speed on the theoretical course: 24 365.74 nm / 12.60 kts.
Miles sailed: 28 583.80 nm at an average of 14.78 nds
2 – APIVIA (Charlie Dalin) finished 27/01/2021 19:35:47 UTC. elapsed time 80d 06h 15min 47s
no time compensation. Time difference to first 02h 31min 01s
Average speed on the theoretical course: 24 365.74 nm / 12.65 nds
Miles sailed: 29 135.01 nm at an average of 15.13 nds
3 – Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton) finished 27/01/2021 23:45:12 UTC elapsed time 80d10h 25min 12s, no compensation. Time difference to first 06h 40min 26s, time difference to APIVIA 04h 09min 25s
Average speed on the theoretical course: 24 365.74 nm / 12.62 nds
Miles sailed: 28 649.99 nms at an average of 14.84 nds