9e Vendée Globe


With just a few days to go before the first boats arrive in this 9th Vendee Globe, forecasts are rife. No one can predict today who will cross the finish line first in Les Sables-d’Olonne. Never before has it been so close. The leaders which include Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) are making history.


What can make the difference in these final days of the race?

It’s a mixture of things. I slept soundly before this call. The alarm clock reminded me to get up ten minutes before. It’s also time for me to eat, I’m going to have a tartiflette. I’ve chosen the sails, the course is set, I think the boat is set up well. So all that remains is to watch, I have a few more hours of rest this afternoon but the night is going to be a bit hectic, there’s a small front, a depression ahead. I feel good and am still managing to get in some rest.”


Are you aware that you have a chance of winning the Vendée Globe?

“No, I didn’t realise that. I know I’m currently in third. When I am first on the +tracking+, then we’ll talk again about it. Charlie and I are in the same wind, heading in the same direction so his boat will normally go a little faster in these conditions, I don’t think that leaves a lot of possibilities. But hey, there is certainly a chance of staying on the podium. I’m sailing at my best and we’ll see what happens. My boat is 100%, me too, I’m not slowing down, I am pushing the boat more to the limit of the load. At the moment, it’s OK as the seas are not too rough and the weather forecast from here to the finish doesn’t look too bad either. Tonight’s going to be a bit extreme (a front is approaching the Azores, NDLR).”


 Do you think there is still room for a tactical manoeuvre between now and the finish?

“Already between the two global weather models (one European and one American, NDLR), the routes are not the same. According to the European model, it is passing the Azores further west and for my boat, equipped with GFS, an American model, the route is east of the Azores. There’s already a trajectory gap of 200 miles. Which is right? We don’t know today. Whoever has the best nose can already make a huge gap with these different trajectories.”


Have you considered the possibility of victory thanks to the six-hour time compensation given you by the Race Direction for helping in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier?

“I haven’t thought about that it’s true! We’ll see in the next 24 or 48 hours how things evolve. If I manage to claw back a few miles off Charlie, then we can talk about it. Winning without crossing the line first (Herrmann has not been in first position since the start, NDLR) would be a shame, but that’s the name of the game. We were all allocated time compensations (Yannick Bestaven of 10 hours 15 minutes and Jean Le Cam 16 hours), it was well thought out by the Race Direction, for me it’s correct, it’s right. We have known about these hours for a long time and will work with it. I’d say that adds extra spice to what is already a heated battle to the finish.”

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