9th Vendée Globe


Only a few more hours to go before the final outcome is known of this crazy 19th Vendée Globe. In the last weeks, suspense has been ratcheting up and it looks set to go down to the wire. Concentration is maxed out on the IMOCAs leading the fleet. Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) talked about his strategy for the coming hours this morning.


“My choice of route for the coming days is a mixture of results from calculated routings and timing of a wind shift. I am sailing now on a fast tack. I’m not being slowed down by waves and continue north towards a stronger breeze. Every 12 hours we get weather updates and make adjustments accordingly, all the while monitoring changes to wind direction and front movements. The rest is intuition and feelings. For the moment, the outcome is still very open, but so far everything is going well for us. I am happy with my current position.

I think the last day will be super exciting and the finish also, as we will all be following the same route coming from the northwest – it will be a proper race of speed on the 450 mile home straight. The angle of wind will be about 120°, which means we’ll be foiling and going at very high speeds for us. We will enter the Golfe de Gascogne at full speed, just before a deep depression approaches from the west.  It will be incredibly exciting and close and the rankings could change at that point. And the 10-hour time compensation for Yannick Bestaven is of course huge. If we are sailing at 20 knots, that means 80 nautical miles covered in four hours. So Yannick can be 80 miles behind me and still beat me.

I have fought hard in this Vendée Globe, the conditions not really being good to me in the south. The sailing is fantastic at the moment and in fact I’m relatively relaxed. Despite the swell, I have managed to find the right angle to the waves where the boat is sailing well. It just works, so I am automatically relaxed. Also, it’s still warm and quite sunny, unlike yesterday, but I think it’s the last day for a few months that I will be sitting outside in a T-shirt.”