Yannick Bestaven is tenth leader of the ninth Vendee Globe
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 6:45 PM
Yannick Bestaven, skipper of Maître CoQ IV took the lead of the Vendée Globe early this morning. And though the 47 year old from La Rochelle who is sailing a 2015 launched boat has threatened the lead before sailing an accomplished, express passage on his first time across the Indian Ocean, ‘Besta’ today becomes the 10th different leader on the 20th lead change on this remarkable Vendée Globe since the start in Les Sables d’Olonne back on Sunday 8th November.
Bestaven is now jousting with Thomas Ruyant as the pair scythe eastwards leaving the Indian Ocean behind and passing into the Pacific tonight, on a fast port gybe running as close to the Ice Exclusion Zone as they dare in the decidedly chilly Fifties. The leaders will also pass the midpoint of the 24410 nautical miles course this evening.
Bestaven and Ruyant are 15 nautical miles apart this evening. Earlier in the day they spoke on VHF radio. The LinkedOut skipper noted on the morning call that maybe Bestaven’s older generation VPLP-Verdier design might prove quicker as the 25 kts breeze moves aft to give more VMG downwind conditions. Meantime the Maître Coq IV skipper has continued to show high average speeds on what will be a long port gybe drag race for the next three days at least.
One hundred and forty miles behind them previous leader Charlie Dalin is back in the game after an exceptionally tough and exacting repair made to the foil bearing and housing on the port side of his APIVIA. Dalin told today how he worked steadily through a detailed plan including accurate drawings of the replacement carbon composite part he had to cut and replace into the foil housing, while suspending himself from a halyard.
Dalin explained, “The hardest part was fitting it. I was going back and forwards between the cockpit and the foil exit location on the hull I was suspended by a halyard to reach the point where I could fit the chock and I don’t know how many times I went back and forth, I don’t know 30 or 40 times to adjust the carbon piece to fit in the foil case. And in the end just before nightfall I managed to fit the piece in and tinker it. It was a big relief as I could see the sun going down. I was saying to myself ‘Charlie you really have to do this, you have to do this before it is dark because after that it is going to be too late. I worked really hard and managed to do it.”
Wearing a smile of relief he had admitted, “I have had a few problems. But this one puts the rest in perspective. Before a small problem felt big for me, a big concern, and after this one all my problems before they feel small. I am glad this one is over and I feel I have gained confidence in my ability in fixing the boat and I really hope the repair will hold. I now know what the Vendée Globe is about it is about surviving, managing to carry on with the boat. Boats tend to lose percentages of performance as you go on and the game is to lose fewer percentages than the opposition. So I hope I wont lose any more percent from now.
Now I have to cross the biggest ocean in the world, the Pacific and in my line of sight is Cape Horn, it seems so far, far away, so many thousands of miles, but believe me I am glad the Indian Ocean is over soon.”
He concluded “I happy to do this and to still be in the race. I am only 150 nautical miles behind the leaders. It is not unachievable to come back, so I am here and I am back and I have them in my sights.”
International Jury Decisions
The International Jury published their decisions for time compensations awarded to three of the four skippers who were involved in the rescue operation for Kevin Escoffier during the period late afternoon and overnight Monday, November 30 when the PRB skipper had to abandon his boat some 850 miles SW of Cape Town. Race Direction asked four competitors to change their course and put their race on hold, to assist Escoffier, the PRB skipper. The four skippers subsequently requested redress.
Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC), who was involved was later forced to retire due to damage to his boat and therefore waived his claim for redress.
The three skippers are Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ), Jean le Cam (Yes We Cam!), Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco).
The international jury of the Vendée Globe 2020, chaired by Georges Priol (FRA), after investigation, established that the progress of these three solo sailors "was significantly altered through no fault of (their) own, to go and give help to FR85 in accordance with RRS 1.1. The conditions for giving redress are met (RRS 62.1 (C)"
These "rectifications" are expressed as a time compensation.
This time will be credited to the three skippers once the finish line is crossed. Decisions are final with no appeal.
Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco): "The majority international jury gives redress to MON10 as follows: the finish time of MON10 will be the time at which it finishes minus 6 hours".
Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ): "The majority international Jury gives redress to FRA 17 as follows: the finish time of FRA17 will be the time at which he finishes minus 10hrs 15mins".
Jean le Cam (Yes We Cam!): "The majority international Jury gives redress to FRA01 as follows: FRA01's finish time will be the time at which he finishes minus 16hrs 15mins".
The Race Direction which managed the rescue operations, also took note of the redress request made by the skippers. It reports to the President of the Jury and to the Vendée Globe race committee. The jury takes its decision by a majority decision of its members. It is up to the race committee to apply them when the skippers cross the finish line.