Vendee Globe-Halfway Round Up
The leading yachts have passed the halfway mark with first placed Yannick Bestaven‘s Maitre CoQ IV with 11,500 nm left to run, having already sailed 14,750 nm.
2nd is Charlie Dalin on APIVIA and 3rd, Thomas Ruyant‘s LinkedOut. With only 170 nm between them it is going to be exciting as the fleet is to the south of Australia brushing the Antarctic circle and heading eastwards towards Cape Horn.
Since the start on six boats have dropped out including much touted Alex Thompson was an early retiree after his boat Hugo Boss failed to live up to expectations.
Perhaps too much time is being spent on trying to go fast .The Vendee Globe is about staying power and completing the course safely.
Some would doubt whether competitors aged over 40 still have the stamina to survive being bounced around days on end on what is little better than an extended fairground ride. Only time will tell.
Britain’s Pip Hare on Medallia is 18th and going strong and speaking on 7th December said;
‘These aren’t the circumstances that I’d want to find myself leading the British entries in the race; but hearing that Alex Thompson and Sam Davies have had to retire really motivates me to keep doing my best – as much for them as for myself.
‘I feel like the little sister who wants to be in the gang, but isn’t allowed, but is trying to hang on to their coat tails – I’m determined to stay with them.
‘As we smoked along in front of our first Southern low pressure system my mind was doing cartwheels and my stomach was in knots thinking of all of the things that could go wrong on a boat hurtling through the darkness with waves crashing over the deck.
‘This boat is totally exposed; just moving around in the cockpit I am fighting constant walls of water. This is the start of 6 or 7 weeks of the toughest sailing I will ever have done in my life.
‘Of course I should be and will be anxious but I hope it won’t last too long. I’m going to accept my anxiety for now, park it, get on with life and then review how I feel in a week’s time.’
‘One of the incredible things about this last week of racing is how quickly the tempo of the race changes day to day.
‘This time last week I was putting in some relaxed but fast miles south, in T-shirt and shorts still in the trades.
‘Today I am ghosting along the top of the ice limit in a southerly breeze that feels like it is coming straight off Antarctica. The boat is shrouded in a wet, cold mist, and I’ve been chaperoned by beautiful dolphins playing in Medallia’s bow-wave.’
Let’s hope the yachts all safely round Cape Horn and there isn’t a repeat of 1997 when Tony Bullimore, then 57, was trapped for four days in his upturned hull some 1,400 miles south of Australia.
He was rescued by HMAS Adelaide which had to recall their crew from Christmas leave to face the icy waters.