Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Raceboats 2016/17 RS Quest 728x90

New York to Vendée Race – Beyou takes top spot after 3 days of twists

by Marion Cardon on 8 Jun 2016
Beyou takes the top spot - 2016 New York–Vendée Transatlantic Race Benoit Stichelbaut / Sea&Co
After three days of twists and turns in teasingly light conditions in the Bay of Biscay, Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ won the inaugural New York – Vendée (Les Sables d’Olonne) Race presented by Currency House and SpaceCode at 14:37:52 (French time) today (Wednesday).

“This win is super important in itself, because the New York - Vendée is a big ocean race, but it is also important for the Vendée Globe: it's going to be hard for me to hide now.” Beyou said. “I felt I could afford a smile when I realised that I was able to keep Seb (Josse) at bay. I was up to speed with the best, it was a good sign. I really felt that it was possible when we ended up as a trio, and then I realised that it was pretty much done after his gybe yesterday morning towards the north Spain. That didn’t work and I was left out in front. I knew there would still be some soft stuff, but that everyone would suffer.”

The race between what is arguably the financial capital of the world to what is indisputably the capital of offshore racing, was won by one of French sailing’s favourite sons. The 39-year-old skipper from Lorient, who learned to sail with his father in the Bay of Morlaix in Brittany, showed why he regards this stretch of water as his playground.

With the spotlight on them ahead of the start of the 2016-17 Vendée Globe in November, Beyou held off the challenge from his fellow French sailor, Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild), who should finish second later today, ahead of British sailor, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss).



Beyou covered the course in nine days 16 hours 57 minutes and 52 seconds. He sailed 3,460 miles at an average speed of 14.85 knots. Except for two brief spells, Beyou has led the race since he deposed Thomson on Saturday afternoon. His advantage was never greater than 30.9 miles, but it was notable that of the three he happily declared that he was used to managing leads of 0.3 of a mile for four days and he relished this close-quarter combat.

“I know that there was an abandonment, and some damage [to other boats], but I held out against skippers who are real champions,” Beyou said. “Alex Thomson is reference-point in the IMOCA class, and I’m not even going to try and sum up Sébastien Josse, who has incredible ability.”

The 41-year-old Josse led the race for only 15 minutes in total, on Saturday, June 4, and he tracked Beyou across the North Atlantic. The hunt was on, but it was it was Beyou that kept striking. Thomson, 42, rallied from the north to take back the lead for an hour yesterday (Tuesday) morning. But Beyou found the wind as Thomson stalled and from then on he seemed uncatchable.

Beyou is already in exalted company as one of the few people to win French solo sailing’s finishing school, La Solitaire du Figaro, three times. But this was his first win in a solo IMOCA race. After being forced to abandon during the last two Vendée Globes, Beyou will hope this bodes well for third time lucky.



Victory will be doubly satisfying for Beyou because he has an old generation boat (the former Banque Populaire, which finished second in the last Vendée Globe in 2012-13), which has recently been retrofitted with foils. He was able to beat Josse and Thomson, both of whom have new boats designed with foils.

Leaving Manhattan’s spectacular skyline behind on Sunday, May 29, Beyou needed his share of luck as he, Josse and Thomson avoided the damage at the start which saw five boats - Pieter Heerema (No Way Back), Yann Eliès (Quéguiner – Leucémie Espoir), Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel – Virbac), Morgan Lagravière (Safran) and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) - head back to port for repairs on Monday, May 30. That narrowed the odds for Beyou because the last four of those were potential winners, with the last three on new generation foiling boats.

In a fantastic downwind opening phase to the race, Thomson set the pace in a 20-25 westerly wind, but the leading trio had already emerged from the reduced fleet by Wednesday, June 1 as they all posted big 24-hour runs. Thomson’s 487 miles at an average speed of 20.3 knots remains the best run of the race, but Beyou managed 467 miles at 19.5 during the same period.

The trio asserted their domination as they gybed north on Wednesday away from the rest. Thomson continued north on Thursday skirting the ice exclusion zone and opening a lead over Beyou that was 102 miles at one point. With a cold front descending from the north and bringing 35-40 knot winds, Beyou and Josse were angling more directly to Les Sables d’Olonnes while Thomson was dicing with getting caught in storm forces winds. Beyou and Josse made 80 miles back quickly on Thomson after his crash tack and recovery on Thursday night, and Beyou gradually edged past into a more favourable and ultimately winning position as they headed towards the slowdown. Thomson “perhaps went a little too far north,” Beyou said on Sunday.



The trio had managed around 3,000 miles at an average speed of 16 knots in a week by the end of Sunday, June 5, as they approached the Bay of Biscay. The last 450-odd miles have taken two and a half days, with average speeds over 24 hours plunging down to five knots. Beyou proved himself the shining star of the Vendée Waltz.

Rankings 8 June 2016 AT 15.15 BST

1/ Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ): Finished on 08/06 at 13.37.52 BST in 9 days 16h 57’ 52’’
2/ Sébastien Josse (Edmond De Rothschild) : 13.6nm to the finish
3/ Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) : +18.1nm
4/ Paul Meilhat (SMA) : +179.2nm
5/ Vincent Riou (PRB) : +255nm
6/ Tanguy De Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) : +268.2nm
7/ Kojiro Shiraishi (Spirit of Yukoh) : +296.6nm
8/ Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut) : +357.6nm
9/ Morgan Lagravière (Safran) : +934.7nm
10/ Yann Eliès (Queguiner-Leucémie Espoir) : +963.5nm
11/ Jean-Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac) : +994.4nm
12/ Conrad Colman (100% Natural Energy) : +1328.3nm
13/ Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) : +1332nm
Abd. Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire VIII)

Anyport Ewincher 2019 FooterZhik 2018 Kollition 728x90 BOTTOMJeanneau AUS 2019 SO410 Footer

Related Articles

Nacra 15 Gold for Australia at Youth Worlds
Nacra 15 Gold for Australia at Youth Worlds Australian Sailing's Will Cooley and Rebecca Hancock have won gold in the Mixed Nacra 15 at the 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships in Gdynia, Poland with one day to spare.
Posted today at 2:09 am
Race Yachts Premium Brokerage
Asia's champion Mandrake III is available for sale Asia's champion Mandrake III is available for sale. She has an amazing racing record and is a true racer cruiser with a comfortable interior to match her blistering speed.
Posted on 18 Jul
GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura preview
Kitesurfing to take place at the legendary Sotavento It'll take place at the legendary Sotavento, in the south of the island, a notoriously windy location that has played host to countless kiting and windsurfing World Tour stops over the years.
Posted on 18 Jul
Hempel Youth Sailing Worlds day 4
Three gold medals decided The penultimate day of the 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships in Gdynia, Poland saw three gold medals decided ahead of Friday's final races.
Posted on 18 Jul
SYRA18:First double-handed monohull foiling dinghy
Foiling is demanding technically and carries higher risk than more traditional forms of sailing. The key principles of the design ensure that the NTFM SYRA 18 will be accessible to the widest possible range of sailors and offer the level of exhilaration sought.
Posted on 18 Jul
Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week day 3
Super fast Quantum Racing are on song in Cascais wind and waves After a disappointing Puerto Sherry regatta last month when they finished seventh overall, their worst regatta result in the history of the world's leading grand prix monohull circuit, Quantum Racing are on fire at Cascais and lead overall.
Posted on 18 Jul
Etchells Worlds 2021 at Royal Yacht Squadron
Over 70 boats from the UK and overseas are expected to compete Over 70 boats from the UK and overseas are expected to compete including a youth challenge from the UK, USA and Australia. Cowes has previously hosted the World Championship in 1996, 2007 and 2016, and the boats will be based at Cowes Yacht Haven.
Posted on 18 Jul
Rooster are celebrating like it's 1999
The early years remembered in a limited edition t-shirt The early years of Rooster now remembered in a Limited Edition T for Men, Women and Juniors. Black or blue. Throw it in with your next order, we're all wearing them back at HQ, so stock is... limited.
Posted on 18 Jul
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek day 1
Wet and windy conditions halt play Glorious blue skies and sunshine this morning were quickly replaced by building ominous clouds over the island's southeast corner, and as competitors boarded their yachts for the first day of racing the heavens opened.
Posted on 18 Jul
Argo first to finish Transpac 50
Jason Carroll and his team push MOD 70 trimaran into the lead After several hours into the race and having to fight to get out of a wind hole on the first night, the team found the strong offshore breeze first to take a lead never seriously challenged during the entire race.
Posted on 18 Jul