Please select your home edition
Lennon Thermalite 728x90 2

Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race update: It's the Beyou-Dalin show at the head of the fleet

by Ed Gorman 8 Jul 2020 03:06 PDT 8 July 2020
Jérémie Beyou on Charal leads the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race © Gauthier Lebec / Charal

It's a classic match race at the head of the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'OLonne Race this morning as the two Figaro veterans Jérémie Beyou and Charlie Dalin duel for the lead in light airs just under 300 miles from the IOC-UNESCO Waypoint.

After all the upwind violence of the first few days and then some fast phases off the wind, the leaders in the 17-strong fleet are new creeping along at a pace that cruising sailors might hope for, with six or seven knots of boatspeed in very light winds.

But the battle between the two Frenchmen could not be closer with just a couple of miles separation between them on a smooth sea, with Beyou's Charal positioned to the northeast of Dalin's Apivia.

The two skippers have stuck to each other like glue, unlike third-placed - and former race leader - Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut who has sailed his own race and is now 15 miles to leeward of the leading pair.

Dalin is loving every minute of this duel with Beyou.

"Everything's going well for now," he reported. "I saw Jérémie on AIS last night and again tonight. We're fighting, we're fighting... we're negotiating a ridge of high pressure and it's like we're doing a little Solitaire du Figaro. Thomas isn't very far behind either, he's making good headway."

This is Dalin's first solo race on his Guillaume Verdier-designed foiler and he is relishing the opportunity. "I'm happy to be on my boat, on Apivia," he said. "It's really good to regain the feeling of being alone... the boat is at 100% and so am I. I managed to get some rest yesterday. I didn't get much sleep last night because of this ridge of high pressure, but I hope once we get out of it we'll be able to recover."

The skipper originally from Le Havre who won last year's Transat Jacques Vabre alongside Yann Eliès, believes the IOC-UNESCO Waypoint can be reached - "more or less" - in one tack once the breeze fills in from the west, to the north of their current position.

Behind Ruyant the chasing boats have been able to catch up with the leading trio, something we rarely see in a Vendée Globe when the leaders usually disappear over the horizon.

This morning Britain's Sam Davies is up to fourth position on Initiatives-Coeur, 20 miles behind Beyou and 12 miles ahead of Isabelle Joschke on MACSF in fifth position. Davies who was 10 miles to windward of Joschke, has been enjoying the easier conditions and has reported that her boat is in good condition.

Behind the two female skippers on the leaderboard, but 25 miles southwest of Davies, is a tight battle for six and seventh between Kévin Escoffier on PRB and Boris Herrmann on Seaexplorer-YC de Monaco. Those two were just a couple of miles apart and still cruising along at 10 knots compared to Beyou at just seven knots.

Back in 14th position about 125 miles off the leading pace, Arnaud Boissières has been benefitting from downwind conditions on the northern edge of the low pressure system that has dominated the race over the last two days. The skipper of La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle has had some repairs to make to his autopilot connection and is enjoying this "warm-up" race for the Vendée Globe.

"I'm super-happy to be here and I'm not desperate to catch the little group in front of me," he said. "It's a really nice exercise...first we had upwind sailing and now we're sailing downwind but we're heading north!"

"It's like a big Olympic triangle," he added. "It's the ideal exercise before a Vendée Globe. It's really good for testing the boats and the man. I'm very happy with what we've done this winter on the boat, especially the cockpit hood to protect me from the spray. However, I forgot my gloves. Maybe it's a mistake as my hands are already starting to burn."

All the skippers are feeling the cooler temperatures as they head north towards Iceland and the shorter nights too with just four or five hours of darkness. Boissières commented on this. "It's nice to have shorter nights," he said. "It's like we've got a spotlight on us. It's nice to trim the sails, manoeuvre a little. It's a change from normal nights."

Find out more at

Related Articles

Maxime Sorel: an IMOCA class complete professional
The big step from being one of the pack to becoming a performer You only have to look at Maxime Sorel's impressive Class 40 career to know that this 35-year Frenchman is a highly competitive sailor who is more than capable of reaching the podium in major IMOCA races. Posted today at 7:09 am
B&G® announce partnership with Pip Hare
Pip prepares her new IMOCA 60 Medallia with the latest marine electronics for racing B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, on Tuesday announced its partnership with Pip Hare, a British professional sailor for over 25 years, and in 2020 completed her dream of competing in the Vendee Globe. Posted today at 4:06 am
Vendée-Arctique skippers celebrate their success
The public turned out in significant numbers to greet the skippers Les Sables d'Olonne put together all of the key ingredients to honour the solo skippers of the second edition of the Vendée Arctique Les Sables. Posted on 26 Jun
Vendee Arctique: Bulk of fleet lands in Port Olona
Smiles, hugs and champagne greeted the fleet Smiles, hugs and champagne greeted more than half the Vendee Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne fleet Thursday as they paraded into Port Olona on a warm, windless day after slowly jockeying down the coast. Posted on 24 Jun
Vendée Arctique: a necessary race for IMOCA Class
This challenge is important for a class which is defined every 4 years by the Vendée Globe As the skippers continue to make their way back to the French coast after the early conclusion of the Vendée Arctique, Antoine Mermod, the president of the IMOCA Class, has expressed his enthusiasm for a race that he believes is here to stay. Posted on 22 Jun
Arctic Vendée - ETA of each skipper now known
The public is invited to come to the village to welcome them back The sailors of the Vendée Arctique - Les Sables d'Olonne are expected throughout the week at the pontoons of Port Olona. At the end of a particularly trying journey to the Iceland gate, they set sail for the Vendée. Posted on 20 Jun
Not just another...
…case of miscellaneous ramblings. You might say that, but you could well have missed the point. …case of miscellaneous ramblings. I mean, yes, you might say that, but you could well have missed the point right there. Posted on 20 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race: "A wild ride"
Elena Hight and Ian Walsh on11th Hour Racing Team cross the finish line At 06:48 EDT, 11th Hour Racing Team crossed the finish line of the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race after a grueling 41 hours and 28 minutes 43 seconds at sea. Posted on 19 Jun
Arctic Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne results
The finish line has now been closed The finish line of the 2nd Arctic Vendée - Les Sables d'Olonne has been closed since the arrival of the last competitor, Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One), Saturday June 18 at 10:33 p.m. Posted on 19 Jun
Belgian skipper has to abandon the Vendée Arctique
Belgian solo skipper made the decision to finally 8.22pm this Saturday evening The Belgian solo skipper Denis Van Weynbergh who had got to less than twenty miles from the finish line of the Vendée Arctique Les Sables race made the decision to finally 8.22pm this Saturday evening. Posted on 19 Jun
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERHenri-Lloyd M-PRO FOOTER SWC-Tech 2020 Battens 2 728x90 BOTTOM