Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Charlie Dalin

by Vendee Globe 30 Oct 2020 01:52 PDT
Charlie Dalin on Apivia finishes second in the Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d'Olonne Race © Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / IMOCA

With his Verdier designed new generation Apivia Charlie Dalin was second in the Vendee Arctic Les Sables d'Olonne and won the Transat Jacques Vabre with Yann Elies. His programme is managed by Vendee Globe winner Francois Gabart's Mer Concept.

By all accounts he is one of the favourites, looking to follow in Gabart's wake and win the solo round the world race at the first time of asking.

So finally Charlie here we are you are about to start the Vendée Globe for the first time, how are you feeling?

"Good! It's going to be the longest race I've ever done. It's a race that we've been preparing for a long time with the team. What's also a bit special is the time to prepare and build up is so much longer. On a Transat the start would be tomorrow usually after some 10 days in the start port. That said even if there is lots of time it all goes in quickly. I still have time to read and study the weather charts, my routing suggestions, my sail selection charts are all good, everything I take in terms of my weather roadbook. Everything is on board and super tidy, everything in its place. That leaves time to prepare everything well.

Do you actually run the course in your head, mentally rehearse?

I am sure I know the descent of the Atlantic now. But I don't know the depressions in the southern oceans. Just last night I was making routings in the southern oceans to familiarize myself with the weather patterns.

Did you take advice from experienced skippers about these areas?

Yes, I talked a lot with Pascal Bidégorry. Even though he hasn't done the Vendée Globe, he has been round the world several times, in the Volvo Ocean Race and on maxi trimarans. I also spoke a lot with François Gabart, with Michel Desjoyeaux and Yann Eliès too, all good sailors who know the southern oceans.

What advice did they give you?

Lots of things... Especially about the pace to set, on how to manage your race in the South, sleep... I'm really happy to have been able to talk with them, it helps me feel ready and confident.

Did that help you come to terms with things a bit?

Yes it demystify things a little, to be able to mentally prepare yourself better too. And it allowed for a bit of a vicarious enjoyment in their company while waiting for me to create my own.

Your project is well sorted, you are a talented successful skipper. Which label do you prefer, favourite or outsider?

The Apivia project is an ambitious project. The boat was designed and built specifically for the Vendée Globe, with a four-year program. My team is carefully selected and very experienced they were extremely involved in the development of the boat. The objective of the project was to position itself as a potential winner of this Vendée Globe. Beyond that, what will happen in the race will happen. But I'm going with that as the sporting objective anyway.

Do you have any last technical choices to make before you go?

No, everything is set. All lights are green. We were able to do a check of all the onboard systems, everything works. It was good to get out to sea the other day to unroll a few sails, to remember how it all feels before the confinement period which will soon begin.

How will you deal with this the compulsory confinement? Do you think it will disturb you?

Yes, of course it's a bit special, but once the start gun goes it is a yacht race, it will not change anything compared to the other races. The period before the start is affected, there are fewer transactions with sponsors, less interaction with the public. I also had to say 'goodbyes' to my family last weekend because I won't be able to see them the week I leave. I will not be able to dine with them as I usually do 24 or 48 hours before the start. Obviously, things are a little different.

Regarding clothing can you tell us what you put in your bag?

It was a big question because once again I have never done such a long race. I have never spent so much time in such cold climates racing. So I did some research. I'm taking several pairs of foul weather gear, a few fleeces, quite a few base layers, hats, a balaclava. I also bring a little lighter clothes for the descent and the ascent of the Atlantic. In the end there is a lot there even if I'm careful with the weight. Afterwards, I'm lucky to have a very protected boat, I don't need to put on my foulies to go to trim a sail. Even for some maneuvers like a tack or a jibe, I don't need to get out of the cockpit. It allows me to be more reactive and get wet less often.

Do you have personal body protection?

In the Vendée-Arctic I took only one helmet, a rugby helmet that I put on to do the stacking when I move my bags of sails to one side or the other or from front to back. I also have a hard helmet, I will try to wear it as much as possible when the boat starts to go fast.

Does loneliness concern you?

To be honest I'm more of a loner, I like to do solo physical activities like cycling, running, swimming in the sea... At sea, I don't think I worry about loneliness. I'm not going to bring podcasts for example just to have a background presence. I don't feel like I lack social interaction. I think that's one of my strengths on this Vendée Globe.

Do you bring books, music?

Books no, music yes always, I am a big consumer of music. In the end, it's quite rare the times when I can listen to it but I always have it with me.

www.vendeeglobe.org/en

Related Articles

Big win for Ruyant and LinkedOut
After a 3-way shoot-out in the Transat Jacques Vabre After a three way battle for the overall victory, fought between LinkedOut, APIVIA and Charal it was was the partnership of Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière which prevailed to score the first major trans-ocean race win for the LinkedOut team. Posted on 29 Nov
21 Vendée Globe skippers set to race the TJV
The strong IMOCA class sees 22 boats racing No fewer than 21 skippers from the last Vendée Globe 2020-2021 will leave to cross the Atlantic Sunday from start line of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the double handed race which this year follows a 5800 nautical miles course finishing in Martinique. Posted on 6 Nov
Alex Thomson: "What they want is to have a father"
Interview after his confirmation he will not compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe To many it comes as a shock, even if he has been unusually quiet since he had to retire from the last Vendée Globe. But British skipper Alex Thomson confirmed that he will not compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe. Posted on 29 Oct
The suspense is at its peak!
Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries is living up to all its promises This first edition of the Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries is living up to all its promises: boats everywhere, total uncertainty about the weather conditions to come... the race is exciting! Posted on 28 Oct
2024 Vendée Globe Notice of Race published
Rules of participation are put in place three years before the start The SAEM Vendée, the organizing entity behind the Vendée Globe, has just published the Notice of Race which details the rules for competing in the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 21 Oct
Louis Duc: This is a boat which wanted to go again
The qualifying route in the Vendée Globe 2024 has many key stages Some one month before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre race, Louis Duc (Kostum - Lantana Paysage) who is looking to race the 2024 Vendée Globe is stepping up his preparations with Marie Tabarly, his coskipper for the Transat Jacques Vabre. Posted on 10 Oct
The Vendée Globe is back on Virtual Regatta
Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries will start on 10th October 2021 The Vendée Globe eSeries: 4 stages of preparation for the e-Vendée Globe 2024. First round: the Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries will start on 10th October 2021 and registration opens at 18:00 today. Posted on 3 Oct
An ambitious IMOCA project for Armel Tripon
Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes. Posted on 1 Oct
Défi Azimut, plenty of promise
What is the Azimut-Lorient Agglomeration Challenge? Last weekend in Lorient, 14 duos contested the last official event before November's Transat Jacques Vabre. While Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat once again demonstrated their talent Posted on 26 Sep
The Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne 2022
The first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024 The SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Globe, will also organize the "Vendée Arctic - Les Sables-d'Olonne" which will be the first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024. The "Arctic Vendée Les Sables-d'Olonne" will leave from Port Olona Posted on 21 Sep
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERHenr-Lloyd 2021 For the love of foul weather FOOTERVaikobi 2021 Boots - FOOTER