Please select your home edition
Edition
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 TOP

Vendée Globe Day 76 morning update: Burton's option pays

by Vendée Globe 22 Jan 00:41 PST 22 January 2021
Louis Burton - Vendée Globe © Louis Burton / Bureau Vallee 2

Louis Burton, now up to second, is starting to see his westerly route pay a dividend. He has negotiated the western side of the high pressure zone quickest and into the weekend should see his gains continue, sailing faster and back on a more direct route. He has a narrow band of breeze to work but his position, some 70 miles north of the latitude of Charlie Dalin (Apivia), right now looks like he might overhaul Dalin when they converge near the Azores.

The gap will not be that much, one way or another. But Burton looks like he has five knots more wind where he is and the slightest increase in pressure allows him to pull the bow down and go faster more directly towards Les Sables d'Olonne, sailing low and more directly (145-150 degrees of the true wind) under a spinnaker or higher and faster (at 135-140 degrees) under gennaker with two to four knots more speed.

But the boats on the inside of the curve can still have their say, to the east there is Damien Seguin (APICIL Group) or to a lesser extent, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut), Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) or Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group) but more and more it looks like Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club of Monaco) who is on the same course as Charlie Dalin's continues to be very fast.

But with 2000 miles to the finish there is less than 200 miles between the top seven, two of them carry a time bonus for having participated in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier. Herrmann has six hours, Bestaven 10 hours 15 minutes. And Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) at 300 miles or so from the leader carries 16 hours 15 minutes with him. And so the ultimate outcome of this Vendée Globe looks very uncertain. The weather conditions to the Azores are not simple: the SW'ly flow is not strong (around fifteen knots), not all the skippers have a spinnaker, some have technical problems (foils, sails, structural fatigue, etc..) and the optimal route is far straightforward.

The passage approaching the Azores islands on Sunday is not so easy: there is a tidal current, the sea is often chaotic when approaching these volcanic islands and the winds are generally disturbed by the mountains, like the Pico volcano which rises to 2,351 meters. Nothing is easy on this Vendée Globe.

Boris Herrmann reported yesterday evening, "We have found ourself some good breeze in the high pressure ridge, sometimes we have been up to 22kts and now have 15kts to 19kts of breeze, so it is not so easy to have deep sleeps or good naps for me I am on it all the time but right now I have flat seas and dream conditions, all the time we are on the right course and it is a good day. I think Louis Burton there has a fantastic option there to the north there and he is managing to get to the other side of the ridge, well done to him, let's see how it pans out but normally we have one and a half days of this light stuff and then Sunday we are into low pressure train. My dream is aft ballast aft stacking, small gennaker, two reefs, one reef, and just send it home with no sail changes. If I stay on the fractional halyard, the change between the jibtop and the small gennaker is a long, costly change so I was thinking how to change because I so much enjoy sailing on the fractional than the masthead. So there is still plenty of way ahead of us, I can't promise we stay on the podium and I don't think this is the right moment to discuss this but we do our best, I do my best, but it is a bit of destiny, what comes out of it well I think everyone in this top group is just the same, looking to sail as best they can, and then it will be very close. "

Listen to a new audio from Sam Davies, who is completing her circumnavigation outside of the course, it is in the audio section (www.vendeeglobe.org/en/audios) of the website.

Find out more...

Related Articles

Ari Huusela closes out the 9th Vendée Globe
The first Finnish and first ever Nordic Skipper to complete the race When Finnish solo skipper Ari Huusela crossed the finish line of the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe this Friday morning, it marked the ultimate conclusion of an ocean racing dream which has occupied almost all of his spare time over the last 22 years. Posted on 5 Mar
Ari Huusela finishes the Vendée Globe
A fitting last hero Ari Huusela has the honour of closing the course on this 9th Vendée Globe. He is the last to finish the race some 37 days after the first boats. Posted on 5 Mar
Last Vendée Globe arrival Ari Huusela due Friday
The light winds he has had today have been ideal for him With 130 nautical miles to go to the finish line of the Vendée Globe this Thursday afternoon, the 25th and final skipper Ari Huusela has made what should be his last tack of the race. Posted on 4 Mar
Super Ari super happy with 350nm to the finish
Ari Huusela has just 330 nautical miles to the finish line of the Vendée Globe Ari Huusela has just 330 nautical miles to the finish line of the Vendée Globe and is almost due west of Les Sables d'Olonne. Enjoying flat seas and gentle winds he is making around 10-11kts today and it talking about a Friday finish. Posted on 4 Mar
A 'Fastnet' and a little bit to go for Ari Huusela
Ari Huusela's objective is to get STARK under the '600 miles to the finish' mark Ari Huusela's objective today is to get STARK under the '600 miles to the finish' mark, or as racing sailors know it 'one Fastnet'. He has had a slowed night and is struggling for good rest but his mood is picking up with the breeze. Posted on 2 Mar
Vendée Globe: Alexia Barrier's press conference
Alexia pledges to be back in 2024 with a faster boat Alexia Barrier's press conference was lively and informative as she told the media, friends, sponsors and sailors about her Vendee Globe while pledging to be back in 2024 with a faster boat. Posted on 1 Mar
Alexia Barrier completes Vendée Globe in 24th
The 41-year old Mediterranean skipper showed great stamina and tenacity Racing the oldest boat in the fleet, the 41-year old Mediterranean skipper showed great stamina and tenacity to complete the 24,365 miles course in a passage time of 111 days, 17 hours, 03 minutes. Posted on 28 Feb
Alexia Barrier completes her Vendée Globe
"I sailed the oldest boat in the fleet and I have finished!" Alexia Barrier completed her Vendée Globe in 24th place. After docking at the famous Port Olona pontoon and being reunited with her family, friends, sponsors and her black Labrador Nikka, she spoke to the media. Posted on 28 Feb
Vendée Globe: Alexia Barrier on final approach
Rxpected Sunday at the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne Facing a final few days of light upwind sailing across the Bay of Biscay, it now looks like it will be next Saturday 5th March before Finnish skipper Ari Huusela lowers the curtain on the epic ninth edition of the solo, non stop race around the world. Posted on 27 Feb
Sam Davies completes solo Vendée Globe route
Thousands of well wishers turned out to pay tribute to an inspirational solo round the world passage After being forced to abandon her race on 5th December following a violent collision with a floating object, British skipper Sam Davies sailed back into Les Sables d'Olonne in beautiful spring sunshine to a rapturous welcome this afternoon. Posted on 26 Feb
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterDoyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 Bottom