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"It doesn't get more exciting than this!" - Boris Herrmann in the final sprint of the Vendee Globe!

by Holly Cova 25 Jan 22:17 PST 26 January 2021
Boris Herrmann during the Vendée Globe © Boris Herrmann #VG2020

It is the most exciting final in the history of the Vendée Globe. Between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, not only is the winner of the ninth edition expected to arrive in Les Sables d'Olonne, but at least four more skippers should cross the finish line close behind. Boris Herrmann continues to hold his third place, less than 70 nautical miles behind first-placed Charlie Dalin, and is again one of the fastest of the fleet, sailing at an average speed of 18,4 knots now, at the latest update.

In a live Zoom call yesterday evening, with over 7200 fans and followers attending from all around the world, Boris talked about the upcoming three days until the finish:

"It is really great that you all follow me so closely! It gives me a lot of energy, courage and motivation to push hard and give everything I've got. Like you, I am also very excited every time I update the tracker and look at the new positions of the skippers. At the moment, it is particularly exciting from a sailing perspective because quite different strategies have been chosen. Charlie Dalin is sailing further east through lighter winds and on flatter water - Yannick Bestaven went to the north and can profit from stronger winds there. They are two strong competitors. At this point, everything can happen. It really doesn't get more exciting than this!"

At the moment, everyone is playing a bit for themselves

"My choice of route for the next days is a mixture of the results of the computer programmes and the actual time of the wind shift here on site. I am currently sailing on a fast course, so I don't get stuck in the waves and I am making sure to head north into the stronger breeze. Every 12 hours we receive new weather models and make readjustments accordingly, while monitoring how the wind is shifting and where the front is moving to. The rest is intuition and feeling. Right now, the outcome remains still very open, but so far it is going quite well for us. I am happy with my current position."

The last miles to the finish will be a real speed race

"I think the last day will be super exciting and the arrival itself as well, because we will all follow the same route coming in from the northwest - it will be a pure speed race on a 450-mile long finishing straight. The wind angle will be around 120 degrees, which means full foiling and high speeds for us. We will enter the Bay of Biscay at full speed, just before the strong low pressure closes in from the west. That will be incredibly exciting and close, positions can still shift at that point. And the time credit of over 10 hours for Yannick Bestaven, that is of course enormous. If we sail at 20 knots boat speed, it means 80 nautical miles covered in four hours. So, Yannick can be 80 miles behind me and still beat me."

The speedo rarely goes below 20 knots

"I have fought hard during this Vendée Globe, not really finding the best conditions for me in the south. Right now, it is fantastic sailing and I am actually relatively relaxed. Despite the swell here, I have managed to find an angle to the waves, where the boat sails very well. It just runs and I am automatically relaxed. In addition, it is still quite warm and sunny in contrast to yesterday, but I think it was the last day for the next few months, where I have sat outside in a T-shirt."

For Boris, the final sprint has started, he is ready to tackle the last miles to France! Find out more...

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