Montag, 06.12.2021 01:45 Uhr

First sailor across the line may not be the winner

Verantwortlicher Autor: Jochen Raffelberg Les Sables d"Olonne, 26.01.2021, 15:43 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Jochen Raffelberg Bericht 5493x gelesen

Les Sables d"Olonne [ENA] The VendeeGlobe sailing race organization have warned that because of time bonuses for three participants the “first to cross the finish line on Wednesday may not be the winner.” Hours before the expected arrivals they reconfirmed that Jean Le Cam, Yannick Bestaven and Borris Herrmann had been granted “legitimate compensations” of up to ten hours for their efforts in rescuing shipwrecked co-sailor Kevin Escoffier.

They reported that on 16 December the international jury of the solo, nonstop, round the world regatta had rendered its verdict on the time bonuses granted to Le Cam (4 hours, 15 minutes), Bestaven (10 hours, 15 minutes) and Herrmann (6 hours), the three sailors that had stopped their race and diverted their yachts to help Escoffier. These compensations would “increase the pressure” for the next 48 hours, “because for the first time in the history of the VendeeGlobe, the first to cross the finish line at the end of the day on January 27 may not be the winner,” the report explained.

After almost twelve hours in his life raft since abandoning his IMOCA 60 PRB in strong winds and big seas 840 nautical miles Southwest of Cape Town, the 40-year of Escoffier from Saint Malo (France) was dramatically rescued by compatriot Le Cam on 01 December. He was racing in third place on the 22nd day of the regatta in 25-30 knots Southwesterly winds and big seas when his boat nosedived into a wave and, he reported after his rescue, literally broke in two, giving him minutes to grab his survival suit and take to his life raft. While race management asked nearby Le Cam to approach Escoffier, Bestaven and Herrmann were requested to act as backstops because the life raft was barely visible in the darkness and because of the rough sea.

The five or six sailors fighting for a place on the podium including Charlie Dalin, Louis Burton, Herrmann, Bestaven and also Le Cam did not entirely have their fate in hand since it would not be enough for the first to cross the finish line to become winner, according to the editorial management’s report. Then the bonuses would kick in like the six hours for German Boris Herrmann, which meant a difference of 120 miles at 20 knots average, 90 to 15 knots, 60 to 10 knots. This situation was unprecedented after 23,800 miles and some 79 days of solo sailing. “It will be a complex arrival. We will give a provisional result as long as we have no certainty,” the report said.

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