Charlie Dalin is at Cape Finisterre, Apivia is thus the first boat ready to sail in the reverse direction, compared to last November, the Bay of Biscay. These are hours of great tension and anticipation at Vendée Globe headquarters in Les Sables d’Olonne. Never in the history of the race/around the world has there been such an ending and so uncertain.
Compared to yesterday’s day, however, something has changed. Dalin’s leadership on the Apivia foiler appears a bit more solid, there is no doubt by now that the 1984 class from Le Havre is by far the best of the leading skippers when it comes to trajectories and sailing in phase with the wind, as he has demonstrated throughout the race and as seen in these hours in the ascent of Portugal. It may not be enough, however, because Dalin has to put just over 6 hours between himself and Boris Herrman, and then 10 on Bestaven. These are the days of rebates, and if Dalin wants to win the Vendée Globe he will have to deal with these numbers. The most dangerous of the skippers who will benefit from the rebate appears to be definitely Boris Herrmann, now detached by 82 miles. Bestaven, on the other hand, is 295 away; he should not be considered out of the running even though the northern option he has chosen is not yet clear whether it will be beneficial or not. At the moment he looks podium but not in contention for victory Louis Burton, who having no time bonuses can only expect to catch up and overtake Dalin in the final sprint.
Good moment for Giancarlo Pedote, who is making an excellent approach, still side by side with an indomitable Damien Seguin. Prysmian is 824 miles from Les sables and on the narrow leeward edge should be able to overtake its direct rival again. It now seems clear that Pedote’s boat suffers greatly from full stern gaits, where Seguin seems decidedly faster.
It will still take about 24 hours or so to know the winner of the 2020-2021 Vendée. But they may not be enough.