Yannick Bbestaven, on his Maitre Coq foiler, is the first skipper to double Cape Horn, followed by Charlie Dalin on Apivia and Thomas Ruyant on Linkedout. Three foilers in the first three positions, 7 in the first 11: despite the complexity and fragility of these new ocean monsters, Cape Horn is issuing its first sentence that will probably disappoint the entire “no-foil” tribe. Bestaven’s time – 55 days and 22 minutes – is 8 days shorter than Armel Le Cleac’h’s passage on Banque Populaire in 2016. Le Cleacìh’s boat, a first generation foiler now skippered by Louis Burton, is in ninth position, 700 miles from the leader.
Compared with 2016, the reasons for the delay are also meteorological: the upwind navigation against the depressions in the North Atlantic, the lost week in the Santa Elena Anti-cyclone between Brazil and Cape Town, the faster-than-usual and all-downwind depressions in the Pacific Indian have had their consequences in terms of days, hours and minutes. All this has resulted in a travel time that will probably prevent a new regatta record at the arrival of Les Sables. The conclusions about the new Imoca and the forecasts on their future development, with an analysis that, however, cannot ignore the critical issues that emerged under certain conditions, will be drawn in the end with rankings and gaps in hand. And speaking of weather, this Cape Horn passage has an epic sound: Bestaven passed in the middle of a storm with gusts of over 50 knots, Dalin is about to do the same thing, after having covered over 1,600 miles in the last 4 days, confirming that the Vendée Globe sailors have certainly not unlearned to push their boats to the maximum when it is useful to do so. In this case, it was necessary to avoid the depression that, in fact, reached them only near the Cape, after having instead passed the rest of pursuers.
Giancarlo Pedote and Prysmian Group are in 11th position at 740 miles from Bestaven, the passage at Capo Horn should take place in the morning, in Italy, of 4 January 2021. Pedote’s last 48 hours were good, he managed to get closer to Le Cam and Hermann and the group of boats further south, a position absolutely to be held to begin the ascent of the Atlanticwith the concrete possibility of improving his position. In fact, Prysmian has shown that he can go very fast in the trade winds and, if Pedote wants to take a few more risks, the time to do so could now be close. Pedote also left a short comment about the conditions he is facing behind the same depression that affected the first two skippers. “The progression is ‘painful’. The wind blows between 25 and 30 knots over an extremely disordered sea. The boat rattles continuously. I think it is the most complicated moment since the start of the race. I can’t wait for this depression to pass! “.
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