A match-race more than 20,000 miles long. That’s what’s going on at the Vendée Globe (the nonstop solo round-the-world voyage aboard IMOCA 60s) and monopolizing media attention. You know the story by now: Armel Le Cleac’h, known as “the Jackal,” versus Alex Thomson, known as “the Boss”. At the time of writing (after Thomson led the early part of the race, then broke a foil, was overtaken by Le Cleac’h, then caught up with him again and gave way again) the two are off the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic, 1670 miles from the finish, set in Les Sables d’Olonne, Vendée, where it all began: Le Cleac’h has a 127-mile lead but has become “entangled” in the Azores Anticyclone. Weather uncertainty is the last hope for Thomson.
Le Cleac’h, a Frenchman born in 1977 in the Finistère region, previously second at Vendée 2008/09 and 2012/13, is the skipper of Banque Populaire VIII. He has a conservative racing style, never overdoes it, and is coldly calculating.
Thomson, born in Wales in 1974, skipper of Hugo Boss is the “soul-warmer” of the Vendée: he has accustomed us to dizzying comebacks, but also scuffles and “messes” of all kinds. He is the exact opposite of Le Cleac’h; he is a sailor who races “from the gut.”
The time has come to ask you. Who do you think will win the world tour?[socialpoll id=”2413301″]