Who will win the 2020 Vendée Globe? Dalin leading in trade winds, Burton attacks

(Photo Jean-Marie Liot/Alea/Disobey)

Will the 2020 Vendée Globe win us? The question posed like this is so easy, only to date, after 72 days of racing, there is no answer. We do not mean a dry answer, but at least one that indicates a pair of names. But it is not easy to say today, although we will try, who is really the favorite to win the world tour.

In fact, the weather has been a game changer, reshuffling the standings several times and nullifying even important breakaways such as that of Bestaven, who had even come to have a lead of more than 500 miles over the second, and now finds himself even fifth. Technically there are at least 8 skippers who could win the Vendée Globe, at least purely theoretically. And among them we can also put our own Giancarlo Pedote on Prysmian Group. With some help from the weather, which has slowed down the leaders often and often, but also with a lot of wisdom and strategic reading by the Italian skipper, Prysmian sails today in seventh position, less than 200 miles behind provisional leader Charlie Dalin on Apivia. Dreaming of the rest costs nothing, and while Pedote is certainly not among the favorites for this final rush, no one perhaps expected him to be so far ahead in the standings today, and with such a narrow gap. His strategy of keeping the boat at its best is rewarding him, and, as we have said before in other circumstances, no Italian had moved as far ahead in the Vendée Globe rankings as the Tuscan skipper is doing. Giancarlo could also further improve his position by overtaking Damien Seguin, the last foil-less boat ahead of him, in the next few hours.

In blue is the vast anticyclonic area placed exactly on the skippers’ route.

In the lead is back now for a few days Charlie Dalin, who is doing perhaps the best racing of all the skippers in the fleet. In fact, Dalin has not been able to extend his left foil for almost a month now, which is therefore almost totally out of commission and can give far less benefit to the boat than what it was designed for. Nevertheless, Dalin remained consistently in the top 3, and even recovered over 500 miles at Bestaven in the Southeast Trade Wind, playing only tactics and trajectories, despite his boat sailing about 25 percent below his performance if not more. Many agree that the Frenchman at the helm of Apivia is by technical depth the best skipper in the race, but there are still 2,600 miles and a bad foil between him and the finish line in Les Sables. What about Louis Burton, however? Undoubtedly the most aggressive of the remaining skippers in the race. The only one to always attack even in the Great South, which cost him, however, a forced stop in the Pacific Ocean to repair some problems that prevented him from hoisting the full mainsail. Undoubtedly to date it is Dalin’s most dangerous opponent, and the one that is once again going on the attack, with a more rested and fast course. Who will be right?

A vast anticyclonic area perfectly bars the way for the leading group, so the upsets in the standings may not be over.


Mauro Giuffrè



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