Moderated by Antoine Mermod, president of the IMOCA class, the press convention organized a number of days earlier than the arrival of the first Vendée Globe rivals offered an preliminary evaluation of this very particular edition. And the trade turned out to be as wealthy because it was instructive… Overview!
Eight riders can nonetheless win the Vendée Globe
First of all, by no means has an edition seen a lot change of chief since a minimum of 10 rivals have taken turns in the yellow jersey of the fleet since November 8. And a number of days earlier than the end in Les Sables, eight skippers together with three (Herrmann, Bestaven and Le Cam) because of the time compensation granted for the rescue of Kevin Escoffier can nonetheless dream of successful the oceanic Grail! If the earlier edition had seen the fleet cut up in two between the adventurers and the rivals, this yr, the degree is general extra homogeneous regardless of the range of tasks and expertise. “Every mile of this planetary race has been and continues to be fiercely contested thanks to a stronger selection and qualification system. Conclusion, the guys were ready and it showed”Abounds Antoine Mermod.
Particular climate favorable to hunters!
But the issue of this explicit climate this yr additionally explains this present regrouping in the Atlantic. In truth, from the first week of the race, a tropical storm circulating between Madeira and the Canaries prevented the fleet from rapidly touching the commerce winds, then the standard degree crossings which might be the Equator and Cape Horn and which typically permit the head of the fleet to take off, have at all times allowed pursuers to get well. In addition, the significantly tough situations encountered in the southern seas pressured the foilers to ease off, and even to voluntarily navigate beneath their pace pole to keep away from breakage. Suddenly, the IMOCAs with drifts or the much less excessive neo foilers have been in a position to come out of the recreation. And that was seen with Yannick Bestaven, Jean Le Cam and even Damien Seguin who had an unbelievable race in the southern seas … But no passage time has been improved this yr (with the exception of the Horn-Equateur part swallowed in 11 days and 18 hours by Boris Herrmann) and the reference time of 72 days held by Armel Le Cléac’h, winner of the Vendée Globe 2016-17, is not going to be overwhelmed …
A quantity of dropouts on this edition
Regardless, the quantity of retirements – at the time of writing solely 8 rivals have thrown in the towel – has by no means been so low in the historical past of the race; or 24% of the fleet, a determine to be in comparison with 60% of the 2008-2009 edition. Apart from the case of PRB, which fortuitously remained an exception, the boats held up. On the different hand, the new technology of foilers has encountered a quantity of technical issues requiring repairs to the foils (Linkedout and Apivia), untimely returns to the stand (Charal) or outright abandonments (Corum and Hugo Boss). It have to be mentioned that the well being disaster has largely restricted the preparation of these semi-flying boats since the skippers involved have seen their navigation program vastly diminished, each in phrases of coaching and competitors following the cancellation of the races. warm-up deliberate for final spring like the New York-Vendée. “The potential of these young, high-tech boats has not yet been fully revealed. But these IMOCAs remain very promising! ” the class president tells us. We wish to imagine it and the momentum appears to be there since three new IMOCA tasks ought to be introduced by this summer time!
Evolution of the tonnage and qualification guidelines for the subsequent Vendée Globe
What about the IMOCA class guidelines for the years to return? Well, there should not be one other technological breakthrough. The concept is to carry the new IMOCAs to the high in 2024 for the subsequent edition of the Vendée Globe. The foilers will due to this fact be capable to enhance with none basic modification, not like what occurred between 2016 and 2020. For this, the gauge will maintain the one-design mast, prohibit the rudder bearing planes and restrict the dimension of the foils to the one already stationed on Charal and Hugo Boss. Changes will maybe see the mild of day after 2024 to make the IMOCAs much more ethereal, however for the second the goal is to make them extra dependable! As for the qualification system for the subsequent Vendée Globe, the proposals are being validated however ought to end in a discount in the factors obtained by the IMOCAs having accomplished this edition whereas the skippers will now be obliged to take part in the much less a single-handed race the yr of the begin. Finally, boats constructed earlier than 2005 will now not be approved for the subsequent edition and the quantity of riders will probably be restricted to 34 candidates at most.
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