• Fast, But No Record!

    By crossing the demarcation line between the two hemispheres this Wednesday November 18 at 2:19 p.m., Alex Thomson is far from improving the reference time: the skipper of HUGO BOSS thus took 9 days 23 hours 59 minutes to reach the equator at the start des Sables d'Olonne. His pursuers are now more than one hundred miles (except for Thomas Rettant and Charlie Dalin), or even more than 1,000 miles from the twentieth ranked solo!

    There are straight lines, broken lines… and imaginary lines. The one which “separates” the Northern hemisphere from the Southern hemisphere is indeed a virtual “barrier” which surrounds the Earth (inclined 23 ° 26) and which measures 40,075 kilometers, or 21,638 miles, the initial distance retained for the Vendée Globe. This parallel is therefore the longest of all the Earth and marks the origin of its “colleagues”, from 0 ° at the equator to 90 ° at the pole (North or South).

    A very average crossing time

    Passing from one hemisphere to another on Wednesday 18 November, Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS) will have taken 9 days 23 hours 59 minutes since the start from Les Sables d'Olonne on Sunday 8 November at 2:20 p.m. And if this is not the best time since the creation of the round the world solo and nonstop, it is still a remarkable score given the three depressions (including a tropical one!) That the competitors had to face. before touching the Cape Verdean trade winds ...

    Let us recall all the same that the leaders of the sixth day of racing of this edition were more than 500 miles behind Armel Le Cléac'h's time in 2016: when Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson were still battling at the end of Theta, off the Canary Islands, the winner of the previous edition was already in the heart of the Cape Verde archipelago! This shows if the trade winds acceleration was substantial this year with the foilers as soon as the breezes in the eastern sector set in ...

    Crossing the equator

    1989: 5d 12h (Titouan Lamazou- Écureuil d'Aquitaine II )

    1992: 5d 9pm (Alain Gautier- Superior Baggage )

    1996 11j 08h (Christophe Auguin- Géodis )

    2000: 14d 03h 49 '(Yves Parlier- Aquitaine Innovations )

    2004: 10d 11h 28 '(Jean Le Cam- Bonduelle )

    2008: 12d 08h 58 '(Loïck Peyron- Gitana Eighty )

    2012: 10j 19h 18 '(Armel Le Cléac'h- Banque Populaire )

    2016: 9j 7h 03 '(Alex Thomson- Hugo Boss )

    2020: 9d 23h 59 '(Alex Thomson- HUGO BOSS )

    Already cracked fractures!

    But what especially marks this passage from one hemisphere to another are the gaps that are growing visibly! There were already fracture premises after passing around Theta, but early this eleventh day of racing, deltas become colossal Kevin Escoffier ( PRB , 5 th !) Is already nearly 200 miles behind leader, Italian Giancarlo Pedote ( Prysmian Group , 13 th ) to more than 400 miles, the Diraison Stéphane ( Time for Oceans 19 th ) to more than 700 miles from Columbia, Costa Didac ( One planet-One ocean , 20 th ) just passes the Cape Verde Islands with Pipe Hare ( Medallia), Arnaud Boissières ( La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Manuel Cousin ( Groupe SÉTIN ) while seven solo sailors are still off the Canary Islands 1,500 miles from the equator while Jérémie Beyou ( Charal ) tackles at the exit from the Bay of Biscay, more than 2,800 miles from the first!

    This would still be “acceptable” for a marathon runner, but the weather configuration for the next few days is frankly very favorable to the leaders and very unfavorable to the pursuers… Because Alex Thomson ( HUGO BOSS ) and a dozen solo sailors to follow will be able to get around the race. high pressure from Saint Helena quickly enough and far enough from the Brazilian coast to reach the tropic of Capricorn, then the Roaring Forties ... But the high pressures of the southern hemisphere will disperse next week in several cells, which will then make the very complicated crossing of the South Atlantic for the pursuers!

    And if Alex Thomson will have trouble improving Armel Le Cléac'h's reference time as he crosses the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope, he should further increase his room for maneuver, at least vis-à-vis the peloton: the eleven current pursuers still able to destabilize the leader, should indeed dig an insurmountable furrow vis-à-vis the other loners; to the point that in the south of South Africa, there should be at least five groups of two to seven skippers scattered over more than 2,000 miles, not counting the two sailors who returned to Les Sables d'Olonne: Fabrice Amedeo ( Newrest -Art & Fenêtres ) and Jérémie Beyou ( Charal ) will take many days to pick up the tail of the fleet ...

    In short, besides the fact that the first to cross the equator will be able to accelerate in the trade winds of the southern hemisphere while his pursuers will still be entangled in a Doldrums, certainly cooperative, but all the same under development and development. activity, this line of demarcation becomes a line of flight: the Briton will inexorably escape! However, the eight previous editions of the Vendée Globe all have one thing in common: the winner of the non-stop solo round the world race was always one of the first ten to cross the equator ...

    Vendée Globe editor / Dominic Bourgeois
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2020-2021 Vendee Globe PD Coverage Central started by Photoboy View original post