Vendée Globe: 40,000 kilometers of racing with a two-hour gap at the finish

Two winners for the price of one. On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, Charlie Dalin and Yannick Bestaven would have deserved the public tribute to Sables-d’Olonne. The epidemic prevented it. Dalin crossed the finish line first, at 8:30 p.m., Bestaven just under eight hours later. But he was the winner of a ninth Vendée Globe that will go down in the annals of sailing.

After more than 40,000 kilometers and eighty days, the victory was played out like in a dinghy regatta in the bay of Saint-Brieuc. As if there was a photo-finish to designate the winner of a 100 km trail.

It would be unfair to say that Bestaven won on the green carpet. Rather on blue carpet. By virtue of this law that no sailor would imagine breaking, which requires that, even while racing, we must come to the aid of a castaway. It is a top priority and a moral obligation. At the end of November, Bestaven turned away to help Kevin Escoffier. If Jean Le Cam saved the latter, Bestaven received compensation for ten hours for putting his race on hold.

Eight hours late on arrival, ten hours compensation: Bestaven wins by two hours. Louis Burton finished third. Charlie Dalin did not express resentment. Yannick Bestaven congratulated him on his race and thanked him for his reaction. Between two great sailors, it could not be otherwise.

Gilles Dhers


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