French skipper Charlie Dalin was the first to cross the finish line at the end of the solo world Vendee Globe on Wednesday, but there is no guarantee that he will win the epic race.
The 36-year-old Apivia boat led a sprint with five boats for the line at Les Sables d’Olonne in Brittany, northern France, after 80 days and 28,000 often dangerous miles at sea.
But the ninth edition of the sailing “Everest” may still have a first non-French winner ever.
The German skipper Boris Herrmann in Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco was only 82.02 nm behind Dalin in the last stretch.
He could still end up on the winner as he will receive a six-hour bonus for his part in rescuing Kevin Escoffier off the Cape of Good Hope in December.
Louis Burton (Bureau Vallee 2) finished third, followed by Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Yannick Bestaven (Maitre Coq IV) back in fifth place.
Bestaven, like Herrmann, helped save Escoffier’s and will receive a 10-hour bonus in 15 minutes when he makes it to port.
While Dalin and Herrmann had taken a more easterly route, the three following boats were further north and farther west, moving faster. The three pursuers had all covered more seas in the previous four hours than the two leaders.
Bestaven said he was looking forward to goals.
“I’m very happy to finish already because we’ve been around the world for 79 days or almost 80,” he said. “Having such a dense and breathless finish, it’s true that it’s exciting, but also strenuous, so as not to hide it from you, we’re pressing hard on the boats here, so we can not wait until it’s ready.”
For Dalin, dry land remained a distant dream just hours before his arrival.
“It’s been so long since I’ve been at sea that I’ve forgotten that there’s life on land. I’m so used to being here on Apivia that I find it impossible to believe the surface is close,” he said. he. .
For race director Jacques Caraes, the winner could be determined with “a few minutes” after about 28,000 often dangerous miles at sea.
“This is completely unique,” he said.
Ruyant’s team manager Marcus Hutchinson told the Vendée website that he hoped his sailors would win but enjoyed the drama.
“Here we are 24 hours or so from goal and we just do not know how this is going to go through,” said Hutchinson. “So thanks to all these skippers, they’ve made this an incredible sports game we’ve never seen in this race.”
( Jowharwith AFP)