VENDÉE GLOBE 2020-21: The Best Ever/Sam & Isabelle Are Home

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Feb.28/2021:  I sure hope you guys followed my advice from last month, about paying attention to the end of the Vendée Globe. No records were broken in terms of elapsed time over the course. By that simplistic metric, this was a slow race, six days off the last edition’s record 74 days. But in every other sense it has been superlative:

–Closest finishing delta between the top 2 boats, less than 3 hours

–First winner on corrected time (Yannick Bestaven with time credited for participating in a rescue)

–Top 8 boats finishing within a day of each other

–Most lead changes during the race

–Biggest fleet of boats to start, 33

–Most women ever to compete, 6

–First race with a competitor who sailed (literally) singlehanded (as in he only has one), Damien Seguin, who finished 7th(!)

–First race with a top competitor knocked off a podium spot due to a collision within a day of the finish line (Boris Hermann, who actually had a shot at winning before he hit a fishing boat on what should have been his last night out)

And probably a few others I haven’t yet noticed or thought of.

One of the big disappointments for me was that we didn’t see a woman on the podium. Both the top two women, Sam Davies (see photo up top) and Isabelle Joschke (see next photo down), were running very strong races when first Sam collided with a UFO off South Africa, then Isabelle suffered keel damage after rounding Cape Horn.

Both women have just recently finished the course, however, as Sam restarted from South Africa, which literally saved lives thanks to her unique sponsorship deal. And Isabelle restarted from Brazil.

As of today the last woman in the fleet, Alexia Barrier, finished her race, so in fact all six women who started have succeeded in running the whole course.

The last man racing, Ari Huusela, should finish in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, for those who haven’t spent the last 111 days following all this action, you can watch this great 50-minute video instead:

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