One of the great characters of the race: Jean Le Cam
It was a wet and uncomfortable Thursday evening when Vendée Globe record holder Jean Le Cam crossed the finish line on January 28th. His final sprint was amazing, thrilling, unstoppable. The 61-year-old from LForêt-Fouesnant drove his "Yes We Cam!" on course to Les Sables. Together the skipper and boat gave everything again. Le Cam's team manager Anne Combier had told him on the morning of his last day at sea that he could actually finish fourth. That motivated the oldest and most experienced of the 33 skippers who originally started the race to perform a fantastic final show of strength. When Jean Le Cam crossed the line at 8:19:55 p.m. local time, in combination with his time credit of 16 hours and 15 minutes, which the Escoffier rescuer had received as reparation from the race management after his heroic and successful service, he moved off Eighth place on the water to fourth place in the classification. There is hardly anyone who does not allow him to do that.
Race director Jacques Caraës took this snapshot himself in the inhospitable conditions at Jean Le Cam's finish line
For the fifth time, Jean Le Cam is holding the red Bengalos at the end of a Vendée Globe
Jean Le Cam has risen to become the superhero of the Vendée Globe and the French sailing universe not only since his famous phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron. He understands like no other how to bring the race of his life, which he was able to finish second overall on the podium in the fifth edition in 2004/05, to bring fans and the public closer in a unique "Le Cam" way. Since he fished Kevin Escoffier out of the south Atlantic waves on December 1st after his eleven and a half hour martyrdom in the dark of night and thus saved his life, even more people have paid homage to the old master of solo sailing than before. Now he has arrived at the start and destination port of Les Sables-d‘Olonne and can recover from the rigors of his fifth Vendée Globe round the world.
Yes, he can! Record participant Jean Le Cam returns to the port of departure and destination. The canal trip became a triumph for the oldest starter, who had so much to give to the race and who saved Kevin Escoffier's life
Everyone wanted to see, hear and speak to Jean Le Cam after crossing the finish line …
A crown for the king: In France, Jean Le Cam is nicknamed "Le Roi"
Before that, however, the tireless, unique and formative character of the Vendée Globe gave an insight into his thoughts at the end of his sensational adventure:
"This is a finish line like I've never crossed it in my life. You'll see tomorrow why I say this. I have no idea how I made it this far. Honestly, I have no idea. But it is Done! This is definitely an exemption. This Vendée Globe was a crazy number. I made it in spite of everything. And then I'm obviously fourth! I've been accelerating for two days just so I don't miss the tide. Today Tomorrow my manager Anne told me that I could still get past Boris Herrmann. I would never have imagined that! I was already happy to be in front of Groupe Apicil. It was about the competition of boats with swords among each other. This Challenge made the race. These foilers are like puzzles, like computer software. But sailing is not an exact science! For me the most important thing is that I was able to show the younger generation that you can do the Vendée Globe too can contest with limited resources. I have received corresponding feedback from young people on this. I am happy because I see the budgets go up and up. So this is a real win here. I just sailed from here to here. But if I say that too often, I always giggle."
The same boat that "King" Jean Le Cam now carried in fourth place took him around the world and sixth at the last Vendée Globe. The overview shows how calmly and consistently Jean Le Cam completed his fifth round the world despite a spectacular rescue operation in the South Atlantic, the handover of the rescued Kevin Escoffier to the French Navy on the high seas and a series of technical setbacks:
"Bonjour, Monsieur President!" The conversation between President Emmanuel Macron, Jean Le Cam and Kevin Escoffier became an Internet hit. Macron thanks Jean Le Cam for rescuing Kevin Escoffier and speaks to both sailors on board the "Yes We Cam"
Jean Le Cam's key moments:
Equator: 4th place on November 18 at 1:19 p.m. (UTC) after 9 hours, 23 minutes, 59 minutes
Cape of Good Hope: 6th place on December 2nd at 4:52 a.m. (UTC), 1 day, 5 hours, 41 minutes after the leader
Cape Leeuwin: 6th place on December 14th at 2.31 am (UTC), 11 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes after passing the Cape of Good Hope
Cape Horn: 7th place on December 4th at 8:18 pm (UTC) after 57 days, 6 hours, 58 minutes
Equator: 8th place on January 17th at 2:14 p.m. (UTC) after 70 days, 54 minutes
Aim: 8th place on the water - 4th place after deducting the time credit
Scoring time: 80 days, 13 hours, 44 minutes, 55 seconds (the time credit of 16 hours and 15 minutes has already been deducted)
Fastest 24-hour Etmal: December 7th (8 a.m. (UTC)) at 459.61 nautical miles and an average of 19.2 knots