Cape Horn is almost in sight for Yannick Bestaven. The "Maître Coq IV" skipper should pass the legendary landmark on Saturday, when it can withstand the stormy conditions to some extent. About ten to twelve hours later - probably on Sunday night - the second-placed "Apivia" skipper Charlie Dalin is also expected there. The wind is currently still increasing for the leading boats. Just like the swell. It cannot be ruled out that Bestaven and Dalin will reduce their speeds to protect their boats.
Front runner Yannick Bestaven wishes a happy new year. And served his ambiguous New Year's wish right away: "In 2021 we will drop the masks."
You can only breathe a sigh of relief at the end of the Drake Passage between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, when the wind drops back to around 25 knots. But only to a limited extent, because squalls will accompany the front men for a while. The conditions will probably only become really more moderate from the Falkland Islands. Remarkable: for both Bestaven and Dalin it is the first Cape Horn passage of their sailing careers. Both reported that morning at the 58th parallel south that they and their boats are ready for the extraordinarily tough test.
The positions at the end of the 55th day at sea on the morning of January 2nd. It can hardly be overlooked that the two leading boats are exposed to a violent Cape Horn storm
Bestaven was at third reef and J3, and Dalin pointed out that he had never come this far south. While Bestaven fully extended his 2015 version foils, Dalin said he had half retracted his 2019 version. Dalin said: "Yannick will reach the storm a little earlier than me. And it will hit him even harder than me. But he is really strong. I am happy that I managed to break away from the hunters: Before 48 I had to really fight for hours to stay in front of the front lines. In the end, the hard work paid off because it never overtook me and I was able to develop an advantage. I can't wait to finally reach our dear Atlantic again. And warm temperatures …"
At the end of the 55th day at sea, it looks like the leading duo has succeeded in breaking out for the time being. Dalin is also 165 nautical miles behind Bestaven, but the chasing field with Thomas Ruyant ("LinkedOut") and Damien Seguin ("Groupe Apicil") in the lead is already almost 500 nautical miles behind Bestaven and has to hurry if they want to the hurries to catch up with the ascent to the Atlantic. Boris Herrmann's deficit on the current number 1 was 674 nautical miles on the morning of January 2nd.
Boris Herrmann is sailing towards Cape Horn with a New Year's Eve decoration
On the night of January 2nd, Boris Herrmann sent this message from the sea
The "Seaexplorer - Yacht Club de Monaco" skipper was in a good mood. Observers wrote the German in sixth place, the French record participant Jean Le Cam on "Yes We Cam!" in seventh place and the German-French Isabelle Joschke ("MACSF") behind them, with a view to their positions, the best chances of gaining ground on their Cape Horn Passage. On the night of January 2nd, Boris Herrmann said: "We are almost there: Cape Horn is not far away. I can hardly wait. I hope that I can see this rugged rock on the southern tip of Chile in daylight. I will follow tradition and pour a good sip of whiskey into the sea when the time comes. For me, this passage will be the greatest celebration of my trip, because then we will leave the South Seas and reach more predictable Atlantic regions again."
New year's greetings from AlexiBarrier ("TSE - 4myplanet"), who is the 25th of 27 boats remaining in the race to complete her own courageous race
Further to the west in the Pacific, the Swiss Alan Rour is fighting with his keel blocked due to hydraulic problems in the axis; "Medallia" skipper Pip Hare had to let Rour pass by. Now he is being harassed by Arnaud Boissières and "Charal" catch-up king Jérémie Beyou. The latter is only a good 100 nautical miles behind Boissières and should soon make up more places if the pace continues. The Frenchman, who only started nine days after the field in the 9th Vendée Globe after breaking and repairing, has already caught a good third of the field and could still set a new best time for the race.
Here you can find the tracker and the intermediate results.
Was in 21st place on January 2nd: the Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi
Small New Year celebrations on board Kojiro Shiraishi's "DMG Mori Global One"