At the destination of his dreams: Vincent Riou celebrates himself and his "PRB"
Last night at 11.49 p.m. local time, after 87 days, 10 hours, 47 minutes and 55 seconds and around 24,000 miles, the Frenchman Vincent Riou was the first to cross the finish line of the Vendée Globe with his "PRB". Runner-up Jean Le Cam ("Bonduelle") reached Les Sables d'Olonne 6 hours and 32 minutes later.
Riou was therefore 5 days, 17 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds faster than the previous monohull one-handed record set by Michel Desjoyeaux at the last Vendée. Incidentally, with the same "PRB", which Riou has now sailed to victory again, albeit heavily modified. The average speed for skipper and ship will be noted in the Vendée books at 11.28 knots.
The winning Riou nailed his "PRB" under spinnaker to the finish line for the last few hours so that he could still cross the canal to the port of the French fishing town of Les Sables d'Olonne with his 4.50 meter deep Open 60 despite the onset of low water. And just as he mastered all the hurdles on the way to his great victory in the toughest one-handed regatta in the world, he also fulfilled this wish.
Final spurt to the canal. Riou nails under the gennaker towards Les Sables d'Olonne
Ultimately, Vincent Riou was the winner of the race who made the fewest mistakes on the 24,000 nautical mile route around the globe. Because both Jean Le Cam, who drove to Cape Horn in a doldrums and lost his lead, and Mike Golding, who already made a wrong turn on the St. Helena high on the way south and made another turn on the ascent through the South Atlantic "Time penalty" because he did not move in a more stable major case immediately after breaking, the bigger blunders made themselves.
Despite all the mistakes, a Vendée has never been as exciting as this fifth edition. The fact that the first two boats reached the finish within six hours also shows how uncompromisingly such a race is approached today. Not only have the boats been further developed, the skippers are also pushing the limits of what is humanly possible in terms of sleep management and fitness.
Third-placed Mike Golding will most likely reach the finish in Les Sables with his "Ecover" at around 7pm this evening. The Swiss Dominique Wavre with his "Temenos" and Sébastien Josse with "VMI" follow more than 800 nautical miles back.
Ranking on Thursday afternoon:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou: 87: 10: 47: 55 days 2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam: 87: 17: 20: 83. Ecover, Mike Golding, nautical miles to destination (SzZ): 79.74. Temenos, Dominique Wavre. SzZ: 887.95. VMI, Sébastien Josse, SzZ: 896.26. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, SzZ: 2,226.97. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, SzZ: 3,007.48. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, SzZ: 3,042.59. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, SzZ: 3,792.210. Max Havelaar / Best Western, Benoît Parnaudeau, SzZ: 4,503.311. Roxy, Anne Liarde, SzZ: 5,388.612. AkenVérandas, Raphaël Dinelli, SzZ: 5,782.113. Benefic, Karen Leibovici, SzZ: 6,042.8abd: Hugo Boss, Alex Thomsonabd: Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelinabd: Sill & Veolia, Roland Jourdainabd: VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentierabd: Skandia, Nick Moloneyabd: UUDS, Hervé Laurentabd: brother, Norbert Sedlacek