By the end of January "marine Mount Everest" will get its 9th winner

By the end of January "marine Mount Everest" will get its 9th winner

Just over two months ago, on November 8, one of the most demanding sports competitions in the world started, the Vendée Globe, which should soon, by the end of January, get its 9th winner.

The singles regatta around the world in the most advanced class of IMOCA 60 sailboats is also called marine Mount Everest because it is probably the most demanding sporting endeavor that currently exists on Earth. Conditionally, it can be measured only with alpine ascents to the highest Himalayan peaks.

The goal of this race is to sail around the world in the shortest possible time, without stopping and without anyone's help from the side. Statisticians will be interested in the fact that in previous editions, only 55% of sailors who started were lucky and went through the finish line. A similar expectation is expected at this edition, which is attended by a record number of sailors, 33 of them, from nine countries, but mostly French and British, who compete for the prestigious title in continuous sailing around the world with a route of approximately 24 thousand miles. The record time was set by French sailor Armel Le Cleac’h in 2017 by sailing first to the finish line after 74 days, 3 hours, 35 seconds and 46 hundredths.

The start of the race was traditionally at Les Sables d’Olonne, and then headed down the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope; from where it continues clockwise around Antarctica, following Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia and Cape Horn, and the entire route is rounded off with a return to Les Sables d’Olonne. The race usually covers approximately 24 thousands nautical miles (44,000 km) and runs from November to February, timed to accommodate competitors in the Southern Ocean during Australian summer, and the current standings show that there is a dead race between as many as 10 boats with only approx. 4 to 5 thousand nautical miles to the finish line. According to the latest results, this long column is led by Charlie Dalin on Apivia, while Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Yannick Bestaven (Maitre Coq IV) are practically on his heels.

This year's edition is held in somewhat unusual conditions, in which it was not known until the last minute whether any of the skippers would get sick, as well as what the start would look like. Since all skippers had to take a test for COVID 19 before departure, almost all of them isolated themselves during the last week, some with their families, some with their associates.