Finally! The Vendée Globe Solo Round the World Sailing Race is over. 33 boats, 33 skippers. 24,000 nautical miles (45,000 kilometres) The lone last boat, STARK, skippered by a Fin, Ari Huusela, arrived in Les Sables d’0lonne on the west coast of France today, March 5, after 116 days 18 hours at sea, 36 days after the first boat finished. That was Charlie Dalin who crossed the finish line in 80 Days 6 hours.
However, Dalin was not the winner because Yannick Besthaven’
s ( above) corrected time was 80 days 3 hours. He received extra time since he took time out to help rescue Kevin Escoffier whose boat sank back in December. 33 boats started the race, 25 officially finished.
6 women began the race and Clarisse Cremer (87 Days 2 hours-finished in 12th place, a really fabulous performance. Pip Hare (95 Days 11 hours) finished 19th. Miranda Meron (101 Days 8 hours) was 22nd and Alexia Barrier (111days 17 hours) was 24th. Samantha Davies and Isabelle Joschke both finished the course but were disqualified because they both had to stop for assisted repairs. Nevertheless, they completed the course and both finished ahead of some of the trailing boats. 6 other boats did not finish including one which sank near Capetown.
Ari Huusela, the last finisher said that at one point the seas were so rough he was worried his boat might break apart. He called his wife to tell her he almost hoped it would break apart so he could be rescued.
An epic adventure to be sure. 80 – 116 days alone on a 60 foot sailboat in all manner of sea conditions, sailing 24 hours a day, is quite a feat. Not for the faint of heart.
Next race is November 2024. It will be interesting to see who decides to do it again.