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Praise of Patience, VDH Expected Tuesday, January 29 Morning

  • VDH expected Tuesday, January 29 Morning
  • Quiet and storms for the last days of race
  • Mark Slats expected for Thursday 31

Certainly, nothing will be spared to the Golden Globe Race leaders. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, on the edge of the Bay of Biscay, had to undergo long hours of quiet before having to face a particularly forceful storm. His arrival is now scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Early Friday afternoon, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede was pointing to a small knot of speed, and for several hours. Given his weakened rig, one could imagine major damage until the information eventually fell: a small zone of high pressure which left the sails flapping off the Iberian Peninsula. The ultimate paradox of being stuck, while a particularly virulent looming depression that promised to make the final miles a very uncomfortable race.

Fortunately, VDH has seen others. But on Sunday, he will have to contend with higher than average winds at 40 knots, gusting to over 50 knots and waves of more than eight meters. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is already anticipating the bad weather making its way north.

Between calms and storms, the latest estimates from the race director predict an estimated arrival of around 10:00 Tuesday, January 29. Especially as the wind should ease off again abruptly behind the passage of the depression.

Mark Slats should not be affected by the passage of this depression. The Dutch navigator should benefit from a much quieter run for his final miles to the Vendée harbor, where he is expected during the day of Thursday 31.

Les Sables d’Olonne is getting ready to make the celebration beautiful. The docks will fill to line the entrance channel and provide a welcome at the Vendée Globe pontoon.

At the pontoon, it is rumored that the legendary Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will be there in person to greet the man who, 50 years later, took up the torch of this daring exploit. A transfer of power, but also the recognition of the link that connects these sailors.

Between calm and storm, Jean-Luc Van den Heede and Mark Slats are in a breathtaking final after 212 days at sea. It’s just incredible. The suspense is over with Mark Slats, always in ambush in the wake of VDH.

The excitement of major events is palpable. Les Sables are preparing to party, journalists are eager to gather impressions of the Golden Globe Race and their families count the minutes that separate them from the reunion.

Favorable or contrary wind, calm or rough seas, the first arrival will be Monday 28 or Tuesday, January 29? Whatever, the Les Sables d’Olonne are ready for the event!

Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne

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