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Jean Le Cam, “winner of the heart”, completes his world tour

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Frenchman Jean Le Cam (Yes we Cam!), 61-year-old dean of the Vendée Globe and hero of the race around the world for his perilous rescue of Kevin Escoffier, crossed the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne in the evening from Thursday.

It had aroused admiration and courage: Jean Le Cam, old veteran and dean of the race, completed his Vendée Globe on Thursday 28 January and came fourth after deduction of the compensation obtained for the rescue of Kevin Escoffier.

The sailor, who got through his early years alongside Eric Tabarly, finished his fourth Vendée Globe, exhausted like never before, after 81 days of racing. “Jean is a boy who is insufferable but who is brilliant”, said affectionately Jacqueline Tabarly, her “godmother” of heart for many years. “I remember him from the time he spent with Eric (Tabarly), but also when he stood on his own feet. He was a bit of a son of mine,” she continued.

With his strong character, his rants, his witticisms that amuse and ring true, Jean Le Cam amazed the general public, including the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, during this Vendée Globe.

A super hero

After finishing second in 2004, the Breton sailor returned to the solo round the world race several times (5th in 2012 and 6th in 2016), but never, ever, has he experienced such an extraordinary race, in first playing the leading roles and then donning the superhero costume.

On the night of November 30 to December 1, he diverted to rescue Kevin Escoffier, who took refuge on his life raft after his boat broke in two. It took the Cam eleven hours in a stormy sea to save him. “This episode with Kevin confused him a lot, he was really in a very competitive streak. It broke him in his race, he didn’t ask himself any questions, he was at the forefront, it was quite exhilarating, no one would have bet a kopeck on Le Cam, “says Anne Le Cam. “There he goes on a completely human level. Adding an intense physical fatigue, because he was extremely shocked, he called me, he was crying because he could not find him anymore when he had seen him. He changed his fashion completely at that point, “his wife recalls.

“In the hearts of fans of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021, it is obviously Jean Le Cam who is already the winner,” said the mayor of Sables-d’Olonne, Yannick Moreau, on Wednesday.

Jean Le Cam is the eighth navigator to reach the finish line, but he finally took 4th place in the legendary solo race thanks to the 16 h 15 min of compensation granted for the rescue of Escoffier, a wrecked competitor at the end of November.

Eight competitors arrived safely in less than 24 hours, unprecedented in the history of the event, and 17 are still at sea. Frenchman Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq IV) won this 9th Vendée Globe, thanks to to the 10 h 15 min of compensation granted for the rescue of Escoffier, after having crossed the line in third position.

Charlie Dalin (Apivia), who concluded his world tour around 8 p.m. Wednesday, being the first to cross the line, is second in the final standings. The French Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) completed the podium.

With AFP

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