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Yannick Bestaven winner of the Vendée Globe 2020 at the end of an unprecedented and breathtaking final

For the first time in the history of the Vendée Globe, the first to make landfall is not the winner. Yannick Bestaven (Master Rooster IV) crossed the finish line of the Vendée Globe on Thursday 28 January in third position but was declared the winner because of the compensation he was receiving for having participated in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier.

Charlie Dalin (Apivia) was the first to circle the world on Wednesday at 8:35 p.m. French time, followed by Louis Burton (Valley Office 2) four hours later, but neither of them was concerned by compensations and they therefore finished second and third respectively in the solo round-the-world race.

“I have the impression of living a dream, of hallucinating, Yannick Bestaven said Thursday morning when he arrived. We go from total solitude to partying. I don’t yet realize what’s going on. It’s a childhood dream. I always believed in my chances because I felt the boat well. I was confident. I had imagined many things but I have experienced many others. This is beyond my expectations, and the ” finish », He is great. “

Read also “It’s a childhood dream”: Yannick Bestaven wins the Vendée Globe after an unprecedented scenario

Yannick Bestaven crossed the finish line in rough seas at 4 hours 19 min and 46 sec. He therefore arrived 7 hours, 53 minutes and 59 seconds behind Charlie Dalin. But after Kevin Escoffier’s rescue, the Vendée Globe jury decided that once the finish line had been crossed, Yannick Bestaven’s race time would be counted down to 10 hours and 15 minutes.

German Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) also benefits from a compensation of six hours after this rescue but it hit a fishing boat Wednesday evening and should now arrive “Between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.” Thursday, according to the organization of the race.

His second Vendée Globe

A local man, Yannick Bestaven devoted himself to the pleasures of the sea while dreaming of the Vendée Globe. Addicted to sports and loyal supporter of the La Rochelle rugby club, Bestaven, brown hair and clear eyes, was named the winner of the Vendée Globe after an 80-day trip at sea, where he experienced all the emotions.

On November 8, he took the start for the second time in the legendary world tour. The very first time, in 2008, left him with painful memories. The day after the start, he had dismasted in the Bay of Biscay and had to retire after thirty hours of racing. A sad record. “A return after twelve years is very, very long, it is a lot of waiting and envy”, says the 48-year-old skipper, who has “Chomped at the bit”.

He was able to recover by embarking on another project. In 2008, he decided to equip his sailboat with a system he created, a device producing the electricity necessary for the boat to function properly. This hydrogenerator is fitted from all the boats of the Vendée Globe fleet. “I was on the other side of the fence. I can still see myself adjusting François Gabart’s hydrogenerator on his boat the year he won the Vendée Globe (2012-2013). You had to put your ego in your pocket and wait for my moment ”, he admits. Bestaven then offered a few good years in class40 (small monohull) to gradually move upmarket.

A sponsor that lives up to its ambitions

In 2018, it is the meeting on the pontoons with the general manager of Maître Coq, Christophe Guyony. “It didn’t come right in my mouth, there was a lot of work and waiting, I had to prove that I knew how to sail when I was on the starting line. It took me 46 years to find a real sponsor to match my ambitions. It’s done, I’ll take advantage of it. ” Installed in La Rochelle, he then prepares without counting so as not to miss.

“Yannick knows his boat perfectly. He worked with the people who make the electronics, the pilots, he looked at each of his ends, each of his sails, he climbed the mast as many times as necessary to put himself in the situation, he worked everything in such a way. absolutely exceptional “, emphasizes to Agence France-Presse Eric Blondeau, specializing in high-stakes decision-making and who has been working with Bestaven for months.

“He has this ability to improvise in the unknown, the uncertain, the irrational and the complex, which makes him a great sailor. He has an absolutely incredible spirit of synthesis, he goes very quickly, he is an engineer, he is very methodical, very structured, extremely organized in his head in terms of priorities ”, he continues.

A difficult start to the race

In the lead for almost a month, he was the first to pass Cape Horn. But the party was short-lived. Stuck in a windless area, he saw his rivals pounce on him and overtake him. Discouraged, almost distraught, he gave the impression of giving up.

Instead, he got back into the race. Her only sister, Emma, ​​was not surprised by the older brother she has always admired and whom she describes as a man “Daring, smart and epicurean”.

Read also Vendée Globe: Yannick Bestaven takes the lead ahead of Thomas Rettant, victim of a waterway

Modest, Bestaven, father of two children, “Loves festive moments, being surrounded by friends and family is a good life”, slips the little sister, now a physiotherapist and who hopes to give her for the first time her first massage on the ground, before considering one of these “Small evenings that end with a loud singing! “

His friend for thirty years and technical manager of the Maître Coq project, Jean-Marie Dauris, is also waiting to find him. “He is not at all a loner at heart in everyday life. On the contrary, he is a bon vivant, he likes to party, finally live! “

On November 8, thirty-three skippers had started. Eight retired during this race marked by difficult weather conditions that did not allow us to beat the record of 74 days and 3 hours set in 2017 by Armel Le Cléac’h.

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The World with AFP

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