The double Paralympic champion is enjoying his fifth place in the pack that is advancing up along the coast of Brazil. Especially since his offshore, easterly position gives him a slight advantage in terms of the course he has to follow to reach the northern hemisphere.
"I am not too badly positioned: I knew that my position further East would pay off at some point and it is from now on that this will really come good. I am satisfied with where I am: I have been fighting for two days to win this position, which wasn't easy. And today it is bearing fruit. We know that at the coast, there is a little bit less wind and stormy conditions that make it more difficult to get away from Brazil. I'm going to try to keep this place upwind, for as long as possible, but I've already got Boris (Herrmann) who’s overtaken me! He's going very fast with his big foils...
We are a group of six boats very close together (within 80 miles). Personally, I'm trying to stay more than 80 miles from the coast: it's better to be away from it, even if it means taking a more curved route after the Brazilian point. I don't have any specific data on thunderstorms and I rely instead on my local weather knowledge and experience: the last Transat Jacques Vabre gave me a better understanding of how it works. I've been anticipating this position for several days now.
I had a lot of pleasure talking with Tony Estanguet and Marie Le Fur on the Vendée Live: my Olympic memories have come back to me being next to Rio de Janeiro. They are wonderful people with whom I’m going to share more great moments at the Tokyo Olympics and especially the Paris games in 2024!
What's interesting with the Vendée Globe is that there is no similarity between the Olympic Games and a single-handed round-the-world race! But even if the sort of effort required and the format of the regatta have nothing to do with it, I am findin g the same intensity in the regatta (especially this year!), and this is likely to last until Les Sables d'Olonne. I'm going to use my Olympic training to know how to manage the pressure for example. The Olympics are long and short, and this Vendée Globe final chapter is also long and short!
We're almost 70 days into the race and the equipment is starting to show signs of fatigue. But if it continues as it has been, I should have a result that I didn't imagine at the start... I’ve earnt my current place! We have all recovered more or less well, thanks to the heat we’ve found again from the tropics... "
Cover photo © Jean-Louis CARL
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