Bestaven: “There are two winners”


After Yannick Bestaven won the Vendee Globe due to time allowance for his role in the search and rescue of Kevin Escoffier, he paid tribute to Charlie Dalin, the first man into Les Sables d’Olonne.


Vendee Globe ‘line honours’ winner Charlie Dalin and overall winner Yannick Bestaven; Photo: Yvan Zedda/Alea


“There are two winners in this Vendée Globe,” said Yannick Bestaven sportingly as he warmly greeted Charlie Dalin, the French skipper who hours earlier had broken the finish line of the solo round the world race in first place.


Granted a 10hrs 15mins time allowance for his role in the search and rescue of Kevin Escoffier, the 48-year-old displaced the pre-race favourite Dalin to win the Vendée Globe by 2hrs 31secs, the narrowest margin ever in the history of the race and earned by the oldest-ever winner.

Dalin, 36, was more than satisfied with being the first man home. “I am happy to have finished the race in the lead. The English talk about line honours and I am happy with that.

What I’m going to remember is that I was first over the line – no one can take it away from me. It’s normal for boats that stop to help others to have time compensation and that’s out of my control. But whatever the outcome, I’m happy that I’ve done a good job.”

Among the leading skippers, there were no complaints about the time allowances made by the international jury.


Louis Burton finished behind Dalin and placed third after Bestaven’s time allowance was counted. “A human life was saved,” Burton said. “End of story.”


One of the most heart-warming exchanges was on the gangway to the ponton d’honneur when Escoffier greeted and thanked Bestaven, the two sailors embracing for 30 seconds.


Bestaven recalled the time he spent searching for Escoffier in the dark of night 650 miles south of Cape Town. “It was a nightmare, standing on the deck all night looking for someone,” he said. “I really thought we might not find him.”

Yannick Bestaven wins ninth Vendée Globe

The 48-year-old Frenchman was third across the line off Les Sables d’Olonne, but won on corrected time due to his role in the search and rescue of Kevin Escoffier