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

Yannick Bestaven celebrates on Maître Coq IV after winning the Vendée Globe; Photo: Jean-Marie Liot/Alea


France’s Yannick Bestaven, skipper of Maître Coq IV, has been announced as the overall winner of the ninth Vendée Globe despite taking the gun for third place off Les Sables d’Olonne on Thursday morning.


Bestaven carried a time compensation of 10hrs 15mins for his role in the search and rescue of fellow competitor Kevin Escoffier, so on corrected time he finished ahead of Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2), who finished second and third overall respectively after being first and second across the line.


Bestaven led the fleet for a total of 26 days – or 32 per cent of the time – and finished in Biscay drizzle on a 2m swell in 20 knots of westerly wind before being warmly welcomed back to Les Sables d’Olonne’s channel where well-wishers lined their balconies and streets to acclaim the new winner.


Although Bestaven was not among pre-race favourites, the La Rochelle-based sailor revealed himself as an outstanding performer on his first time in the southern oceans. He was at his best in the Indian Ocean, passing Australia’s Cape Leeuwin in third place, and then in the Pacific, emerging first at Cape Horn with a 15hr lead.


After then building the biggest margin of the race, 440 hard-earned miles following a smart climb up the South Atlantic, his margin evaporated during three calm days off Brazil. But Bestaven, an engineer as well as professional skipper, proved his race-winning credentials as he fought back into contention by the Azores.


His final, key move proved to be choosing to head north on the Bay of Biscay which allowed him to arrive on the heels of a low-pressure system and accelerate faster on a long, direct track into Les Sables d’Olonne over the last 24 hours, chasing Dalin and Burton across the line.


Ninth Vendée Globe: Podium finishers

1. Yannick Bestaven, Maître Coq IV

Finished:                       28/01/2021, 03:19:46 UTC
Elapsed time:               80d 13h 59min 46s
Time compensation:      10h 15min 00s
Official corrected time:   80d 3h 44min 46s
Miles sailed:                  28,583.80nm at an average of 14.78 knots

Average speed on the theoretical course (24,365.74nm): 12.60 knots

2. Charlie Dalin, APIVIA

Finished:                      27/01/2021, 19:35:47 UTC
Elapsed time:               80d 6h 15min 47s
Time compensation:      None
Time behind 1st:           2h 31min 1s
Miles sailed:                  29,135.01nm at an average of 15.13 knots

Average speed on the theoretical course (24,365.74nm): 12.65 knots

3. Louis Burton, Bureau Vallée 2

Finished:                       27/01/2021, 23:45:12 UTC
Elapsed time:                80d 10h 25min 12s
Time compensation:      None
Time behind 1st:            6h 40min 26s
Time behind 2nd:          4h 9min 25s
Miles sailed:                  28,649.99nm at an average of 14.84 knots

Average speed on the theoretical course (24,365.74nm): 12.62 knots