08 November 2020 - 15:05 • 9474 views

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After a delay of one hour and 18 minutes waiting for a sea mist to clear the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe solo race around the world started at 1420hrs local time/1320hrs TU in near perfect conditions off Les Sables d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast.

After a delay of one hour and 18 minutes waiting for a sea mist to clear the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe solo race around the world started at 1420hrs local time/1320hrs TU in near perfect conditions off Les Sables d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast.

In light southerly winds of 10-13kts the record sized fleet of 33 IMOCA 60s were led across the start line by Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée 2 but the French skipper misjudged his timing to the gun and crossed early. He is penalised by the international jury, the rules penalise him five hours, requiring him to effectively stop and then restart his boat from the same point before the latitude 38°40,000N, just north Lisbon.

Among the early pacemakers were Germany’s Boris Herrmann on Seaexplorer-Yacht Club of Monaco and Britain’s Sam Davies on Initiatives Coeur. Alex Thomson stuck to his strategy and made a prudent, safe start.

The first leader at the clearing mark as the fleet heads west into the Atlantic was the newest boat in the fleet, Corum L’Épargne sailed by French skipper Nicholas Troussel, with Burton second Jérémie Beyou on Charal third and Davies chasing hard in fourth

The fleet are expected to have strong winds during the second part of tonight before a light spell off Cape Finisterre.