Jeremie Beyou, at the helm of Charal, one of a new generation of ‘flying’ monohulls, on Tuesday won the Vendee-Arctic, a chilly warm-up race for the legendary Vendee Globe.
Beyou completed a 2,807 nautical mile (5,198 km) North Atlantic loop that started and ended in Les Sables d’Olonne, in 10 days, 5 hours and 14 minutes.
The race was arranged to help skippers who had been beached by the coronavirus pandemic prepare for the Vendee Globe single-handed round-the-world race which starts on November 8.
Of the 35 skippers entered in the main event, 20 raced the warm up which took the fleet as close as possible to the Arctic Circle and then down to the Azores.
Beyou, third in the Vendee Globe in 2017, crossed the line at 20h44. He had been battling two other French skippers Charlie Dalin in Apivia and Thomas Ruyant in LinkedOut. Both were also sailing new-generation boats designed to meet the specifications of the Imoca class which sails in the Vendee Globe.
Three skippers were forced to retire after suffering damage: Sebastien Simon in Arkea-Paprec, Damien Seguin in Groupe Apicil and Armel Tripon in L’Occitane en Provence.