This Thursday, 19th January, 2017, Armel Le Cleac’h (Banque Populaire VIII) won the 8th edition of the Vendée Globe round the world solo, nonstop and unassisted, exclusively for 60 foot monohulls in the IMOCA class. The sailor made a new time record for the course.
It is this Thursday, 19th January, at 4.38pm, the Finistère skipper Armel Le Cleac’h, onboard Banque populaire VIII, won the 8th edition of the Vendée Globe.
The Finistérien crossed the finish line under the sun at Sables d’Olonne in the Vendée, but in freezing temperatures and made a new time for the course of 74 days, 3 hours and 35 minutes, improving by almost 4 days (3 days, 22h and 40 minutes) the previous record, set in 2013 by François Gabart during his victory in this same race.
“I am very proud to have won, for my family, for my wife, for my team, for all those who follow me,”said in particular Armel Le Cléac’h on his return to land, happy to have finished and to be going after his goal. “It’s been 10 years that I dream of winning the Vendée Globe”
Leading since the 3rd December, nearly a month and a half of sea (48 days), it has, in fact, he has been the leader for 65% of its running time. A remarkable performance. Especially on the climb up the Atlantic where he saw his lead of 800 miles ahead of Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) melt in the last 27 days due to the pugnacity of Columbia.
“He really did a good race, summarizes Vincent Riou, skipper of PRB forced to retire on this edition after 16 days of racing, but especially former winner of the Vendée Globe in 2005. With him, everything is in control. this was the key on a Vendée Globe. the force Armel was to make beautiful paths for not need too much on the accelerator and therefore not to get too in taking risks. All his perfection comes also there. ”
“Certainly, the boats have foils that can afford to go faster in certain conditions, but it is not magic either. The boat Armel has is the most versatile of the fleet. It is fast everywhere. And not too bad to near or in the medium. The concept of foils it uses is very good. ”
“The pressure on him at the end of the race was hard for him, but he has not cracked. He kept his cool and made sure to always positioned to continue his lead and make sure no one can pass him. That was the thing … ”
Winner of the Transat this year on the same boat, Armel Le Cleac’h enriched with world tour on which he took 2nd place in the last two editions (2009 and 2013) already result charts .
Rich, including two victories in the Solitaire du Figaro (2002 and 2010), two success on the Transat AG2R (Figaro doubles with Nicolas Troussel Fabien Delahaye in 2004 and in 2010).
At 39, Armel Le Cleac’h becomes the oldest winner of the first Vendée Globe, Michel Desjoyeaux was crowned at 35 when he won in 2001 (and 43 years in 2008 for his second title).
Now, the skipper will spend time with his sponser Banque Populaire who are entrusting the helm of a 32-foot Ultimate should be launched this summer. The program includes a record campaign, the Route du Rhum 2018 and the first world tour in soliaire in 2019, just booked to these giants of the sea.