After 84 days 3 hours and 9 minutes at sea, fans came out to welcome home Michel Desjoyeaux in Foncia as the victor in the 2008/2009 Vendee Globe round the world sailing race. During his non-stop around the world voyage he sailed over 28,303.2 nautical miles, at an average of 13.2 knots, allowing Desjoyeaux to grab the top podium place in the Vendée Globe for the second time (he also won in 2001).
Michel Desjoyeaux’s campaign was not an easy one, even for this experienced ocean sailor. After starting the race on November 9th, Foncia sailed just 200 miles before having to return to Les Sables d’Olonne with electrical problems. Undeterred, Michel and the Foncia team quickly fixed the problem, allowing Desjoyeaux to rejoin the race on November 11th. Unfortunately, this put Desjoyeaux 360 miles behind the race leaders. At one point in the race he was 670 miles behind the race leader, but this did not discourage him. Keeping his cool, Desjoyeaux took his set-back in stride, sailing with the calm and intelligent tactics for which he is known.
One after another, he overtook his competitors to the thrill of the international sailing community and fans new and old. He managed to pass them all, and eventually took the lead off the coast of Australia. Once he was out in front with the lead, he would not let it go, and kept ahead of the fleet for the remainder of this around the world race.
Desjoyeaux’s long time friend, Roland Jourdain should arrive in Sao Miguel in the Azores later today, three days after losing his keel bulb.
Armel Le Cléac’h in Brit Air has therefore been able to claim second position and is now only 1,250 miles from the finish at salonne d’Or and is making good speed.
Samantha Davies in Roxy has therefore claimed third place and is a further 1,000 miles behind Le Cleach.
We will keep you posted as to the final rankings but immediately want to add our voice to the thousands to congratulate Michel Desjoyeaux and his team Foncia.
The video below from yachtpals clearly shows the grace of these wonderful yachts but of the 30 who started the race nearly 3 months ago there are only 11 left in this toughest and most extreme of yacht races.