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Vendee Globe's Escoffier Transferred off Yes We Cam! to French Navy Frigate

6th December 2020
Kevin Escoffier (PRB) was successfully transferred from Jean Le Cam's IMOCA to the Nivôse, a French Navy frigate Kevin Escoffier (PRB) was successfully transferred from Jean Le Cam's IMOCA to the Nivôse, a French Navy frigate Credit: Paul Cottais

At around 0210hrs UTC at a location in the South Indian Ocean some 360 miles north of the remote Crozet archipelago, Kevin Escoffier (PRB) was successfully transferred from Jean Le Cam's IMOCA to the Nivôse, a French Navy frigate.

Escoffier was dramatically rescued last Monday by fellow Vendée Globe competitor Jean Le Cam after his IMOCA PRB broke in two when it nosedived into a big wave. The 35-year-old skipper from Saint-Malo had spent 11 and a half hours drifting in a liferaft before being picked up by 61-year-old five times Vendée Globe veteran Le Cam.

The evacuation of Escoffier - via a Nivôse rigid inflatable boat - went well, despite the big seas in the area.

Kevin Escoffier (PRB) (right) was successfully transferred from Jean Le Cam's IMOCA to the Nivôse, a French Navy frigateKevin Escoffier (PRB) (right) was successfully transferred from Jean Le Cam's IMOCA to the Nivôse, a French Navy frigate 

And so Jean Le Cam has resumed his race in solo mode. In a message to the Vendée Globe Race Direction, Frédéric Barbe the captain of the Nivôse, wrote: “Kevin is in great shape, he is going to enjoy a hot shower. We are heading for Reunion Island. It is the start of a beautiful day."

Nivôse is a Floréal-class frigate which has 84 sailors on board and its main missions are the surveillance of maritime areas under French sovereignty in the Indian Ocean (Reunion, Mayotte, the French Southern and Antarctic Territories) and the fight against illicit activities at sea. It is based in Port-des-Galets, on the west coast of Réunion island, Nivôse is 93.5 meters long, 14 meters wide and has a displacement of 2,600 tonnes.

Published in Vendee Globe
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The 2020/2021 Vendée Globe Race

A record-sized fleet of 33 skippers will start the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe: the 24,296 nautical miles solo non-stop round-the-world race from Les Sables d’Olonne in France, on Sunday, November 8 at 1302hrs French time/1202hrs TU and will be expected back in mid-January 2021.

Vendée Globe Race FAQs

Six women (Alexia Barrier, Clarisse Cremer, Isabelle Joschke, Sam Davies, Miranda Merron, Pip Hare).

Nine nations (France, Germany, Japan, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, and Great Britain)

After much speculation following Galway man Enda O’Coineen’s 2016 race debut for Ireland, there were as many as four campaigns proposed at one point, but unfortunately, none have reached the start line.

The Vendée Globe is a sailing race round the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance. It takes place every four years and it is regarded as the Everest of sailing. The event followed in the wake of the Golden Globe which had initiated the first circumnavigation of this type via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn) in 1968.

The record to beat is Armel Le Cléac’h 74 days 3h 35 minutes 46s set in 2017. Some pundits are saying the boats could beat a sub-60 day time.

The number of theoretical miles to cover is 24,296 miles (45,000 km).

The IMOCA 60 ("Open 60"), is a development class monohull sailing yacht run by the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA). The class pinnacle events are single or two-person ocean races, such as the Route du Rhum and the Vendée Globe.

Zero past winners are competing but two podiums 2017: Alex Thomson second, Jérémie Beyou third. It is also the fifth participation for Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson, fourth for Arnaud Boissières and Jérémie Beyou.

The youngest on this ninth edition of the race is Alan Roura, 27 years old.

The oldest on this ninth edition is Jean Le Cam, 61 years old.

Over half the fleet are debutantes, totalling 18 first-timers.

The start procedure begins 8 minutes before the gun fires with the warning signal. At 4 minutes before, for the preparatory signal, the skipper must be alone on board, follow the countdown and take the line at the start signal at 13:02hrs local time. If an IMOCA crosses the line too early, it incurs a penalty of 5 hours which they will have to complete on the course before the latitude 38 ° 40 N (just north of Lisbon latitude). For safety reasons, there is no opportunity to turn back and recross the line. A competitor who has not crossed the starting line 60 minutes after the signal will be considered as not starting. They will have to wait until a time indicated by the race committee to start again. No departure will be given after November 18, 2020, at 1:02 p.m when the line closes.

The first boat could be home in sixty days. Expect the leaders from January 7th 2021 but to beat the 2017 race record they need to finish by January 19 2021.

Today, building a brand new IMOCA generally costs between 4.2 and €4.7million, without the sails but second-hand boats that are in short supply can be got for around €1m.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance - Vendee Globe 2024

The 10th edition will leave from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 10, 2024

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