French 73-year-old yachtsman was successfully finished in Les Sables-d’olonne at 9:50 UTC on 29 January. To make a single nonstop trip around the world he managed for 211 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes.
In anticipation of the finish on the GGR pages in social networks have begun a charity auction. A lot of it was the Teddy bear who sailed around the world together with van den Heede. Such a toy at the start, each participant received a race. The money raised through their sale, transfer center SITraN (Sheffield, UK), where scientists search for new ways of treatment of such neurological disorders as als, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. At the time of writing the maximum rate was 300 euros. The auction will run until 1 February.
Going into the race second Dutchman Mark Slats (Slats Mark) and failed to beat the Frenchman, although he did everything possible and impossible to catch the leader, from the moment in early November during a storm on the boat van den Heede was severely damaged mast. Thanks to the efforts of Slats, from 8 November to 17 January, the gap between them has decreased from 1,500 to only 47 nautical miles.
For this reason, the last two weeks were for-runners in a continuous and particularly intense. Van den Heede chose near the Azores advantageous to course, wanted to finish.
The wind favored him, and even that due to another wave of rumors van den Heede as Slats, are left without the help of hams don’t seem too bothered the Frenchman.
In the words of organisers GGR, he is a very experienced sailor — was already in the region feel “in the backyard of his house.”
But the life of the Slats during this period, it seems, turned into one continuous overcoming. Almost all the “inconvenient” cyclones and anticyclones, which successfully left behind his rival, had given to him. However, the Slats, in contrast to van den Heede have a little bit of fuel, and, once in the calm zone, he could start the engine. But, as we have seen, this advantage has not helped the Dutchman.
Here at the finish line van den Heede a few hours ahead of the storm, and Slats was sandwiched between him and another, more powerful cyclone moving in the same direction. First, the sailor was advised to slow down and just let go of the forward to the first weather front, but when it became clear that the second of them bears for the Slats much greater danger, the race organising Committee decided that it is wiser to offer the Dutchman on the contrary try as soon as possible to escape from him at the finish line. However, that at the last moment to try to catch up with van den Heede, it was not walking.
Probably, in this moment of emotional tension for the Slats and his team became excessive.
How else to explain that almost at the finish line, which is only 360 nautical miles, they deliberately went to the violation of the rules of the race?
Manager of the coast team of Dutchman dick Koopmans (Koopmans Dick) told the race organizers that “do not trust the opinion of the race Committee about the current situation,” and believes that security is more important than following the rules. The conflict arose when the organizers refused to transfer to the Slats the opinion of one of the leading meteorologists of the Netherlands and the coast guard in the form of order, but not neutral information, but consider that the Slats would be in accordance with the policy of GGR, to decide how to act. According to Dutch experts, to go into the Bay of Biscay, are now dangerous and the storm you must ride out in the Spanish La Coruna or French Brest. Move the finish for the Slats organizers GGR also refused.
Koopmans directly contacted by the Slats, for that sailor will now receive a time penalty. The size of the penalty the organizers of the race are going to discuss on 29 January. Judging by the tracker, the Dutchman listened to his shore team and should now be in a coruña.
We can only rejoice that in these difficult weather conditions were able to recover the tracker of the Slats. Last weekend, the organizing Committee almost a day lost sight of him. Again to determine the location of yachtsman was only on January 28.
Meanwhile, closing the three leaders of the Estonian Uku, Randmaa (Uku Randmaa) left to go 500 nautical miles to the equator. His closest rival, American Kopar Istvan (Istvan Kopar), behind him at 870 nm.
Slightly smaller — 850 nautical miles — left to go to Finn to Lahtinen Tapio (Tapio Lehtinen) to Cape horn. Although in his district the wind speed exceeds 45 knots, he goes at a speed of only 3.4 node. And all because of barnacles. In the “virtual race” with the boat of the winner GGR-1968 sir Robin Knox-Johnston (Robin Knox-Johnston) Lehtinen, it seems, may soon begin to lose.
At the time of preparation of the material Lehtinen was two degrees further West than on 26 January, 50 years ago was Suhaili, but 6 degrees South. From the point of view of the distance to the finish Lehtinen only 90 nautical miles “ahead of” Knox-Johnston. From 17 January, the gap has narrowed to 190 nm.