November 10, 2019
Who are Dalen and Elie?
You probably already know that the winner of the 14th Transatlantic Transat Jacques Vabre in IMOCA60 was the crew of Apivia – 35-year-old Charlie Dalen and 45-year-old Yann Elie. The result for us is unexpected and causing a lot of questions. The very first one: who are they?
In fact, they are by no means newcomers, especially Elie. Both in France are famous skippers. There are just so many great French offshore racers that it’s not difficult for us to hear about someone or to forget about someone. Because the same Elie, imagine, participated in the Transat Jacques Vabre 6 times – and now is a three-time winner of this race. In 2013, he excelled in the Multi50 class. And in 2017 – at IMOCA60, and, moreover, together with Jean-Pierre Dick set a record for yachts of this class, covering a distance of 4350 nautical miles in 13 days, 7 hours, 36 minutes and 46 seconds.
This year the weather conditions were far from ideal, but, nevertheless, Dalen and Elie (they, by the way, already performed together at the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2015) traveled the route only 4 hours slower than the record – 13 days, 12 hours and 8 minutes.
An important touch: Apivia crossed the finish line in the Bay of All Saints of the Brazilian city of Salvador in the early morning on Sunday (Moscow time). More than 15 hours have passed since then, but no other class yachts have yet been able to complete the race. Amazing advantage!
Apivia is built on the money of the eponymous major insurance company. The yacht was launched only at the end of last summer. This is the latest generation of winged IMOCA, five of which were launched at the start of the current Transat Jacques Vabre. The most “promoted” of them were two – Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson / Neil MacDonald) and Charal (Jeremy Beiu / Christopher Pratt).
The crew of Hugo Boss, recall, chose an unsuccessful route, lagged behind, and then collided with an unidentified object, damaged the keel – and is now being repaired in Cape Verde.
Charal was in the lead for several days (on November 5, the crew advantage was 120 miles!), But Jeremy Beiu and Christopher Pratt were let down by the equatorial calm strip. It is generally believed that the further you go west before turning south, the better. But this year everything turned out the other way around. Apivia turned south 50 miles earlier than the leader – and she had no more rivals, because Charal, and the rest, were stuck in a calm strip for a long time.
As a result, the advantage of Dalen and Elie over rivals is hundreds of miles …
295 November 10, 2019 # 9669