The winner of the latest running of the quadrennial Vendee Globe — a 24,000-mile, three-month solo circumnavigation without stops — is expected to cross the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, at about 9 p.m. (local time) on Saturday.
Twenty skippers started the race, considered sailing’s toughest, from the same port on Nov. 10. Only 12 remain in the race after numerous mechanical failures among the fleet of 60-foot yachts raced hard in extreme ocean environments.
Here’s how the British yachting website Sail-World.com described the grand finale:
“The final days of the Vendée Globe are proving to be a nail biting duel between the gifted, ‘Goldenboy’ Gabart and his pretender, a challenger, called ‘The Jackal’ equally talented and famous for his incredible toughness. Like a cat on a hot tin roof, the suspense will grip us to the very end.”