Redress for rescue gives Vincent Riou 3rd in the Vendée Globe, and a useful cheque in the pocket


A number of suggestions about the reasons behind solo sailor Vincent Riou’s request (now granted) for redress after rescuing fellow competitor Jean Le Cam and being scythed down in a dismasting.

The Vendée Globe race jury have awarded him joint 3rd place, likely with Armel Le Cleac’h, while keeping 4th place open for (likely) either Sam Davies or Marc Guillemot.

I did say in my last blog that I couldn’t imagine how the race committee could possibly place Riou when he wasn’t able to sail 6,000 miles of the course. This decision turns a few of the commonly held views on their heads – such as a joint place consuming the position immediately below.

But, all in all, this is a ‘wisdom of Solomon’ judgement. Riou and Le Cleac’h had long been neck and neck. They both were around 1,000 miles ahead of Sam Davies, so the assumption that Riou would have beaten her is not too controversial, nor would this deprive her of a 4th place, and the prizemoney to go with it.

But back to Riou’s motivation. I still say it’s about the money. The prizemoney that goes to the skippers is as follows: ?150,000 for the winner; ?90,000 for 2nd; ?60,000 for 3rd; ?40,000 for 4th; ?30,000 for 5th and ?20,000 apiece for the remaining finishers. So, ching-ching, Riou’s redress personally makes him ?60,000 better off, and that always goes down well at home.

As for the suggestion that it’s for his overall IMOCA World Championship points, well maybe that’s a side benefit. There is no prizemoney at all in this, though perhaps some kudos with his sponsors if he performs in the Calais Round Britain Race or the Transat Jacques Vabre later this year.