Living through a pandemic
in the south of France
354 days in Carcassonne since
1st lockdown in March 2020
▫️ DAILY AND WEEKLY STATISTICS HERE .
▫️ The number of patients in intensive care continues to rise. According to figures published by the health authorities on Saturday evening, the number of patients in intensive care is stable but continues to rise slowly, with 3,689 patients, compared with 3,680 the day before and 3,633 on Thursday. A total of 24,625 people are currently hospitalised. In addition, 23,306 new contaminations have been recorded and 170 deaths.
▫️ VACCINATIONS Yesterday saw the largest number of vaccinations in one day since the start at the end of Decembre. With a record 252.500 1st dose vaccinations on Saturday, we are on track with the ambitous new targets (now included on the data charts) till the end of August.
I do not know if any of you watch this new TV channel (started Feb 1st 2021) but they have some very interesting programs. Culturebox is an ephemeral television channel designed to “support culture”while theatres, concert halls and cinemas, as well as museums and other cultural venues, are closed until further notice.
Anyway, I watched a very interesting documentary on Royal de luxe which is a French street theatre company, founded in 1979 in Aix-en-Provence, based in Nantes since 1989. Its aim is to burst into the public space, in particular through the hijacking of objects and the use of gigantism.
▫️ ANCILLARY NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND from our correspondent in Britain
No news today
▫️ MUSIC OF 1969
This song is supposed to bring back memories but I simply cannot phathom out which ones.
🎶 / 🎶 / 🎶
▫️ NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND 🇺🇸
▫️ FUN One-liners – I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives. Billy Connolly
Today in Carcassonne, the disturbed atmosphere will become more unstable during the course of the day.
▫️ VENDEE GLOBE Everyone is a winner
Ari Huusela has the honour of closing the course on this 9th Vendée Globe. He is the last to finish the race some 37 days after the first boats. He is just as much of a hero having spent the most time at sea and his finish will mark a suitably magical end to a magnificent human and sporting story. Friday, around 10 a.m local time Ari, the Finnish airline pilot, will bring this fabulous 2020-2021 edition to a close.
His name will be registered on the bottom step of the ranking as Jean-François Coste, Jean-Yves Hasselin, Catherine Chabaud, Pasquale di Gregorio (ITA), Karen Leibovici, Norbert Sedlacek (AUT), Alessandro di Benedetto (ITA) and Sébastien Destremau all have. They are all part of the legend of the Vendée Globe.
163 days, 1 hour and 19 minutes that is the time of the first sailor to be last, Jean-François Coste’s name is engraved in the history of the solo round-the-world tour race. And his time has become and important benchmark as it is included in the Vendée Globe racing rules as it is the reference time for the closure of the finish line. Beyond 163 days at sea, any competitor is classified “out of time”.
In 1990, “Costo” came seventh, 54 days after Titouan Lamazou, the winner of the inaugural edition. The gap between the two sailors seems huge – almost two months! -, but he was ‘beaten’ in 2000-2001 by the Italian Pasquale Di Gregorio who finished 15th some 65 days after the winner Michel Desjoyeaux.
In the 1996-1997 race, sixth and last of a terrible edition affected by several boats lost and the disappearance of Gerry Roufs, Catherine Chabaud was also be the first woman to complete a Vendée Globe finishing in 140 days, 4 hours and 38 minutes.
Eight years later in 2004-5 it’s another woman, Karen Leibovici is the last to finish after a real obstacle course. In the wake of Catherine Chabaud, Ellen MacArthur and Anne Liardet, Karen is the 4th woman to finish the race.
In 2008-2009, it was the Austrian former train driver who was 42 days after the new double winner Michel Desjoyeaux. Norbert Sedlacek will always be remembered for one of the most iconic on-board images of the Vendée Globe which was taken in the Pacific during this race: him at the helm of his yellow boat in front of a mountainous wave of blue and white crested water rearing up behind his transom.
In 2016-2017, Sébastien Destremau becomes an heroic public figure at the end of his race marked by a long technical stop in Australia. This time he is not be able to complete his race and is be forced to retire into New Zealand.
Ari Huusela becomes the first Finnish and indeed Scandinavian skipper to have completed the Vendée Globe. Tomorrow morning, the Nordic sailor will have achieved his dream after just under 117 days of careful, patient sailing. And he will be celebrated along with the achievements of the best.
“The arrival of the last skipper is always an important moment.” underlines Jacques Caraës, Race Director of the Vendée Globe. “ It is the end of the edition. It is always an extraordinary and moving moment, especially since we have 75% of the boats making it to the finish this year. And of course to to finish on the rankings at all, to make it all the way round is never a given, not everyone makes it. Ari has managed his race like he no doubt manages the flight of his Airbus: without putting any passenger at any risk at all. He is super discreet, he has never been in the red for very long. He is a careful person, always with his safety harness, even inside the boat. He is totally sincere and adheres to his fundamental, original philosophy, safety first. He is very proud to bring back his boat in perfect condition. And he is in great shape. He is a very great last! “
© Vendée Globe editorial staff / Camille El Beze
Going out for lunch today, getting there and back will be the only walk for the day
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