Most big ocean races have a story to them. You usually don't find out what it is till after the race is finished. It might be the super duper next generation yacht flattens opposition (ABN 1 in last Volvo). It might be saga of masts breaking (last Clipper around the World).
But there is always a story as sailing involve us humans, and we love stories. We tell stories, we make them up, we love to listen, and given a drama such as a sailing across the wide seas, hunt for it until we find it.
So what is the story of this Vendee Globe? Well it can be useful to look at the exception, which is what is happening now. Sam Davies is fighting for 4th place against Marc Guillemot and they are using all their routing skills - or luck - to battle though some lows that are sitting just in their way (as in chart above).
And that's been rare in the last few weeks. It's pretty much been a precession of yachts across the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
So what has this Vendee Globe been about? Well for me the main stories so far are:
1) The high drop out rate: many more boats than expected seem to be hit by serious failures, from keel's dropping off to masts tumbling down.
2) The emergencies - Vincent Riou's demasting in rescuing LeCam and Elies's ghastly broken leg
3) The characters: this is a solo round the world race, where each of the skippers are individuals competing against each other, the weather, and the odds.
And that is where Sam shines: dancing around the deck, growing bean shoots, sending emails and photos, and telling us her thoughts and feelings.