Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Loïck Peyron keeps extending lead in Vendée Globe

[Source: Vendée Globe] Psychologically, being in the lead is not necessarily very relaxing. The frontrunner has to find the way, take each wind shift and bend, each line of new wind, and avoid taking the wrong road. The slightest hesitation and the pack will pounce.

Some skippers admit that they prefer to be a bit further back, although not too far, of course, in order to observe before making their move. The only thing that really counts in a race is the finishing line. It does not matter if you have been in the lead for three-quarters of the time, if you are pipped at the post. With thirty years of racing behind him, Loïck Peyron has learnt to deal with this pressure.

Highlights from the 15th day of the Vendée Globe. 24 November 2008. Video copyright Vendée Globe

He applies his psychological advantage by making small gains over his rivals each night. Last night it was another four miles, to ease 28.5 miles clear of Seb Josse, (BT), his consistent shadow who makes it seven consecutive days in second place.

Mike Golding, GBR, (Ecover 3) had converged very slightly with Jean Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac) but is running parallel and almost abeam of the third placed winner of the Barcelona World Race. Golding was second quickest of the top group overnight, while the speed of Peyron – who consistently seems to find more speed at night.

Golding is now 19 miles clear of Yann Eliès’ Generali.

Brian Thompson, GBR, (Bahrain Team Pindar), 11th, has kept pace almost exactly with 10th placed Marc Guillemot (Safran) and was polled 241.6 miles behind Peyron, losing about 10 miles overnight on the leading group.

Jonny Malbon, GBR, (Artemis II), Rich Wilson, USA, (Great American III) and Raphael Dinelli (Fondation Océan Vital) all passed across the Equator last night.

Bernard Stamm, SUI, (Cheminées Poujoulat) will be the next to cross, while Derek Hatfield, CAN, (Algimouss Spirit of Canada) lines up to enter the Doldrums.



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