Friday, November 21, 2008

Loïck Peyron leads Vendée Globe fleet into the southern hemisphere

[Source: Vendée Globe] Tonight for the leaders it is just about straight lining it, on the breeze into the trade winds, slamming upwind, it is a very different game now.

In a matter of hours 'Sheriff' Loïck Peyron will break over the border into the Southern Hemisphere with a lead of just over 20 miles.

The chasing posse are absolutely on his heels, at Figaro pace.

The young gun slinger Seb Josse, a foot in both camps - French and English - rides high in the saddle, he has lead the chase for days and shows no sign of wilting.

His position remains strong applying 21.6 miles of lateral separation to windward of Jean-Pierre Dick, his sometime training partner in crime, two southern sailors managing to keep the hungry 2004 champion, Vincent Riou, at bay.

Dick has arrested third place again as we head into the night, 14 miles up on Riou who held third for much of today, and the four top boats are still within 40 miles of the leader.

Out to the west, holding steady, Roland Jourdain is 7th, Jean Le Cam still mining the east is eighth and slanting back for some westing, while Mike Golding holds 10th tonight. The 7th to 10th group have eight miles of DTL between them, even if their tracks are spread more than 100 miles west to east.

With the boats and skippers settled to the new rhythm the task they face is looking down south to the Saint Helena high pressure system(s) since there have been two to choose from. The situation has been looking messy, and there may be options to make big, and important, gains and losses.

One little enclave with smiles on their faces this evening are Wavre, Thompson, Daves and Guillemot.. They appear to have missed out on the Doldrums experience entirely for the moment. Wavre reported that he had moved virtually seamlessly into the Trade Winds and sure enough tonight they are making 10.2 to 10.9 knots of VMG – not really typical Doldrums pace.

Less fortunate seems to be Dee Caffari, Mich Desj, Arnaud Boissieres and Steve White. They have been swallowed by something very Doldrums like, and have slumped to 4 to 7 knots. Painful.



Post a Comment

<< Home