Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No changes in the Vendée Globe top five; Peyron leads

[Source: Vendée Globe] The elastic band which seems to be holding the leading group together has contracted again and second placed Seb Josse has bounced back to just 12.9 miles behind leader Loïck Peyron. Peyron has a habit of stretching away again overnight, but all five of the leaders are now within 50.9 miles of one another.

On this evening’s 1900hr (GMT) update, Mike Golding (GBR) has lost two places to lie eighth behind Roland Jourdain and Yann Elies, but small place changes between this leading triangle of nine are largely irrelevant, as they concentrate on lining up for what’s coming ahead — and looking over their shoulder for those likely to close up from behind.

Highlights from the 17th day of the Vendée Globe. 26 November 2008. Video copyright Vendée Globe

Tomorrow is likely to be a very different day, as the disturbed remains of a cold front look set to cause variations in the wind strength for boats just a few miles apart, which might prove enough to separate the leaders. So as the pace-setters make their decisions on how to approach the first front, it’s the followers who could benefit from more favourable winds. In their tracks are Marc Guillemot, then Dominque Wavre and Brian Thompson (GBR) — who have been having their own battle, with Thompson coming out better on this evenings rankings as they exit the Isle of Trinidad.

For 13th-placed Samantha Davies (Roxy), the biggest threat is from her right, where Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) is powering south two knots more quickly, although by being further east the British skipper might hold an advantage of being able to cut across earlier, as the wind gradually backs north-easterly. Jean le Cam, the most easterly boat of the front pack, will also be hoping to scrape through on his way to the Cape of Good Hope.

One more boat looks set to cross the Equator tonight, with Norbert Sedlacek (Nauticsport-Kapsch) set to join the fleet in the south.



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