Sunday, December 07, 2008

Jean Pierre Dick goes south and leads the Vendée Globe again

[Source: Vendée Globe] Jean Pierre Dick leads the Vendée Globe again, the third time the skipper of Paprec-Virbac 2, winner of the Barcelona World Race, has topped the standings table.

Dick rounded the west end of the second ice gate and took the plunge south again.

The lead change is the 22nd since the start of the race and represented a change in the balance of the order of about 50 miles since Seb Josse lead early this morning. Aleady there is 120 miles of lateral N-S separation between Josse and Dick, and 200 miles between Dick and Yann Eliès furthest north.

Dick lead the standings table on the 11th November at 0400hrs GMT, 1000hrs GMT and then again on 12th November at the end of the overnight spell, on the 0400hrs report.

He lead the fleet at the second ice gate this morning and headed back south, already at 47 deg S, about as far south as he ventured between the ice gates. Winds are about 30-35 knots for him and the sea temperature is about 4 degrees as he surfs about 25 knots at times. While he mentioned the cold a few days ago, Mike Golding – now fourth – remarked today:

“I don’t tend to feel the cold too much. My feet are always cold and I can’t really feel my hands because there are so many calluses all over them. My head?...well I should wear a hat, but….”

Highlights from day 28 of the Vendée Globe. 7 December 2008. Video copyright Vendée Globe

The fleet leaders are riding a low pressure system, which threatens to leave them in the lurch at any minute and behind them is a high pressure with lighter winds in its wake. So it is a high wire act, and for those who fall off then the losses against the pack leaders could be more pronounced. The gaps could increase today. Behind the front runners they have less wind, 15-18 knots while further back they are into the high pressure and some have only around 10 knots of breeze.

Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) and Yann Eliès (Generali) have traded sixth and seventh, with Le Cam on his ‘old darling’ going up one place.



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