Saturday, December 20, 2008

Michel Desjoyeaux keeps lead of Vendée Globe

[Source: Vendée Globe] Just what the doctor ordered… another 300-mile day for several of those in the top six, time to stretch away and leave the dramas of the past few days behind.

Michel Desjoyeaux has had his lead trimmed to just over 55 miles by second-placed Roland Jourdain, from over 80 first thing this morning. Foncia will be first into more north-westerly winds, while the chasing pack still have the breeze behind them — Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux), Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) and Vincent Riou (PRB) all clocking over 300 miles in the past 24 hours — but we shall have to wait and see how the wiley Mich Desj fares overnight.

Video highlights from day 41 of the Vendée Globe. 20 December 2008. Video copyright Vendée Globe

The bigger change in conditions is due to hit those still in the Indian Ocean, with the current shifty westerlies of 20-30 knots expected to rise to a Force 10 gale tomorrow afternoon in the area south of the Crozet Islands and to the west of the Kerguelens, in the fleet's first true Indian Ocean storm.

Sam Davies (Roxy, GBR) and Marc Guillemot (Safran) are now back on track for the East Australia gate — the duo are now side by side, just 10 miles apart having both diverted to assist Yann Eliès’ rescue.

Good news also from Yann, who has been seen by the medical team on board the Australian frigate HMAS Arunta. “Yann was very pleased to see us. He was in his bunk. A diagnosis confirmed a fractured left femur. An examination also revealed several broken ribs. Everything else appeared to be normal. After his transfer he was able to eat and drink. His left leg is now in traction. He is very tired after the past 48 hours, but has been able to ring his wife. We shall be monitoring him closely until we reach Australia,” confirmed Medical Officer William Bee, who has been taking care of the Generali skipper.

The Australian Navy rescues Yann Eliès. 20 December 2008. Video copyright Vendée Globe



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