Thursday, January 08, 2009

St Helena high pressure system might decide the Vendée Globe

[Source: Vendée Globe] The passage round the St Helena high pressure system may yet prove decisive in this Vendée Globe, but there is still no shortage of wind for the leaders Michel Desjoyeaux and Roland Jourdain.

Jourdain reported this afternoon that they still have plenty of wind. Commenting that it is still very unstable, he said that although they had made the big left turn for home and were heading north a good speeds there were still a lot which can happen.

“You maybe start to think about the Doldrums and things like that, but at the moment we are still very much in the Forties and have plenty of wind.” He said.

He explained that because he cannot start the motor to cant his keel, he is still having to cant it by hand, a process which takes considerable physical effort and more than 20 minutes of hard labour.

Video highlights from day 60 of the Vendée Globe. 5 January 2009. Video copyright Vendée Globe

“At least I will arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne like a muscleman. I just hope I don’t have to match race Mich.!” He quipped. “The thing about this race, with all the damage and so on, is that at least the race will remembered as something meaningful. At the moment I am just trying to make sure I arrive in one piece.”

The pair both gybed this morning and have converged courses slightly so that there is 228 miles of lateral separation with Desjoyeaux having extended his lead to 138 miles this evening. Foncia is quicker by 2.9 knots over the 1h speed gun.

Armel Le Cléac’h on Brit Air is 23 miles off the south of the Falkland Islands and is passing south of them, unlike the leaders who went north.

Otherwise it’s the Brit Chick skippers who are making the best speeds this evening. Sam Davies has 847 miles to Cape Horn and gybed this morning on to a more easterly course, and is making a cool 15.4 knots on Roxy, while Dee Caffari on Aviva is taking it right back to Arnaud Boissieres, consistently more than a knot quicker. They are separated by 20 miles of Pacific laterally, and have 200 miles to go to reach the last ice gate of the course.

Up ahead of them Brian Thompson has just passed the west extremity of the final gate and said today he anticipates probably making three gybes to the Horn, which he expects to reach in about 5 days time. Brian’s longest spell at sea has been 62 days when he won the Doha round the world race on the maxi cat.

Steve White is still struggling with the light winds, making only a frustrating six knots, finding a the Pacific a little too peaceful for his liking, lying in 10th place. In a straight line he has 1050 miles to Dee.



Post a Comment

<< Home