Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Vendée Globe: Desjoyeaux powers ahead, Jourdain looks for good fortune

[Source: Vendée Globe] Roland Jourdain, 116.7 miles behind Michel Desjoyeaux, is scaling the south Atlantic, surveying his options as he pursues the leader

The two men are on the point of leaving the Furious Fifties, but they still have the Roaring Forties to deal with. Conditions are still not that different from being in the Big South and it’s crucial they remain just as vigilant as before. Last night Bilou came across two squalls with 45 knots that laid the boat on its side and threw him out of his bunk onto the chart table.

" I’m a little tired. We in the after-effects of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, but after a day like yesterday, it gets you thinking! Last night was full of squalls with 40-45 knots. The boat went on its side twice. It’s not the coolest kind of Atlantic! And also Mich is driving me a little potty. I can’t see a way in to him at this point. The weather seems more favourable in front, so I’m scratching my head! But where there’s life, there’s hope! "summarised Bilou in this afternoon’s radio vacs.

Video highlights from day 59 of the Vendée Globe. 5 January 2009. Video copyright Vendée Globe

With the help of some opportune gybing, Desjoyeaux shifted slightly to the East overnight and according to the routing, signs so far, are that he did the right thing. But his theory may not be as concrete as it first seems. Bilou is looking for a way out and it’s not over yet as the weather situation is looking quite complex.

" Yes so I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of opportunities showing. Ever since Cape Horn (…) if I’d had a chance to catch Mich a bit it would have been interesting. Bad luck has meant that the system I’m in now, could have been good to go round the outside, but I’d have run out of time. So that would have been too difficult. So I’ve had to stick behind him. And now Mich has headed out to the East. According to the routing, it looks like he’ll benefit for just under a week. So long as things don’t change....the weather doesn’t always do what you expect it to!"

Over the last few hours, the sun has come out and the wind has calmed to 15-20 knots, but it remains very irregular. So Bilou will have to be patient and ready to seize the next opportunity that the weather offers him. More than ever, the race continues at the head of the fleet as they head towards slightly warmer climes !



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