Friday, January 16, 2009

Vendée Globe: Eight boats now into the Atlantic; Desjoyeaux extends lead

[Source: Vendée Globe] Dee Caffari passed the longitude of Cape Horn at about 1015hrs GMT this morning, becoming the eighth skipper to enter into the Atlantic Ocean. Caffari's celebrations are on ice for the meantime as she deals with the strong SW'ly winds and a malicious low pressure system .

Brian Thompson confirmed on this morning’s radio vacation that he is moving off in a NE’ly direction in quite big and confused seas and will have to moderate his speed over the coming hours, since the quicker he goes the more faster he will reach the strongest winds and most confused seas.

Almost exactly on cue, as per the Meteo France precisions, her reported at 1125GMT that the breeze had dropped, backed into the SW and had suddenly built to 30-40 knots. He has been sailing under deep reefed main with no headsail most of the time.

At the front Michel Desjoyeaux is moving better now, averaging 10.3 knots this morning and gaining 11 miles from Bilou who is now 281 miles ahead. He expected to be getting into the SE trades at 20 degrees S but it is proving more difficult to get there and it looks like it will be nearer 15 degrees S that they will get the more solid SE’ly trades, so another 150 miles.

Roxy had a slow night, Sam Davies said this morning she has had very little wind - 0.00 kts at one point -but has picked up speed and is averaging 10 knots again. Steve White has been going like a train in the strong winds, he has gained 120 miles on the Cape Horn Three and this morning confirmed he has been musing over his plans for the future. He would like to gain more experience alongside a very well established, good skipper and perhaps involve himself much more in the French ‘school’ of IMOCA Open 60 learning. He was on the point of changing up to his Solent headsail as winds had eased back from the gusty 28-40 knots he had been seeing.

Rich Wilson has had 45-50 knots and has been under deep reefed main and storm jib on Great American III, while behind him the duel between Raphael Dinelli and Norbert Sedlacek is all on again, 17 miles between them and Norbert making quicker averages than the Sablais skipper.



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