Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vendée Globe: Michel Desjoyeaux applies turbo booster on Foncia

[Source: Vendée Globe] Into the trade winds since yesterday evening Michel Desjoyeaux has been able to apply the Foncia turbo booster and is now leaving Roland Jourdain.

Foncia is off Salvador, Brasil in about 15-20 knots windspeed and reaching along making 15.8 knots of boat speed. He has now gained over 80 miles on second placed Veolia Environnement since 1900h GMT Thursday night and his margin will increase until tomorrow morning at least, round about when Bilou should enter the more solid trade winds - at around 15 degrees south. Desjoyeaux’s lead is now his biggest ever now exceeding the lead of 342.9 miles he had on the Monday 12th January.

But Roland Jourdain is making very healthy speeds himself at 11.7 knots he is gaining on third placed Armel Le Cléac’h, making nearly 50 miles over the last 24h. In fact he is 465.3 miles ahead of Brit Air this morning.

Video highlights from day 69 of the Vendée Globe. 17 January 2009. Video copyright Vendée Globe

Brit Air has been in a gusty, squally little front this morning and there are a few of them around emanating from Argentina, so Armel start to gain a little between now and Monday.

In a high pressure ridge, Sam Davies (Roxy) is wriggling on, making 10 knots still despite slack breezes, but the light winds are threatening to make life slow for her, she might have to take a hit to the east to get better pressure.

Marc Guillemot on Safran is very slow this morning. He is just doing what Sam was doing yesterday although it does sound like he had very nasty, bumpy cross seas – boat-breaking conditions and this morning he had very little wind at all.

Brian Thompson has just gybed across to the east at the top of the Falklands Islands and has made good speed since yesterday. He has 25-35 knots of SW’ly wind and is going well making 11.2 knots this morning and 11.9 knots overnight.

Dee Caffari spoke this morning to Paris Race HQ, sounding tired but relatively happy after the stress and strains of the last few days. With the SW’ly breeze at 35 knots the sailing is more regular and so she is looking to catch up on her rest, and suggested that perhaps the 21st – next Tuesday – would be Mainsail Repair Day – when she would try to make a more substantial and effective job on her badly deteriorated, delaminated mainsail. She said how nice it was to be able to pass Cape Horn with Arnaud Boissières yesterday, the French skipper a first timer. She has been slightly quicker than him 12.3 knots to Akenas 10.4 kts to 10h and 12.5 to 10.5 over 24h.

“With my mini-main I never thought I would be glad to see 35 knots but there you are.” She said this morning.

Steve White is going well, making a good, simple, direct course with the hammer down on Toe in the Water making 12.7 to 12.8 kts and should be round Cape Horn Sunday night or Monday morning.

Rich Wilson was only heard very briefly and is in 35 -45 kts and was 236 miles to the final gate at 1130hrs GMT

Norbert Sedlacek reported that his keel problem is not too significant but he is taking steps to protect the head which has become slightly deformed, and so there is a little movement in it. The key thing is make sure it is well fixed in the tacks to reduce the movement, and he said he may sail with it on the centerline in the North Atlantic.



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