Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vendée Globe: More repairs for Dee and an escape route for Desjoyeaux

[Source: Vendée Globe] Roland Jourdain continues to profit as Michel Desjoyeaux struggles to clear himself of a ridge of high pressure.

Second behind Foncia since December 16th Jourdain has made over 110 miles since Monday night and this morning has earned another 10 miles doing 10.4 knots as against 8.7 knots for the leader. Desjoyeaux has now 4654 miles to the Ahead the SE’ly tradewinds are not so well formed at the moment but the leader hopes to be clear into them later this afternoon.

Video highlights from day 66 of the Vendée Globe. 14 January 2009. Video copyright Vendée Globe

In third Armel Le Cléac’h Brit Air has been crossing the middle of a small low pressure system and so was slow and so The Jackal has had predatory instincts dulled for a while, making just 8.9 knots this morning.

For Dee Caffari, Arnaud Boissieres and Brian Thompson, they are facing up to really stormy conditions off Cape Horn. According to Meteo France winds this morning wind are starting to build again and from around 6pm tonight Aviva will see gusts to 50kts, the winds will drop for Dee and Arnaud at the Horn but then a very active low pressure will hit them in the Maire Strait, giving N to NE'ly winds reaching 80 knots.

Their best solution is to try and outrun it, according to Sylvain Mondon of Météo France, looking to make an average speed of 12 knots to get far enough north, round the corner. Caffari was reported to be more confident she can do this, but alternatively trying to slow and shelter in the lee of Staten Island is a possibility. Brian Thompson has more chance of getting away from the worst of it and should be around Cape Horn in the small hours of tomorrow morning GMT. Caffari's mainsail already requires more repairs after the last storm (see pic)

At 1000hrs this morning Marc Guillemot (Safran) stopped in the Falklands to make his second repair to his mast track after stopping also in the Auckland Islands.

Sam Davies has been having weed problems, she has big strands pulled on to the decks of Roxy and backed up several times, but is still fighting hard, maintaining some good average speeds.

Steve White was quickest in the fleet this morning 13.8 knots, he will catch the south side of this tropical low as well, as will Rich and this afternoon will be having SW’ly winds 50 knots, while behind Rich Wilson will be having very strong SE’lies.



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