Vendée Globe: Severe storm awaits Aviva, Akena Veranda and Bahrain Team Pindar
[Source: Vendée Globe] In certain circumstance it is not unprecedented for Meteo France and the Vendée Globe Race Direction and safety consultants to give advice to competitors.
In the face of a severe storm warning they have given a strong advice that the Franco-British trio of Dee Caffari (Aviva), Arnaud Boissières (Akena Veranda) and Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) remain to the south of the island of Tierra del Fuego while the worst of a severe storm is in their north.
The warning in particular emphasizes not just the very strong winds, mean 50-55 knots but gusts peaking at 85 knots, but the very difficult, at times confused cross seas – a swell of 9-12 metres - but also the fact that, as the depression goes over them the wind direction may suddenly become variable and so having a margin of sea room is also advised.
Video highlights from day 67 of the Vendée Globe. 15 January 2009. Video copyright Vendée Globe
The advice for Caffari and Boissières has been to make best speed to the lee of Tierra del Fuego, while for the Bahrain Team Pindar skipper it has been to return as quickly as possible and remain in this area, not to venture in to the waters of the Le Maire channel, the waters to the east of Chile and Argentina to the Falklands until the very worst of the weather has passed.
The worst of the weather is expected to pass between midnight tonight and tomorrow afternoon.
Thompson had passed Cape Horn at 0315hrs this morning and was already at the south east corner, only four miles off the Island del Estados. Caffari was about 122 miles to Cape Horn at 1430hrs GMT and Boissières less than 60 miles from the rock.
Steve White will also feel the effects of what started up in New Zealand waters as a tropical storm, although his position is neither as exposed nor as complex.
Speaking to this morning’s Paris based Radio broadcast Caffari sounded both upbeat and resolute, describing her damaged mainsail now as something between a tea bag and a string vest, but she plans now to cannibalise other sails to affect a more lasting repair as soon as the conditions permit.
At the head of the fleet life has become a little easier for Michel Dejoyeaux, some 420 miles to the south east of Salvador de Bahia. As he predicted yesterday he is regaining the distance he lost to Roland Jourdain and is now 285 miles ahead, although the pair have been very even on boat speed today, with Desjoyeaux slowing to just 6.5 knots mid-afternoon.
His second attempt to repair his mast-track has not been entirely successful for Marc Guillemot. The skipper from La Trinité explained to today’s radio vacation that he can still not sail with a full main but can now race with his second reef.
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