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Vendée Globe, day 73 - It does not let anything

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It happens. Feared by some, expected by others, crossing the ridge that extends into the southwest of the Azores will, gradually slow the two leaders of the Vendée Globe. South Atlantic, between progress and galleys chaotic material, it is far from these tactical considerations. The key is to stay the course.

This is sort of the domino effect. For two days nothing goes in the right direction for Alessandro Di Benedetto. The skipper of Team Plastique string of surprises. Yesterday evening, it was his big spinnaker exploded, leaving the masthead, a piece of headrest and the sack of the spinnaker sock. The Franco-Sicilian skipper was forced to climb again masthead to clear what remained of the headsail. Then, in the middle of the night, while browser was trying to rest, the boat left abruptly to surge. Forced to leave in a hurry, did not see Alessandro listening mainsail back in a second uncontrolled jibe. He took the mainsheet tackle in the face and thrown into the cockpit, was breaking a rib in shock. In operation, the small spinnaker, which was placed on the bridge going into the water. La vie en rose by Alessandro darkens deeply. Nothing prevents a priori , to continue his journey, but his career may become much more difficult, between a boat that can not toiler at his convenience and the pain that will gnaw for several days. But more importantly, Alessandro loses contact with Bertrand de Broc ( Your Name Around the World with EDM Projects ) and Tanguy de Lamotte ( Initiatives-heart ) who continue to spin downwind at speed northwards.

A preposterous weather

The two men go back not far from Arnaud Boissières ( Akena Verandas ) struggling to extricate themselves from the trap of the stormy depression that tends to remain stationary off the coast of Brazil. The Arcachonnais become Sablais adoption has more than 600 miles ahead of Bertrand de Broc and the gap is expected to narrow further the coming days.

It is not only to suffer disastrous weather in the South Atlantic, Jean Le Cam ( SynerCiel ), Mike Golding ( Gamesa ), Javier Sanso ( EcoPowered ACCIONA 100% ), Dominique Wavre ( Mirabaud ) all admit having full boots. As noted in the Swiss sailor, conditions are very changeable from downwind to upwind erratic muscular, without the grib files do not generate a reliable trend. To hold good, everyone has their recipes: Dominique Wavre focuses on getting the boat on its progress hour by hour, to be able to say that the best use of the potential of his IMOCA under these conditions so special. Jean Le Cam do not forget to use humor, complaining that the two leaders will have to shorten their Vendée Globe, when the club will be in five for money, considering time spent at sea: a way as other return on his investment.


Hold on, this is the anthem trotting in the skull of leaders. For François Gabart ( MACIF ) as Jean-Pierre Dick ( Virbac-Paprec 3 ), the objective is to contain the onslaught potential pursuers. The both of them know they have serious advantages, but it will not spoil the by overconfidence or lack of concentration. Before them, looming the last obstacle on the road of Les Sables d'Olonne, this ridge that occupies all minds for a week. Crossing it, leaders should be slow, but if the logic is respected, they should also leave open the first and the royal road to the finish. Nevertheless, this situation is ideal to redistribute the cards. A few miles shift, winds can sometimes vary from five to ten knots. But with ten knots an IMOCA déhale without difficulty, while less than five knots, it tends to get stuck on the water. If there is still an opportunity outside material worries, it is perhaps here. Awaiting heart of the problem, Armel le Cléac'h ( Banque Populaire ) and Alex Thomson ( Hugo Boss ) know they must continue to operate properly, without being broken and wait for any opportunity to spend attack. The main quality of the hunter is patience.