The sprint is on! This morning, the two leaders came under the symbolic one million towards Sables d'Olonne, point of departure and arrival of this beautiful planet race alone. Between 15 and 17 knots average speed since the last ranking in a west wind of 20 knots, François Gabart still leads the seventh Vendée Globe unabated, even if Armel Le Cléac'h picked up slightly last night. It is located 101 miles this morning's skipper MACIF. Currently port tack, the two sailors would sail on the same tack all day before gybing in favor of a wind shift to the southwest, allowing them to proceed directly to their final destination. The maneuver is planned around an hour in the morning to Gabart and 4 h for the Cléac'h. The arrival of the first has been reassessed on Sunday January 27 at 3 am.
Alex Thomson soon third
A leader of the 732,000, 450 miles south-west of the Azores, Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) still sailing in a south-westerly wind of 15 knots pushing a boat without a keel a little less than 10 knots average over the past 24 hours, the meter displays a respectable distance of 230 miles. It is very good considering the major damage suffered by the skipper Nice and navigation difficulties arising but not enough to prevent the return of Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) navigates two nodes and a half faster on the direct route since yesterday morning. The Welsh skipper is more than 35 miles in the wake of Jean-Pierre Dick, more west than the two leaders. Except stop and abandonment of French (decision Sunday), two prosecutors should go around the Azores by the West. They sail currently in flux southwest 15-20 knots should switch to the freshening south tonight then before turning south-southwest at 25-30 knots. With the approach of the islands, the skipper of Virbac-Paprec 3 has had time to get a clearer picture of the behavior of his boat under powered and highly ballast resistor, and may decide to attempt to rally the Sables d'Olonne or not, depending on the weather conditions expected.
Returns in the northern hemisphere
Since yesterday evening, Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) has finally finished with the South Atlantic. And the least we can say is that it has not really made gift. Long days of hard upwind progress in a sea-boat breaks have strained the nerves of marine and significantly extended its rise time. It has been 16 days and 11 hours between Cape Horn and the equator (4,000,000), against 13 days and 19 hours François Gabart. A little more than 4 hours in the wake of skipper SynerCiel (or 1:15 this morning), Mike Golding (Gamesa) also crossed the line in both hemispheres, a week after Alex Thomson. Separated by forty miles, Breton and English will navigate throughout the day in a quiet east wind of ten knots, which should turn northeast tomorrow.
The South Atlantic idle
Yet if the progression of the two men in the South Atlantic was very difficult, it still allowed them to dig a little gap on their partners even more unlucky. Of these, Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) who comes out best. A 440 000 Jean Le Cam, Switzerland was the only sailor in the southern hemisphere to show a double-digit rate for 24 h. Her experience has guided the choice of a road median, the closest possible to the direct route, and it was obviously the least bad considering the atrocious weather conditions encountered ... the worst that hard tourdumondiste ever met. Through a wind of 10-15 knots that will engage, it should cross the equator in thirty hours ... Always to the west, 80 miles off the Brazilian coast, Arnaud Boissières (Akena Verandas) seems to accelerate slightly while Javier Sanso (EcoPowered ACCIONA 100%) never ceases to extricate himself from erratic winds. After a very difficult night, it grew at 4.2 knots this morning ...
Even if it is slower this morning, the fleet tail instead enjoyed this rise in the South Atlantic. Starting with Bertrand de Broc (Your Name Around the World with Projects EDM). It is more than 120 miles of Spanish while Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives-core) reached also do not get too much, 300 miles behind. If the weather situation is now complicated, the gain on the pack of pursuers is really to report. 4323000 A leader, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), deprived of nearly all downwind sails enjoys good progress upwind in a north wind of 15 knots, which should gradually switch to the northwest in the afternoon in freshening. For him, the road is still long, but there is not really there enough to impress one who has managed to sail around the world solo and unassisted, on a boat three times smaller ... in 268 days!