Tricky, light conditions for leaders of Vendee Globe. Le Cam is ahead - but only just
The front of the Vendee Globe fleet is currently rounding a tricky weather zone in the south Atlantic approximately 850 miles to the south-east of Montevideo (Uruguay) and 2,980 miles from the equator, which is proving particularly laborious for the top three (Le Cam/Riou/Golding) who are being forced to hunt down more wind in the west.
Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) is still heading the fleet with a 46 mile lead over Vincent Riou (PRB). Mike Golding (Ecover), 3rd, is 92 miles from the leader.
In time they will find themselves sailing upwind in north-westerlies trying to get as high as possible with the original system.
On Saturday and the bulk of Sunday they will have a very poor VMG, 40 /50 degrees from the route, waiting for more favourable northerlies. The biggest difficulty in the coming days will be trying to keep in the wind whilst avoiding the anticyclone at the end of that path by snaking along the north-western edge of the system.
Now that Sébastien Josse has joined the trio in the Atlantic, he is set to make good ground on the head of the fleet in the coming days on a much better wind angle.
The slight comeback is not going to be immediate but for now he is reaching in around 25 knots of wind. Further back Nick Moloney is already getting a good blow at the leading edge of the forecast storm while Conrad Humphreys and Bruce Schwab are still duelling, Conrad now 7.2 miles ahead of the American. They will get nearer to the big winds in the coming hours as the system is fairly slow moving, though they will be in much more settled conditions.