Humphreys has won the duel and leads Seeton by 25.3 miles in the Vendée Globe
Conrad Humphreys (Hellomoto) took back the controls in the Bay of Biscay last night and has since stretched out his lead to 25.3 miles at 1500 GMT today, gaining back the advantage against Dunkirk skipper, Joé Seeten (Arcelor Dunkerque).
Unable to contact the Plymouth skipper, it is impossible to say for sure the mindset aboard Hellomoto. Joé Seeten must be feeling the pressure to the northwest of him in the clutches of a vast sprawling anticyclone. He has a very rough ETA of Saturday night or Sunday.
Unable to get through to Conrad Humphreys aboard Hellomoto once again today, Joé Seeten (Arcelor Dunkerque) joked of propaganda aboard the British boat. The French skipper has lost his lead overnight, Conrad streaking 25 miles into the lead with more air pressure as Joé continues to hold out for a northeasterly wind shift, slowed dramatically by a high-pressure system. He has made just 82.3 miles over the past 24 hours, while Conrad has made 121.3 miles with about three knots better VMG.
Joe said: “I have been completely slowed by the anticyclone and I can’t get out of it. I’ve had some very shifty winds that have been making things very difficult so I’ve been zigging and zagging.
“The seas aren’t very big as there is no wind. I have no more than four to 12 knots and it’s irregular both in strength and direction. It’s difficult to anticipate the upcoming wind shift and I zigzagged three to four times yesterday. I’m working the wind right now and keeping an eye on the information from the wand and the autopilot. I have a good pilot, which does my job for me so I can spend some time on trimming my sails correctly. As the wind isn’t stable at all I have to calculate and react to the shifts to correct my trajectory.
Despite Joé feeling the pressure, he remains optimistic: “I feel a bit tense. I’m not someone that gets worked up about things and there’s no point because there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“I tried to do a kind of Indian rain dance but it didn’t come off?At sea I’m happy as I’m the king of my world but the shore will bring pressure.”
American Bruce Schwab is making good headway to the West of the Canaries already setting himself up for when he heads round Cape Finisterre. At the tail of the fleet nearing the horn of Brazil, Karen Leibovici is more optimistic about her energy problems aboard Benefic today. She is 4184.4 miles from the finish.