Although it's unlikely they'll see each other, the Vendee Globe and Global Challenge fleet should cross line on Christmas Day
The Race Offices of the Global Challenge and the Vendée Globe have spent the last few days exchanging information about their respective fleets, as the yachts participating in two of the most well-known ocean yacht races will soon cross the same line of longitude – possibly on Christmas Day.
It’s unlikely the fleets will see each other as the eastabout Vendée Globe yachts are considerably further south heading for South America, while the Global Challenge fleet is heading west and north towards Wellington. However, it is hoped that a live link-up will take place between one of the Vendée competitors Mike Golding (skipper of Ecover and winner of the BT Global Challenge 1996/97) and Barclays Adventurer, winner of the first leg, in the next week.
Meanwhile as Christmas approaches, the teams still have to sail as hard as they can as the incredibly close racing, which has been a feature of this leg, continues.
Spirit of Sark is still out in front and leading the fleet for the 2,000 mile stretch to Wellington. Imagine It. Done. currently lying in 10th place, did try to strike out on their own, but as skipper Dee Caffari describes: “Our decision to go north to try and split from the fleet a little didn’t work as they all came too. So we are pointing at the waypoint and hoping that as we start tacking in the next low we can carry off a blinder!”
Dee goes on to write: “The fleet is so well matched that in heavy airs we all carry the same sail plan and travel at the same speed so distances don’t really change that much, just angles that people sail at have an effect.”
The fleet is currently experiencing winds of between 30 and 35 knots from the south-west, which are expected to last throughout the day and then veer round to the west overnight and ease off on Friday – perfect for a nice Christmas lunch on Saturday!
Yesterday there was news of the threat of a possible falling space station, with a mixture of mild amusement and concern prevalent throughout the fleet. VAIO, it seems took it all very seriously as they explained in their daily log: “Since the message came through, our concerned skipper Amedeo has been on deck 24 hours a day, patrolling the good ship VAIO, watching the skies and trying to keep us safe from interplanetary craft.
The race office confirms that the space station was actually Russian and was being dismantled. Heidi Brook, a Maritime Safety spokesperson said that the fleet is no danger, as the nearest they got was 500 miles south-west of the area.
Spirit of Sark 1,889 miles to finish
BP Explorer 1,910 miles to finish
BG SPIRIT 1,914 miles to finish
VAIO 1,916 miles to finish
Samsung 1,925 miles to finish
SAIC La Jolla 1,929 miles to finish
Me to You 1,933 miles to finish
Barclays Adventurer 1,937 miles to finish
Save the Children 1,940 miles to finish
Imagine It. Done 1,993 miles to finish
Pindar 2,156 miles to finish