Although Vendee Globe skipper Jean Le Cam has extended his lead to 154 miles Le Cam and Golding are increasing pressure
This morning’s Vendee Globe positioning chart shows Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) has a 153.2 mile lead over Vincent Riou (PRB), and is 2,420 miles from Cape Horn. Mike Golding (Ecover), 3rd, is 207.7 miles from the front. The top four have been reduced to the top three now with Sébastien Josse 602.4 miles from the leader. It’s been a day of repairs for Josse (VMI), and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec) hopes to fix his steering problem today.
There is a 602-mile deficit this morning for Sébastien Josse (VMI) who, as planned, has let himself be caught up by the anticyclone to repair his problem of parallelism with his rudders. Everything aboard was prepared to take on the repairs at noon yesterday and the youngest skipper of this Vendée Globe wisely turned his back on the race briefly with an average of 4.2 knots of speed over a four-hour period, knowing that he needed to find a zone with less pressure to fix the slight lateral play in his rudder in the best possible conditions.
Sébastien is obviously going to lose more and more ground in the coming hours, the leading trio still sailing in a south-westerly wind generated by the depression which is accompanying them towards Cape Horn. There is already a whole weather system between Sébastien and the head of the fleet now. In this leading group, it’s Mike Golding (Ecover) who has racked up the best 24 hour performance once again, having covered 378 miles at an average speed of 15.8 knots.
The English sailor has taken back just 7 miles on Vincent Riou (PRB) though since the 1900 GMT ranking. Vincent Riou and Mike Golding are both on the attack with an instantaneous speed of 18.3 and 18.9 knots respectively. Yet Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle), imperturbable, remains firmly in the lead and maintains a 150-mile lead of the chasing duo.
Meantime it’s been a day of repairs on the programme for Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec). He is still putting a little northing into his course to pass above the iceberg zone. Also confronted by a zone of high pressure he hopes to definitively repair his helming problem. Ahead of him an iceberg has been reported by Dominique Wavre on Temenos who is currently right in the middle of the ice field.
Raphaël Dinelli (Akena Vérandas) sums up the situation well: “It’s true that the conditions are testing. You go from 50 knots in the night to calm the following day. And now it’s upwind with very big seas coming from the north and then the south. It’s a real boiling pot and it’s really slamming.”