Jean Le Cam on Bonduelle is back in front as light winds frustrate the Vendee fleet

For over 36 hours weak, shifty winds have been creating havoc amongst the Vendée Globe fleet but the exit to the Southern Ocean express way can surely not be far off now, particularly for Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle), who has snatched back the lead from Vincent Riou (PRB), and stretched out an advance of 9.9 miles in the past four hours.

Even the skippers seem uncertain as to when the frontrunners will escape the warm air mass accompanying them down to the roaring 40’s. Behind them the picture looks even bleaker for the chasing pack, with Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec) in seventh, leading a chase into a fray represented not just by a ridge of high pressure but a great chunky anticyclone. Fortunately, today’s lightweight 60 foot monohulls are managing to pick their way through the “anticylonic magma” making 6/8 knots on the slightest touch of air. Patience is going to be necessary to find the saving south-west to westerly wind enabling them to orbit the Antarctic.