With the dominant high pressure system in place there are currently few opportunities for Le Cam and Golding to break through
The weather situation remains fairly stable at the front of the Vendee Globe fleet and, with the dominant high pressure system in place, there would appear to be few opportunities to break from the established track.
The leading trio will be balancing the need to stay to the west of the high pressure where there is potentially more wind, and sailing more miles, against trying to break towards the finish. Vincent Riou has a 116 mile lead over Jean Le Cam and Mike Golding is now nearly 200 miles behind the leader in third place.
Today they have around 20-25 knots of wind from the south-east and there would seem to be few options other than to keep the pedal down and stay in touch with each other. A small depression to their west is producing an awkward, choppy swell. Riou has described it as potentially boat breaking, but he certainly believes it has the potential to find any weaknesses after 22,000 miles of hard sailing.
Mike Golding chatting from Ecover this morning commented: “It’s turned into a bit of a drag race and very difficult to find any overtaking opportunities. However, things could change, there could be some light patches ahead so I wouldn’t entirely discount any changes here at the front.”
Behind the leaders there is no shortage of tension between the supporting act, Temenos and VMI. They still have erratic winds and they are making around 8.6 to 8.8 knots just now and are they are now separated by 25.9 miles, with Sebastien Josse on VMI making a slight gain on Dominique Wavre on Temenos.
For Jean Pierre Dick on Virbac things are as good as they can be just now, he is in well established trades making over 10.5 knots over the last four hours, giving him a chance to get on with his maintenance and repair routine aboard.
Arcelor Dunkerque and Hellomoto are making good speed at the moment, now in settled trade winds conditions as well, although they have little chance to relax as they have both been. Arcelor has the upper hand in speed terms and is pulling miles steadily on Hellomoto. Bruce Schwab on Ocean Planet has light winds ahead as he hits a big parking lot as a high pressure system prevails to block his path.