The final two competitors Karen Leibovici and Raphaël Dinelli are fighting it out on the final sprint to the finish
Vendee Globe sailor Karen Leibovici (Benefic) was overtaken by the cold front again early this morning.
For the moment she is battling to extract herself from a zone of light winds in seas which continue to be built up, tossing her and her boat about. Karen has nonetheless made some good headway over the past 24 hours, on a direct course to Les Sables d’Olonne. She has even reduced her deficit on Raphaël Dinelli. As he feared, the skipper of Akena Verandas, has had to go very far north in search of a north-easterly wind shift. Unfortunately the wind has clocked right back to the east and Raphaël is now being forced to make a catastrophic heading on port tack towards Cape Finisterre, the western tip of Spain towards which Karen Leibovici is converging.
Chatting from the boat this morning Leibovici said: “I ended up very suddenly without any wind last night and that’s still the case, though I don’t understand why as it’s not described on the weather files. As a result the boat is being tossed about in heavy seas which break without wind. It’s not very pleasant at all and it’s annoying as it is slowing my approach to Les Sables.
“It’s beginning to feel like a really long time on the water, the engine isn’t running as I’ve broken the impeller (last spare part). It’s nothing much but you have to have the right piece. For the time being I’ve got sunshine which is a good thing for the solar panels, but if that continues, I really won’t have any power left at all as at this speed even my water propeller doesn’t work. In short, too much wind or not enough, it’s never a happy medium. Yesterday I spent the day trying to repair the main pilot. What with having to change the calculator and the various tests, I gave up on it at midnight (GMT). I couldn’t take any more and the work proved fruitless. I went and had a sleep after having eaten a little…but I’m not having much fun as the hassles have really been stacking up in the last 48 hours especially, it’s incredible!”
12 AKENA Vérandas Raphaël Dinelli 413.7 miles to the finish
13 Benefic Karen Leibovici 822.9 miles to the finish