Southerly route paying off for the leading pack

Taking the furthest route south continues to pay for Frenchman Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac) who is now 43.7 miles ahead of Roland Jourdain (Veolia-Environnement, pictured). Roland has gained overnight to lie second, his best position in this Vendée Globe since the fleet leaders passed Cape Finisterre.

With his 2004 Lombard design, ‘Bilou’ Roland has again proven one of the quickest sailors in the south, and presently is at the head of a fast moving trio of like minded, heavily experienced Southern Ocean experts who are less than 10 miles apart. Hotly pursuing him, Roland has Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) on his port quarter – just 4.8 miles to his NW – and Mike Golding (Ecover 3) on his starboard quarter – just 9.4 miles behind on the other side.

Seb Josse (BT) now lies third, having moved south from his northerly position losing 18 miles overnight, and is now some 130 miles north of Jean-Pierre’s course in the south, while Yann Eliès is still 25 miles further north of Seb and lies seventh, relinquishing sixth overnight to Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia).

Desjoyeaux has again been quickest through the night, albeit only 0.2 of a knot quicker than Dick in the south who was polled fastest on the 1hourly ‘speed gun’ this morning.

The fortunes of those who are in pursuit take a bigger mileage hit as they struggle at times in much lighter winds. Dominique Wavre, SUI, (Temenos II) continues to do well at the front of the chasing pack, but he is a weather system behind and lost 80 miles since yesterday afternoon. Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) lost about 60 miles, and Sam Davies (Roxy) around 40 – all losing as they sail through a ridge of high pressure with light winds.