Such a long and laborious this descent of the South Atlantic! The position of the Saint Helena high pressure system completely blurs the path to reach the deep south. Charlie Dalin, still in the lead, grabs every meter as if it were worth gold, Thomas Ruyant, he groped his way in this area that he describes as “rotten” and behind, we pray that the chosen option does not turn into bankruptcy at the Bonne-Espérance score. An active and studious Tuesday “at the office” as Sébastien Destremau said, on the way to solving his oil leak problem on one of his keel jacks … in the middle of the Doldrums.
Slowly but surely
Things are not progressing very quickly in the 9th Vendée Globe fleet. From the east of Cape Verde where Jérémie Beyou on Charal is located, in the middle of the South Atlantic, the pace of IMOCA is not hectic. “It’s a strange feeling: imagine you are sitting on the side of the road wondering if someone will pick you up one day” confides Boris Herrmann, 6th in the score, less than 1 mile from Yannick Bestaven ! A beautiful fight in light airs in the wake of Kevin Escoffier and Jean Le Cam. The Vendée Globe road has rarely seen such a scenario. “I imagined the South Atlantic to be the fastest round-the-world zone, and well it’s missed! I think that’s one of the biggest dilemmas I’ve had to face since I’ve been sailing, ”said Charlie Dalin attached to the morning session.
Maneuvers, changes of sails and severe fatigue
7 IMOCAs are struggling in the Intertropical Convergence Zone to tear their hair out unless they keep their Olympian calm as the Finn Ari Huusela does, 29th at 3 knots since midday, who confides with this linear and imperturbable voice: “I adapts to me, I face it, no need to get annoyed, it’s like that… ”. Miranda Merron on her Campagne de France had enough to give a rant, not understanding why her boat was stuck in a beautiful gust: “I discovered that a plastic sheet surrounded my keel and considerably slowed my progress. “. To reach the Cape of Good Hope and the train of depressions that allow you to run, you will have to be patient. The first, at the cost of constant sail changes, maneuvers and adjustments should touch the flow of 40th in 48 hours and finally whistle the foils before doubling the course for South Africa overnight from Sunday to Monday. For the next group it will be almost two days later.
The Dalin / Ruyant tandem is nearly 200 miles apart with the 3rd Jean Le Cam who still manages to contain big foiling clients like Kevin Escoffier, Yannick Bestaven, Boris Herrmann and Sébastien Simon! Alex Thomson chose to bypass the high pressure south with Louis Burton and Sam Davies. He is more than 500 miles behind the head of the fleet this evening and should finish the repairs to the front structure of his boat tonight. The Roura / Attanasio / Crémer trio is sailing 1,000 miles behind the leaders. Note that Banque Populaire X crossed the volcanic islands of Trindade and Martim Vaz around 2 p.m.… Finally, Armel Tripon’s yellow and black foiler, L’Occitane en Provence, is approaching Fernando de Noronha, and displays a 2,000 mile gap on Apivia. As for Jérémie Beyou on Charal, he begins to slow down in the first scratches of the Doldrums, 3,000 miles from his playmates.
Charlie Dalin, Apivia
I imagined the South Atlantic to be the fastest round-the-world zone, and well it was wrong! I think this is one of the biggest dilemmas I have had to face since I’ve been sailing. I do routing, I watch the wind shifts and there is also the feeling with regard to the wind in the front. I am not categorical, I try to take into account all the parameters to best fix my trajectories. I’m happy, we’re doing well with Thomas (Rouillard) and the days to come will be full of maneuvers, changes of sails and strategic thinking in the face of the rapidly changing situation. We should see stronger winds in about 48 hours, so I’m adjusting.
Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut
We had a good phase coming out of the doldrums, which was favorable to the foilers. But we must not forget that Jérémie (Beyou) and Alex (Thomson) had their share of problems. It’s part of the race and for everyone there is a lot going to happen, I know that. The facts of the race mean that there are two of us in the lead, but the lead is small compared to the round the world. There will be some hassle for everyone, it’s the Vendée Globe game. But yes, I’m very proud to be 2nd in the Vendée Globe, that’s great. The future ? We are in a very disturbed area with this front that cuts the high pressure. We’re going to look for the south of the southernmost high pressure system. The route will be to the South-East, to then go to the ice zone and a more classic route for the start of the Indian Ocean. Once we leave this rather rotten area, we will find more constructed things. For now, everything is very different depending on the weather models, the path is not easy to find.
Sébastien Destremau, merci
The merci you keel is now locked in the axle and does not seem to move anymore… That’s great, it means that the hydraulic circuit is now closed and the piping is purged. At least I know the boat isn’t very far from seaworthy. While waiting to put the system under pressure and to be able to redeploy the Thank Sails, there are a good two hours of cleaning inside.
Kojiro Shiraishi, DMG Mori Global One
It’s a small feat to have managed to repair this sail. This is the first time I have done this and it still took me 6 days. I had to cut the upper part of the sail which I then connected to the lower part. I also cut the first reef so I can’t have a high mainsail anymore. I had badly rolled up my J2 after the gybes so I tore it a bit too. I intend to go as far as possible with these repairs !! The sail is obviously less efficient and it is not in a good shape, but I am relieved. My boat has a lot of scratches and minor issues. I try to be in harmony with him and I do everything to be able to come back to France as quickly as possible. I’m sorry the boat is in this condition, but I’ll do my best to finish this round the world trip!
Rankings at 3pm french time
|1. Charlie Dalin, Apivia at 19 170.9 milles from finish|
|2. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut at 69.75 milles from leader|
|3. Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam! at 277.12 milles from leader|
|4. Kevin Escoffier, PRB at 317.74 milles from leader|
|5. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV at 391.81 milles from leader|
Photo Credit : JL Carli
– PR –