In patterns that have naturally caused the fleet to tighten over the past 24 hours, Thomas Ruyant played a trick, which could have been a winner, but the door closed. The LinkedOut skipper gave up 2nd place to Charlie Dalin, 100 miles from Yannick Bestaven, the leader. The “Jean Le Cam” group has recovered almost 100 miles in 24 hours!
After tormented days, crossed seas and gusts of wind, after hours of grueling shocks and clashes in the Indian, the skippers at the head of the fleet must finally feel the beginnings of appeasement take over their bodies and the mind. The loners are not dozing off in the languors of the Pacific, but they will at least seek to drop the shoulders, unlock the cervicals and finally loosen those jaws paralyzed by the wait for the impact after .
During the video sessions over the next two or three days, we will have to take a moment to look into their eyes and try to read the reflections of their soul. Since back from the front, will their spirits have lost their extreme hardness? Will brains be drawn to tomorrow more than frozen for the moment? Will the fear have diminished?
What is certain is that Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV), Charlie Dalin (Apivia) and Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) turn the pages of the trio’s score in South major one after another on their music stand. Sometimes together, sometimes in dissonance, the three friends recite a piece written to keep the audience in suspense. Yesterday, for example, Thomas Ruyant climbed into the treble to go play his pace further north. In the octave above there was an option which, if it had worked, would have given the northerner skipper a nice shot. The game was to board aft of a low and then exploit strong northwesterly winds … which collapsed. The brazen did not insist and has since gradually descended towards the pattern that is currently pushing Yannick Bestaven and Charlie Dalin along the Antarctic Exclusion Zone. To play his tactical move, the Northerner had to be convinced that even if he had to turn back, he would not lose too much.
He lost, sure, but not that much. Here he is 3rd, 139.8 miles behind the leader, or 39 miles behind Yannick Bestaven at the same time yesterday, and 92 miles behind Charlie Dalin, who comes back like a bullet on the leader. Pushed by a wind of a dozen knots from the West towards the sluggishness which stagnates in their East, the three friends are condemned to see their speeds drop radically in the hours to come, and to play the second movement of this sequence only on a piano mezzo tempo. A light breeze in the east, a wind blowing from the west, this is why Thomas Ruyant could, with a relatively calm mind, venture to give it a shot. The third movement will be more staccato from Tuesday night when a depression flirts with their route. By then, the head of the race will have had time to make a thousand adjustments between the high pressures and the Antarctic Exclusion Zone.
And, during that time …
… The hunters are moving up the trail, no longer from the Indian, but from the Pacific. As a North-West depression kicks their gear, Jean Le Cam (4th) and his fellow travelers have gained nothing less than 110 miles in 24 hours, and this streak should only end when Jean Le Cam, Boris Herrmann, Damien Seguin, Benjamin Dutreux and, to a lesser extent Louis Burton, will have reached the foothills of the high pressure below New Zealand. The skipper of Bureau Vallée 2 has, in fact, planned to take shelter in the windfall of Macquarie Island to repair his rigging and recover all of his sailing capacities. Saturday night, no doubt, he will tinker with the calm of a protected area of Australian territory, where environmental recommendations are not to be laughed at – and so much the better.
Going up the fleet shows that almost the entire fleet benefits from the slowing down of the leader, in varying proportions, depending on the weather patterns that prevail in each person’s navigation area. To schematize, Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) has recovered 80 miles, Maxime Sorel (V and B – Mayenne) and the group which follows him about 60. The performances of Armel Tripon (- 80 miles), of Stéphane Le Diraison (-100 approximately miles) and Jérémie Beyou (- 90 miles) appear as an outgrowth. It would almost be good to be behind, finally …
Charlie Dalin (Apivia)
There was a very good option to take. I think Thomas had planned to do this before he invaded the sail locker. There was a really good shot to play, but the timing was tight, and his problem got him out of timing, I think. You shouldn’t hang around because the door was closing quickly. I fully understand why he is there. If I had been his place on the race course before his damage, I think I would have done the same. I have about 15 knots of wind, I am going at 15 knots and the seas have calmed down well. If it could stay that way for the rest of the Pacific, that would be perfect. A few hours after crossing the border between the Pacific and the Indian, everything calmed down. It’s amazing ! As if there was a real barrier … I have a sea much easier to manage. We’re going to pass under Macquarie Island and it feels good some light and some sun! The good news about the morning files is that I’m in the wind, Thomas (Ruyant) and Yannick (Bestaven) have less. In theory, I am slowly making gains. The wind shouldn’t drop below 12-13 knots, I should never stop. On paper, it looks more in my favor.
Isabelle Joschke (MACSF)
I’m stacking the layers, I’m very, very cold! There have been a few moments when I have been cold since I was in the South, but there, since the passage of the front, I am really in pain! If I could put on more layers, I would. There, I’m wearing merino tights and fleece tights over them. At the top, I have a merino first layer, a super thick cashmere sweater, a primaloft, a fleece jacket, two rounds, a cashmere and fleece hat. I cannot turn on the heat, I am on energy restriction because my hydrogenerator is broken. My only source of energy is diesel, so I have to save it. The sailing conditions are pleasant, but there is fog. It feels like Brittany, but with a much lower temperature. Food wise, it’s really great, I really enjoy it! It’s surprising because we’ve been at sea for almost six weeks and I never tire of what I’ve taken on board. I don’t feel like I’m running out of anything except salads and really fresh stuff. I have some excellent, ready-made dehydrated meals. I have dehydrated fruit, cereals. I took a whole bunch of stuff to make quick little meals. I cooked a risotto and now I’m making dessert creams. I have fun with coconut milk, that sort of thing. I find it really good and it makes me feel like I’m at home!
Romain Attanasio (Pure – Best Western)
I called Sam because her ribs hurt. It’s painful, she tells me. I hadn’t realized it was such a big deal; if I had known I wouldn’t have encouraged her to go back. She is careful, she plans each maneuver. It often happens to get tough, to make emergency maneuvers when there is a squall. It’s a bit of a hassle, though. I have 20 knots of downwind wind, on the other hand, the wind refuses and, suddenly, I am across the sea, the boat goes surfing …, and at the end of the surf, there is a side wave which take off. For two hours, I have been jibing well, for comfort, but for the performance, it is not good. The night was easy, I was able to sleep, the boat was moving on its own under a small gennaker. The night before I had two heap starts, it was hot.
Sébastien Destremau (merci)
Since yesterday 5pm, we have had a boat that sails with an automatic pilot, with a helm system, not yet made reliable, but it sails, it works. We managed to replace the helm and pilot system. We’re sailing at slow speed for now, but I’m happy to have been able to get the boat back on track, not to be adrift or in distress. We’re going to take it slow on the road to Australia. You imagine driving through the desert away from it all and at one point you’re down a bumpy descent with your steering system of the car crashing into the road. So you have to make do with what you have. You reinvent. This is the image I have. So being successful is a victory …
Ari Huusela (STARK)
Yesterday I received two phone calls from the Finnish media. Because of the health situation, many sports are at a standstill, so there is a lot of stress, which has had a great impact. There are a lot of followers in Finland. Almost everyone in Finland knows the Vendée Globe now. Everyone follows him. I am asked about sleep and diet. Some people ask funny questions, like did I see the mainland after passing the Cape of Good Hope?
Rankings at 3pm French Time
|1. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, at 11 572,3 milles from finish|
|2. Charlie Dalin, Apivia, at 47,8 milles from leader|
|3. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, at 139,78 milles from leader|
|4. Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam!, at 348,27 milles from leader|
|5. Boris Herrmann, Seaexplorer -Yacht Club de Monaco, at 356,85 milles from leader|
Photo Credit : JM Liot
– PR –