Longitude 180 °: the antimeridian! This early afternoon, Yannick Bestaven was able to see on his GPS that the degrees of longitude East had taken two more letters, West. And since the antimeridian also matches the time change line, the skipper of Master CoQ has stepped back in time. An important moment of the solo round-the-world trip, because it marks the way home: the degrees of longitude will now decrease every day until Cape Horn …
12:18 p.m .: Louis Burton begins his ascent
Armed with his “cold weather” gloves, his headlamp and his tool kit, the skipper of Bureau Vallée was going up to the top of the 27-meter carbon tube this afternoon to repair his mainsail rail and take care of the halyard. Letting his boat slide along the east coast of Macquarie, in the dark night, accompanied by the deaf rumblings of the surrounding marine mammals and on a choppy sea despite everything, Louis came back down at 2:02 pm having been able to partially solve the problems. The skipper may be thinking of anchoring in Lusitania bay 500 m from the shore, in a more protected area from the sea.
2:37 p.m .: Bestaven backwards
From Monday (the head of the fleet is 12 hours behind France), Yannick Bestaven returned, in a snap of his fingers, to Sunday as the time difference is now in the other direction. The passage of the antimeridian is hardly anecdotal after 42 days at sea alone and in competition. Psychologically, Yannick Bestaven, in the lead for four days, feels good in his pumps. And it shows: he is 130 miles ahead of Apivia and 172 miles on LinkedOut, has a much more favorable wind angle than his rivals who have to line up the gybes, and is setting course. On the other hand, the following promises a lot of hassle with little wind and sailing upwind. Master CoQ, if he continues to go fast, might avoid the high pressures and escape! Crucial hours to come… What is certain and which promises a thrilling second part of the Vendée Globe is that the first 11 monohulls are only held in 800 miles and the path to reach Cape Horn is not very clear. The suspense lasts and will intensify! On his new round-nosed Manuard plan, Armel Tripon, 14th in scoring, zen and all smiles, remains on the lookout: “It’s a new phase of play until Cape Horn, the cards can still be redistributed and he there will be opportunities until the end. “.
05:30 tomorrow: Alan Roura at Leeuwin
The little Swiss on La Fabrique will finally overtake the Australian Cape, the second official passage point of the Vendée Globe. Alan longed to join the Leeuwin after an Indian Ocean, not hard, but capricious. 350 miles from its transom, the fleet is posting good average speeds ahead of a front that generates a northwesterly wind that’s ideal for riding. The British Pip Hare, 17th, glued to Arnaud Boissières. On his Pierre Rolland plan from 1999, built at the time by Bernard Stamm in Lesconil, Pip definitely sheds light on his first Vendée Globe. And his Medallia knows the road around the globe, it’s his 5th round the world trip!
Armel Tripon, L’Occitane en Provence
I just got out of a big nap which allowed me to recover from my restless night. A head-on pass had to be negotiated with tough conditions so I recovered today. The conditions are superb, I finally have an Indian who looks like an Indian with a big swell and good surf. It’s less of a mess than it was last night, it pulls less on the boat and it slides well. I may glue back to those in front, the future will tell. The road is still long, we have only done half of it. When I see everything that happened in the first half, you can imagine everything for the rest. I will continue to sail as well as possible, without doing anything stupid and keeping a boat of integrity. There are little odds and ends every day, but it’s the wear and tear of a boat’s life in this type of race. For example, two days ago I repaired a hole in my J2, I had to go up the mast. It was a good time to do it, because 24 hours later I was on D2 in the breeze.
Jérémie Beyou, Charal
Nobody really expected such conditions, and we were the first. However, we did a lot of simulations before the start and it is true that by making a range of conditions, we always fell into times below 70 days. We are in extreme weather conditions and there is not much we can do about it. The funny thing is that no one in the fleet has been spared, no one will have had any conditions for making straights so far. It will last longer than expected and we will have to live with it. It’s not easy, because nothing can happen easily. We forgot that the weather conditions were exceptional four years ago. It was a winter when lots of records were broken, especially the Jules Verne Trophy. And then it doesn’t matter much, if I had the wind 10 degrees more to the right, I would go five knots faster. In these conditions, you have to be able to adapt, to adapt the settings of the boat. It’s a little bit of discovery.
Damien Seguin, Groupe APICIL
It’s nice to see the places we go through. The last time I went to Australia was in 2016 in Melbourne for a world championship before the Rio Olympics. It also makes it possible to travel. For the past few days, we have been moving between calm and windy weather, which has allowed us to move relatively well lately. I was surprised last night by a strong gale, there was a big squall that I didn’t have time to see coming, and I have had major problems with a sail since. I am trying to find solutions, it is not really easy on board; I haven’t slept on it, I’ve since torn myself apart to put the boat back on the right track.
Rankings at 3pm French Time
|1. Yannick Bestaven, Maître CoQ IV, at 10 849.8 milles from finish|
|2. Charlie Dalin, APIVIA, at 120.31 milles from leader|
|3. Thomas Ruyant, LinkedOut, at 170.75 milles from leader|
|4. Boris Herrmann, Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco, at 396.37 milles from leader|
|5. Jean Le Cam, Yes We Cam!, at 445.27 milles from leader|
Photo Credit: Y. Bestaven
– PR –