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Vendée Globe: Leader's patience tried & tested as Sam Davies profits from her southbound initiative

by Vendée Globe 26 Nov 2020 08:44 GMT 26 November 2020

Life is not getting any easier for Charlie Dalin, the Vendée Globe leader, as he is still struggling in light breezes as he tries to wriggle free from the sticky clutches of the Saint Helena high pressure which now spans most of the South Atlantic.

In the last 24 hours to 0400hrs UTC this morning Dalin on the yellow hulled Apivia had only made 130 nautical miles, averaging 5.4kts. In an area in which he might normally hope to be on a sleighride south averaging four times this speed, this will be frustrating. And according to the weather models this morning Dalin's patience is going to be tested for at least another 24-36 hours.

His lead over second placed Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut), at 88 miles, and to Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) at 350 miles behind, remains steady as both are mostly following his wake. That said the position of the veteran Le Cam, in the north and east, is looking vulnerable as evidenced by his slow speeds and many manoeuvres during the night.

But the group lead by Britain's Sam Davies (Initiatives Coeur) in ninth and Alex Thomson (HIGO BOSS) in eighth look set to make ongoing inroads as they are in downwind and reaching conditions on the west side of the high with a clear pathway in building breezes that should accelerate them south.

Davies in particular seems to have the timing of her trajectory just right and continues to gain with good breeze and a profitable angle south, unlike fourth placed Kevin Escoffier (PRB) who this time yesterday morning admitted he could not decide which way to go. His procrastination seems to have cost him as he is angled on a south westerly course this morning, sailing away from the theoretical best course to the south east.

Speaking this morning from ninth placed Arkea Paprec Sébastien Simon said " As soon as we get to the south of the high pressure area we'll have a good ride in the southern depressions which will take us far, perhaps as far as the Kerguelen Islands. Meantime we will have to stay focused so as not to miss this train. If we miss it, we will catch a high pressure system which leave us behind."

Simon is just one skipper among a few, no doubt, who are regretting being too conservative in their strategic choices, opting for a middle route between Davies and Burton who dived south in his west and Le Cam and Escoffier who are paying a price for their easterly choice. He noted, " Sam and Louis will pass in front of me but I hope I get on the train in front of group to my east. "

Isabelle Joschke the fastest

With an average speed of 16.6 knots overnight and a VMG of 8.6 knots, Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) in 15th, recorded the fleet's best performances of the night. Her 115.9 miles run allowed her to cut 20 to 30 miles from her deficit to Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group), 13th, and Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA - Water Family), 11th.

Armel Tripon (L'Occitane en Provence) took his penalty of four hours yesterday and so he has not yet really caught up again with his target group (Pip Hare, Manuel Cousin, Didac Costa). Clément Giraud (Compagnie du Lit - Jiliti) was the 28th of the 32 boats racing to enter the Southern Hemisphere last night. The three still in the Northern Hemisphere are Sébastien Destremau, Kojiro Shiraishi and Jérémie Beyou.

Rankings at 08H00 UTC:

PosSail NoSkipper / Boat NameDTF (nm)DTL (nm)
1 FRA 79Charlie Dalin APIVIA NM0 nm
2 FRA 59Thomas Ruyant LinkedOut NM NM
3 FRA 01Jean Le Cam Yes we Cam ! NM NM
4 MON 10Boris Herrmann Seaexplorer ‑ Yacht Club De Monaco NM NM
5 FRA 85Kevin Escoffier PRB NM NM
6 FRA 17Yannick Bestaven Maître Coq IV NM NM
7 FRA 4Sébastien Simon ARKEA PAPREC NM NM
8 FRA 109Samantha Davies Initiatives ‑ Coeur NM NM
9 GBR 99Alex Thomson HUGO BOSS NM NM
10 FRA 18Louis Burton Bureau Vallée 2 NM NM
11 FRA 09Benjamin Dutreux OMIA ‑ Water Family NM NM
12 FRA 1000Damien Seguin Groupe APICIL NM NM
13 ITA 34Giancarlo Pedote Prysmian Group NM NM
14 FRA 53Maxime Sorel V And B Mayenne NM NM
15 FRA 27Isabelle Joschke MACSF NM NM
16 FRA 49Romain Attanasio Pure ‑ Best Western Hotels and Resorts NM NM
17 FRA 30Clarisse Cremer Banque Populaire X NM NM
18 SUI 7Alan Roura La Fabrique NM NM
19 FRA 92Stéphane Le Diraison Time For Oceans NM NM
20 FRA 14Arnaud Boissieres La Mie Câline ‑ Artisans Artipôle NM NM
21 ESP 33Didac Costa One Planet One Ocean NM NM
22 FRA 71Manuel Cousin Groupe Sétin NM NM
23 GBR 777Pip Hare Medallia NM NM
24 FRA 02Armel Tripon L'Occitane en Provence NM NM
25 FRA 56Fabrice Amedeo Newrest ‑ Art et Fenetres NM NM
26 FRA 72Alexia Barrier TSE ‑ 4myplanet NM NM
27 FRA 50Miranda Merron Campagne de France NM NM
28 FRA 83Clément Giraud Compagnie du lit ‑ Jiliti NM NM
29 FIN 222Ari Huusela Stark NM NM
30 FRA 69Sébastien Destremau Merci NM NM
31 JPN 11Kojiro Shiraishi DMG MORI Global One NM NM
32 FRA 8Jérémie Beyou Charal NM NM
RET FRA 6Nicolas Troussel CORUM L'Épargne  

Find out more...

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