Vendee Globe: Round the world match race
The leaders in the Vendee Globe have just passed the western end of the 'Amsterdam' icegate as they continue to make huge speeds east, albeit slightly down from MACIF's monstrous peak and new outright IMOCA 60 record (singlehanded or otherwise) of 545.3 miles. For British fans, the big news this morning is Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss team revealing that their boat suffered a collision causing damage to a rudder and wiping out one of the boat's two hydrogenerators.
Positions at 0800 UTC
|1 hour aver||24hr aver|
|1||François Gabart||MACIF||40°37.54'S||78°55.19'E||18.6 kts||111°||12.4 kts||19.6 kts||469.9 nm||15166.4 nm||0.0 nm|
|2||Armel Le Cléac'h||Banque Pop||40°37.63'S||78°51.00'E||19.0 kts||112°||12.5 kts||18.9 kts||452.6 nm||15169.3 nm||2.9 nm|
|3||Jean-Pierre Dick||Virbac||40°05.15'S||77°20.12'E||18.1 kts||107°||13.3 kts||20.0 kts||479.6 nm||15217.0 nm||50.6 nm|
|4||Bernard Stamm||Cheminees||40°18.59'S||76°22.73'E||18.5 kts||89°||16.9 kts||19.3 kts||462.1 nm||15262.3 nm||95.9 nm|
|5||Alex Thomson||Hugo Boss||39°52.94'S||75°23.44'E||19.5 kts||96°||19.5 kts||18.6 kts||446.2 nm||15302.9 nm||136.5 nm|
|6||Mike Golding||Gamesa||38°03.56'S||65°03.83'E||15.1 kts||99°||15.0 kts||14.7 kts||351.8 nm||15796.5 nm||630.1 nm|
|7||Jean Le Cam||SynerCiel||38°11.84'S||64°22.93'E||10.5 kts||102°||10.5 kts||13.8 kts||330.9 nm||15825.4 nm||659.0 nm|
|8||Dominique Wavre||Mirabaud||37°28.65'S||60°43.68'E||14.5 kts||91°||14.0 kts||10.7 kts||252.5 nm||16003.8 nm||837.4 nm|
|9||Javier Sanso||Acciona||39°03.38'S||45°45.25'E||13.9 kts||90°||13.5 kts||13.6 kts||326.2 nm||16669.7 nm||1503.3 nm|
|10||Arnaud Boissières||Akena Verandas||43°27.19'S||36°49.36'E||13.5 kts||63°||13.4 kts||10.3 kts||247.0 nm||17126.2 nm||1959.8 nm|
|11||Bertrand De Broc||Votre nom||42°39.86'S||28°29.99'E||13.6 kts||97°||13.3 kts||9.7 kts||232.7 nm||17472.8 nm||2306.4 nm|
|12||Tanguy Delamotte||Initiatives Coeur||43°25.55'S||23°42.92'E||14.1 kts||87°||14.1 kts||12.4 kts||296.6 nm||17685.6 nm||2519.2 nm|
|13||Alessandro Di Benedetto||Team Plastique||43°39.00'S||13°57.62'E||16.5 kts||48°||16.5 kts||14.7 kts||352.5 nm||18177.1 nm||3010.7 nm|
|RET||Vincent Riou||PRB||Damage to hull and lower shroud after collision with drifting buoy (24 Nov)|
|RET||Zbigniew Gutowski||Energa||Autopilot failure (21 Nov)|
|RET||Jérémie Beyou||Maitre CoQ||Broken hydraulic ram (19 Nov)|
|RET||Sam Davies||Saveol||Dismasted (15 Nov)|
|RET||Louis Burton||Bureau Vallee||Rammed by a fishing boat, rigging damage (14 Nov)|
|RET||Kito de Pavant||Groupe Bel||Rammed by a fishing boat, hull damage (12 Nov)|
|RET||Marc Guillemot||Safran||Titanium keel broke (10 Nov)|
One third of the way into this Vendee Globe and the two leaders, the VPLP-Verdier designed sisterships MACIF and Banque Populaire are separated by less than 3 miles... After MACIF's astonishing 24 hour run yesterday - 545.3 miles represents a 16% increase over where the record stood at the start of this Vendee Globe - so Francois Gabart had taken the lead by the 1100 UTC sched yesterday. MACIF lost the lead by the time of the final sched yesterday, but overnight has regained it.
At around 0400 this morning, the lead duo rounded the western end of the Amsterdam icegate and have since speared off to the southeast. They have just been followed round by third placed Jean-Pierre Dick on Virbac Paprec 3. Dick has done well over the last 24 hours, reducing his deficit on the leaders by 30 miles, down to 50 miles.
Although it seems odd given the high speed of the lead duo, because they were further south and sailing less directly towards the mark, both Virbac and Cheminees Poujoulat have gained ground on them. In fact Hugo Boss is the only boat in the top five to have lost ground on the leaders over the last 24 hours, certainly down to the time Thomson has taken out to effect repairs to his damaged rudder system. Saying this Hugo Boss has consistently been making 24 hour average speeds of a far from shabby 18.5 knots.
At present the leaders are still enjoying the strong NNWerly between a secondary depression that has developed to their west and the high to their ENE. The leaders look set to be able to hang on to the depression as it moves SSE over the next 48 hours, getting them most of the way to the next ice waypoint gate before it overhauls them and the wind shifts into the southwest. However an area of high pressure is set to fill in behind this system and come Thursday morning this is forecast to be hovering directly over the great circle between the two icegates. At present it looks like all of the top five should escape, but the door will close on 'the oldies' in the next wave.
The second wave is still being led by Mike Golding on Gamesa and he and Jean le Cam on SynerCiel are currently riding the northwesterlies due north of the centre of the depression. At the latest sched Gamesa has 567 miles to reach the western end of the Amsterdam icegate. Unfortunately for them the forecast isn't a good one - the wind is set to back into the south and lighten as the high to their west extends its reach east trapping them.
This morning Golding reported: "The wind has been all over the place and so it was another frantic night. The next file just in shows we have a depression targeting us from the north which will be fine, but the others [the leaders] are on a different system now and so that is really pretty hard to take. They will move away more and there will be a lot of miles between us. But that’s the way it is. We live in hope."
Behind, Javier Sanso on Acciona 100% Eco Powered has just crossed the Crozet icegate. The Vendee Globe's sole Spanish entry is still making good progress in southwesterly winds and he will be diving back to the south any minute in order to stay in the stronger westerly breeze.