Vendee Globe: Bay of Biscay gale

Lively finale for le Cam and Golding

Wednesday February 6th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Jean le Cam on SynerCiel and Mike Golding on Gamesa are due to be the next arrivals into Les Sables d'Olonne today, in fifth and sixth places respectively.

Image above courtesy of Expedition with GRIB files from Predictwind

Positions at 0800 UTC

Pos Skipper Boat Lat Long Spd Crs VMG Spd Dist DTF DTL
          1 hour aver     24hr aver      
1 François Gabart MACIF Finished: 27/01/2013 14:18:40 UTC Course time: 78d 02h 16m 40s          
2 Armel Le Cléac'h Banque Pop Finished: 27/01/2013 17:35:52 UTC Course time: 78d 05h 33m 52s          
3 Alex Thomson Hugo Boss Finished: 30/01/2013 07:25:43 UTC Course time: 80d 19h 23m 43s          
4 Jean-Pierre Dick Virbac Finished: 04/02/2013 15:05:40 UTC Course time: 86d 03h 03m 40s          
5 Jean Le Cam SynerCiel 46°15.52'N 03°24.03'W 11.5 kts 86° 11.5 14.7 353.2 67.9 0
6 Mike  Golding Gamesa 45°39.01'N 05°22.61'W 14.3 kts 74° 14.3 12.9 308.4 157.3 89.4
7 Dominique Wavre Mirabaud 42°38.27'N 16°58.52'W 10.4 kts 57° 10.4 6.3 150 687.5 619.6
8 Arnaud  Boissières Akena Verandas 41°57.79'N 19°18.29'W 10.8 kts 109° 10.8 7 167.2 798.3 730.3
9 Bertrand De Broc Votre nom 36°06.45'N 29°08.30'W 11.2 kts 21° 11.2 10.8 259.7 1371.3 1303.4
10 Tanguy  Delamotte Initiatives Coeur 15°08.23'N 33°28.99'W 8.7 kts 353° 8.7 4.3 103.7 2464.9 2397
11 Alessandro Di Benedetto Team Plastique 02°59.90'N 24°04.83'W 6.8 kts 333° 6.8 5.3 126.5 2910.3 2842.3
RET Javier Sanso Acciona Lost keel and capsized. (3 Feb)            
RET Bernard Stamm Cheminees Ran out of fuel after hydrogenerator problems (9 Jan)        
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)              

SynerCiel and Gamesa are now on their final run into Les Sables d'Olonne. The separation between the two boats is now up to 89 miles. So  le Cam is due at around 1300 UTC and Golding at around 2000 UTC this evening.

After a windy night the breeze is still blowing a solid 35-40 knots from the northwest. Fortunately there hasn't been a massive wind shift preceeding this so hopefully the sea state on the Bay of Biscay won't be too heinous. Unfortunately Mike Golding says otherwise. He reported this morning: "At the moment all I am interested in is concentrating on dealing with the weather. My only focus right now is just concern to get through the weather right now safely. I have 40 knots of breeze and a really nasty sea state."

Following the issue fairing ahead of the axis for Gamesa's canting keel, Golding is at the same time fighting with a leak from the keel box and is having to slow regularly to help the pumps take water from the inside of his boat.

One wonders what problems there are on SynerCiel.

The next wave of boats - Dominique Wavre's Mirabaud and Arnaud Boissieres on Akena Verandas - are currently negotiating an area of high pressure to the northeast of the Azores. All being well, they are due in on Saturday, local boy Boissieres expecting a particularly warm welcome.

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