Sjukt tätt just nu, och ledningen skiftar mellan rapporterna. Peyron leder just nu, men båtarna i söder (Dick + Golding) går dubbelt så fort i mer vind. Och Mich Des, som fick starta om, är nu uppe på tionde plats.
10 av världens bästa soloskeppare bra positionerade för århundradets race i södra oceanen!!!
Day 26, 150 miles to the longitude of Cape of Good Hope
Peyron back on top
1500 HRS GMT. Rankings, (FRA, unless stated)
1 -Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) 17628.2 miles
2- Seb Josse (BT) at 44.9 miles
3- Yann Elies (Generali) +58.2 miles
4 – Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) + 68 miles
5 – Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac 2) 87.8 miles
8- Mike Golding, GBR, (ECOVER 3) at + 128 miles
12- Dominique Wavre, SUI, (Temenos 2) at + 260.2 miles
13- Brian Thompson, GBR, (Bahrain Team Pindar) at + 445.6 miles
14- Sam Davies, GBR,(ROXY) at + 506.6 miles
15- Bernard Stamm, SUI, (Cheminées Poujoulat) at + 631 miles
16- Dee Caffari, GBR, (AVIVA) at + 663 miles
18 – Steve White, GBR, (Toe in the Water) at + 725.1 miles
19 – Johnny Malbon, GBR, (Artemis) at + 793.7 miles
20- Rich Wilson, USA, (Great America III) at + 941.9 miles
21- Unai Basurko, ESP, (Pakea Bizkaia) at + 1339.3 miles
23- Derek Hatfield, CAN, (Algimouss Spirit of Canada) at + 1384 miles
25- Norbert Sedlacek, AUT, (Nauticsport-Kapsch) +1617 miles
IN SHORT WORDS
On the 1000hrs ranking Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) stole the lead from Yann Eliès (Generali) and now has 44.9 miles on second placed Seb Josse (BT), Elies drops to third.
Peyron’s northerly choice pays off, providing him with more wind while those to the south have lost slightly.
When the skipper who has lead the race for the best part of two weeks resumed his position, it was the 20th lead change in 26 days of racing. Peyron is one of seven different skippers to have lead this Vendée Globe.
A tantalizing glimpse of what was to come was offered by this morning’s 1000hrs positions when Loïck Peyron resumed his tenancy at the head of the Vendée Globe fleet, albeit by a margin of just 7.4 miles, but Gitana Eighty’s lead this afternoon has grown to 44.9 miles over the intervening four hours period.
Peyron’s choice to stay to the north has paid off just now, his gains earned by virtue of stronger, more settled winds while those who strayed south have had spells of lighter winds and a big residual seas to contend with as they flirt with a moving high pressure system. Sébastien Josse, (BT), consistent as ever, has stuck in second place, while Armel Le Cléac’h chose the north as well and has risen to fourth from ninth last night.
Peyron is one of the seven skippers who have now lead this Vendée Globe race, this morning’s swap from Eliès is the twentieth lead change in 26 days of racing. This afternoon the head of the field has stretched now with 172 miles from Peyron to tenth placed Michel Desjoyeaux, and Jean-Pierre Dick’s dive to the south on Paprec-Virbac 2 sees him fifth now 87.8 miles behind the leader when last night he was 32 miles behind.
On Thursday evening, Sébastien Josse (BT) was in the lead, before handing over the reins to Yann Eliès (Generali, 7th different leader) at 5h this morning, then to Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) at 11h. The differences in speed reflect the variations in the wind conditions out on the water – 15 knots for some (Peyron, Le Cléac’h) and 3 to 5 for others (Dick, Le Cam, Jourdain, Golding, Eliès) in the 11h rankings. Five hours later the leading trio was slowed to 8 knots, while behind them, they were taking off again at between 9 and 14 knots. As they are all so close at the front, these differences in speed can lead to major position changes in the rankings. However, this should not worry the competitors, as the close contact racing is far from over.
The fleet will pass the longitude of Cape Town tomorrow, In a round the world race via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and The Horn), rounding the first of these landmarks heralds the entry into the Indian Ocean, the most feared ocean on Earth because of the violence of the elements. No photo opportunities here though, as they will be leaving the Cape around 500 miles to their north (the equivalent of the length of Britain) tonight or tomorrow morning. This is therefore more of a symbolic event for the solo sailors, signifying that they are in the southern seas and the Roaring Forties. Albatrosses, grey skies and surfing conditions now make up their daily backdrop.
On today’s radio session, some of them talked about surfing along at 30 knots. Incredible speeds for a monohull. Welcome to the deep south… Apart from a few inhospitable islands, the next piece of land is Australia, more than 4500 miles away.
Voices at sea (from today’s radio vacs – MP3 audio files available in media server)
Mike Golding, GBR, (Ecover 3): It was a difficult night and now I have only got ten knots but am sailing at ten to 15 knots. It was pretty ugly last night. I expected it to be lighter, but not this light. I have made the decision to go south, I am not sure I have gone far enough to make a real benefit. I am still not clear how it will play out, I am hoping it is not too serious since this is not so much a static high pressure system but is moving and it is just a hole in the breeze.
What is interesting is that we are all probably running the same autopilot systems and probably we were at the limit of what the autopilot can do and eventually I had to change sails because I was at the limit of what the pilot can do. It is quite interesting that the sailors are being limited by the hardware, don’t get me wrong the pilots are doing an incredible job.
Brian Thompson, GBR, (Bahrain Team Pindar): I looked yesterday and we are 11,000 miles to Cape Horn and this is about keeping your averages up and going the right way, if you can make an extra knot of boat speed then that translates to hundreds of miles at the other end, so I think everyone is trying to push hard within the limits of their boat and so that’s what I’m trying to do as well, but picking a speed where you are not spearing it into every wave and where the rig is going to be able to handle. It is about the checks and balances of the risk you take to the boat versus the sea, so you try to take a sailplan that is fast that does not load up the boat too much. Because I am fairly new to the boat that is something I am learning as I go along.