Saturday, 3 January 2009

Vendée Globe 2008-9: Return to the Furious Fifties (but 2 head for New Zealand)

View from the race leader on board Foncia. Image copyright Michel Desjoyeaux/Foncia/Vendée Globe.

by Véronique Teurlay and SailRaceWin

Sam Davies (Roxy) complained of a lack of wind last night, but 2,000 miles in front of the contented Brit, race leader Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) has regained the storms and confused seas of the Furious Fifties. However, Desjoyeaux's speed, at 11.6 knots, was the slowest of the 5 leading boats, the others recording approximately 16 knots apiece.

A happy Sam Davies welcomes in 2009 from the Southern Ocean. Image copyright Sam Davies/Roxy/Vendée Globe.

Desjoyeaux is expected to reach Cape Horn on Monday, after 56 or 57 days at sea. This is about the same timing as Jean Le Cam in the 2004 race, but with a course 1,160 miles longer this time.

The missing port rudder and steering gear damage to Paprec

Of the retirees, which now amount to 15 - exactly half the fleet that started the race - Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Vibrax 2) and Sébastien Josse (BT) are heading for New Zealand. Josse is 600 miles from Auckland and should arrive on Tuesday. Dick is still 2,000 miles, or 12 days, away from Aotearoa.

Jean-Pierre Dick manages to smile, and send New Year greetings, despite retiring from the race in the direction of New Zealand. Image copyright Jean-Pierre Dick/Paprec-Vibrax 2/Vendée Globe.

Leading Positions

1 Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) 8152 miles from the finish
2 Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) +69 miles from the leader
3 Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) +336 miles
4 Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) +599 miles
5 Vincent Riou (PRB) +616 miles
6 Samantha Davies (Roxy)

Vendée Globe

No comments: