Vendee Globe latest

Vendee Globe leader Michel Desjoyeaux is pushing his white IMOCA Open 60, in the pleasing moderate breezes, and sunshine before he contemplates the final miles that will mark the proper transition.

For the top six or seven skippers of the Vendee Globe fleet these are the days to savour and to remember after their return to Les Sable d’Olonne, through the remaining weeks of the Northern European winter.

Michel Desjoyeaux has more reason than most to be upbeat, but he said today that he has been out on the helm of his Foncia, simply enjoying sailing time in conditions which contrast quite sharply with the mist and January chill of Les Sables d’Olonne as the Vendee prepares to welcome the winner this weekend.

Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia): “We’ve got another fine day for sailing. I’m under spinnaker and moving along smoothly. Last night the stars were out. Not a single cloud in the sky, so I took advantage to spend a couple of hours at the helm. That’s fairly rare and you have to grab that opportunity. I’m pleased now as I’m able to enjoy myself at the helm of Foncia. We’re no longer on our roller-coaster ride and we’re no longer slamming into waves. I’ll be attacking via the south face and staying with the warm weather for as long as I can? and it will mean downwind sailing in conditions that are not too strong. I’ll head back down to the south again, if the winds get up too much. In the north, it’s cold and nasty. Not a nice place to be. I can’t be any more precise yet about my arrival time. It will all depend on my route across the Bay of Biscay. I can just repeat that it will be sometime between Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoon. I’m trying to find a rock I can wedge the accelerator pedal down with. I should be getting stronger winds soon of around 30-35 knots. So that should mean, the speed will increase. In this point of sail, we’re not slamming too much, as the waves will be on the beam. It’s not ideal, but there aren’t exactly 101 ways of getting home.”

1500 HRS GMT. Rankings, Tuesday 27th January 2009

1 . Michel Desjoyeaux, Foncia, 1586 miles to finish
2 . Roland Jourdain, Veolia Environnement, 558.2 miles from first place
3 . Armel Le Cleac’h, Brit Air, 1013.8
4 . Sam Davies, Roxy, 2056.6
5 . Marc Guillemot, Safran, 2106.4
6 . Brian Thompson, Bahrain Team Pindar, 2420.8
7 . Dee Caffari, Aviva, 2563
8 . Arnaud Boissieres, Akena Verandas, 3011.5
9 . Steve White, Toe in the Water, 3811.9
10 . Rich Wilson, Great American III, 5218.5
11 . Raphael Dinelli, Fondation Ocean Vital, 6910.9
12 . Norbert Sedlacek, Nauticsport – Kapsch, 7011.5c RDG . Vincent Riou, PRB). 3rd equal. 30 boats started.