Changes in the Vendee fleet
Seb Josse racing his Open 60 BT has taken the lead away from Loick Peyron after 14 days jousting in the Vendee Globe, solo, non-stop, round-the-world race.
Josse is also further south and showing better boatspeed than Gitana Eighty to stretch out a lead of 15.3 miles. Over the past five hours Peyron’s average speed has been little more than five knots, and his 24-hour distance covered has dropped to under 200 miles for the first time in six days. His track shows a number of tacks, apparently the result of squalls.
Behind this duo the place changes are less clear-cut, Jean-Pierre Dick Paprec-Virbac 2 is currently showing as fifth, but is still the next most southerly boat in this race to the 40s. That means Armel le Cleac’h Brit Air has moved up to third, and Vincent Rio PRB to fourth. But the leading seven boats are now packed within just 40 miles, and who is actually in front will be open to debate while we wait to see the effect of the high pressure system. Currently showing in eighth place, Mike Golding Ecover, is to the west of this leading group, and has conceded a few miles to Yann Elies Generali.
Still consistently quick, Marc Guillemot on Safran is just over 150 miles off the leader -having halved the distance of one week ago – and other boats are coming down with him; Brian Thompson Bahrain Team Pindar, and Dominque Wavre Temenos.
Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia continues to clock up the miles to the west, although Dee Caffari Aviva,has been doing a good job of hanging onto his coat tails, showing the greatest mileage over the past 24 hours. Jonny Malbon Artemis has taken some distance out of fellow Brit Steve White Toe in the Water, with just 27.5 miles now between them.
The fastest boat on the course is currently Bernard Stamm’s Cheminees Poujoulat, averaging over 13 knots in his pursuit of Raphael Dinelli Fondation Ocean Vital.