Race organisers predict Desjoyeaux's arrival

Michel Desjoyeaux, the leading skipper in the Vendee Globe single-handed around-the-world yacht race, is now only 2,772 miles from the finish and race organisers have begun estimating his time of arrival. According to Sylvain Mondon of Météo France, he is likely to reach les Sables d’Olonne, on the French Atlantic coast, between 0100 local time (0000 GMT) on Saturday January 31 and 0100h local time (0000 GMT) on Monday February 2.

Desjoyeaux, aboardFoncia, has gained more than 90 miles on his rivals since yesterday afternoon, making an average speed of 13.1 knots this morning and averaging more than 15 knots overnight.

Roland Jourdain, in second place aboardVeolia Environnement, crossed the equator at 0830 GMT this morning. He had endured a slow night making just a few knots at times. However, at 1000 (GMT) this morning he was making 10.8 knots slowing to an average of just 6.1 knots. He has about 70 miles to go to get into the first of the northeasterly trade winds.

Armel Le Cléac’h onBritAir, in third, still has about 200 miles to go to the Doldrums, and it is likely to be a stop-go day for him dealing with a squally low pressure system. He was about 140 miles southeast of Recife, Brazil, this morning.

Marc Guillemot was very much in range of Le Cléac’h, but has begun losing miles. This morning he was only 31 miles off the Cabo de Sao Tome, Brazil, and is heading north west, close to the beach, perhaps looking to get some extra land effect breeze.

Offshore, 225 miles to the east, the leading Briton Sam Davies, onRoxyhas picked up again and is doing 12.3 knots, second quickest in the fleet after the race leader.

The ‘Cape Horn Trio’ have been in the middle of a high pressure ridge. Briton Dee Caffari has her main sail back up to full hoist for the first time in weeks. She has picked up speed again after spending more than three hours time fixing one side of her main. She was 31.1 miles behind fellow countryman Brian Thompson and was making 8.9 knots to Thompson’s 7.4 knots. Arnaud Boissières is well to the west of them now, more than 120 miles behind Caffari.

Briton Steve White, onToe in the Water, is about 150 miles NE of the Falklands. American Rich Wilson is now less than 900 miles from Cape Horn.