Thousands waiting in Sables d'Olonne
Les Sables d’Olonne awaits the return of Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia), to honour the undisputed victor of the sixth edition of the Vendée Globe. ETA (at 1800 GMT) is now between 1300hrs and 1900hrs GMT Sunday.
Tens of thousands of Vendée Globe fans are in Les Sables d’Olonne, to welcome the arrival of the record breaking skipper when he passes down the legendary canal to a hero’s welcome.
Roland Jourdain has 183 miles to sail to reach the Azores on his keel-less Veolia Environnement.
Sam Davies (Roxy) is maintaining her lead over Marc Guillemot (Safran) and the fourth and fifth placed skippers drag race in the NE’ly trade winds making matched speeds. Davies paid a warm tribute to Desjoyeaux today, her main rival was a little more reserved.
Brian Thompson, (Bahrain Team Pindar) passed the Equator at 0020hrs this morning, making the passage from Cape Horn 17 hours slower than the quickest so far of this race, Desjoyeaux.
Tens of thousands of Vendée Globe fans are in Les Sables d’Olonne, to welcome the record breaking skipper when he passes down the legendary canal to a hero’s welcome.
” Michel is my hero and has sailed like a god and that inspires us all” Sam Davies said on today’s radio broadcast. Her yacht, Roxy is the fomer PRB, in which Desjoyeaux won the race in 2001. In 2005 it was sailed to victory by Vincent Riou.
Meanwhile Roland Jourdain has less than 190 miles to reach the Azores where he will inspect the damage to his keel and consider the weather prospects but he, again, re-iterated that his safety comes first and foremost and he will not compromise himself or his boat in his quest to finish this Vendée Globe.
Brian Thompson crossed the Equator at 0020 GMT . Bahrain Team Pindar became the sixth boat to enter the Northern Hemisphere, 10 days 19 hours and 5 minutes after Michel Desjoyeaux.
Dee Caffari should reach the Equator tomorrow but has had a painfully slow time in the Doldrums, making just 2.2 knots while Brian Thompson has expanded his lead again over her to 168 miles.
Michel Desjoyeaux reported: “It’s not just the final day of January, but my final day of the race! Since the middle of the night, the wind has eased off, so my progress has just slowed, but I’m still hoping to get back to Les Sables d’Olonne. I’ve got around fifteen knots of wind and the seas are quite heavy with the swell building. So the boat is surfing along occasionally, but then she stops.. and off she goes again.
1500hrs GMT. Rankings, Saturday 31st January 2009
(FRA unless stated)
1 . Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) at 195 miles to finish
2 . Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) at 1264.5 miles from first place
3 . Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) at 1713.6 miles from first place
4 . Sam Davies (Roxy) at 2641 miles from first place
5 . Marc Guillemot (Safran) at 2733 miles from first place
6 . Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) at 2959.8 miles from first place
7 . Dee Caffari (Aviva) at 3127.9 miles from first place
8 . Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas) at 3687 miles from first place
9 . Steve White (Toe in the Water) 4579.2 miles
10 . Rich Wilson (Great American III) at 5844.8 miles from first place
11 . Raphaël Dinelli (Fondation Océan Vital) at 7291 miles from first place
12 . Norbert Sedlacek (Nauticsport – Kapsch) at 7402.9 miles from first place