A long race requires strategy not tactics
Vendee Globe non-stop, solo round-the-world-race sailor Sébastien Josse sailing his Open 60 BT is clear about his race strategy in the Southern Ocean: he is adamant not to get dragged into a battle for speed at the front. The risks are high and the race is long. BT is currently ranked in third place but is actually around 130 miles to the north of the two frontrunners.
“We got shaken quite roughly last night with 35 knots of wind and a boat-breaking sea – we were passing over a shallow shelf. Despite the fact we are sailing downwind the boat movements are quite hard, constantly slamming into the waves, so it’s important to be conscious of the fact the race is still long and I don’t want to push too hard because there is no point in stepping on the gas with both feet and end up turning left before Cape Horn [ie, be forced to stop in Australia or NZ]. If you
look at the average speeds it’s clear that some people are really pushing to the
limit and when I need to accelerate to remain with the leading pack I do it but
I also know how not to put too much strain on the boat otherwise it’s not
reasonable,” he said.
*It is worth recalling that 2001 winner Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia), who
started nearly two days late after returning to fix a water ballast system leak
and faulty engine, is now in 6th place, just 103.1 nm behind the leader.
Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants):
1. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 16516.9 nm Distance to finish
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 37.5 nm Distance to leader
3. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 56.6 nm DTL
4. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 61.3 nm DTL
5. Mike Golding (GBR), Ecover, 85.0 nm DTL
14. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 686.5 nm DTL
17. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 831.0 nm DTL
20. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 1224.5 nm DTL
22. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1673.5 nm DTL