Sam and Marc battle it out for third across line
The duel for third place across the finish line in the Vendee Globe between Sam Davies (Roxy) and Marc Guillemot (Safran) is in the balance. Sam has 1,925 miles to sail to the finish line.
Guillemot (2,143 miles to finish) had a consistent speed advantage yesterday as he headed round the west side of an anticyclone, with Sam having more upwind angles as she seeks the eastern side.
While Sam was computed yesterday to be 203 miles ahead of Marc Guillemot in terms of distance to finish, she is over 100 miles further south.
Of course, Sam is not likely to beat Marc to the podium, because he was awarded 82 hours redress for standing by Yann Elies in the Southern Ocean, whereas Sam was awarded just 11 hours for her diversion towards Elies.
When Sam tacks to port for Cape Finisterre will be a huge strategic moment, but as she described during The 2008 Artemis Transat, it will not be without significant effort:
1- First of all a trip forward inside the boat via the ballast valves to start
the water transfer, then to the sails to re-stack all 200kg of them onto what
will be the new high side.
2- Then back to stack the three “toboggans” that slide across Roxy on a pulley
system. This is where I stow all my food, safety gear, spares and clothes;
3- After closing the ballast transfer and opening to top up the new windward
tanks, I jump on deck. I have to be quick now because all the gear and ballast
is to leeward so we are not quick and Roxy is not happy!
4- Prepare the new runner, new daggerboard down, release a bit of mainsheet,
keel released to leeward…
5- Set the autopilot to tack the boat, while I winch the sails back in. Not an
easy task as after all the preparation I am already knackered!
6- Old board up, leeward runner forward etc etc.
7- Then head back down below to finish emptying the leeward ballast (with the
electric bilge pump)
‘THEN,’ Sam says, ‘as you can imagine, I am totally knackered. Usually following the
manoeuvre I frantically tear off of all my clothes as I am totally hot and
soaked with sweat, and gulp down a litre of water. Then I collapse on the
chart table seat. Then I rapidly put all my clothes back on for the North
In second place, Armel Le Cléac’h is now expected to finish the Vendee Globe between tomorrow at 0900hrs GMT and Saturday 1500hrs GMT, which would mean
Desjoyeaux’s margin will be at least four and a half days and more likely five
days. Le Cléach reported that Tuesday night was probably the toughest of his
race so far, with gusts to 60 knots and big, cross seas. Le Cléac’h has 11 hours of redress against Guillemot 82 hours, so so Le Cléach needs to see Guillemot several hundred miles behind when he crosses the finish to be sure of second place.
Day 87 ½ Leader on the water: Le Cléac’h 200 miles W of Cape Finisterre
04:00 HRS GMT. Rankings
1 . Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) finished after 84 days 3 hours, 9 minutes
2 . Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air) at 582 miles to finish
3 . Sam Davies (Roxy) at 1,925 miles to finish
4 . Marc Guillemot (Safran) at 2,143 miles to finish
5 . Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar) at 2,313 miles to finish
6 . Dee Caffari (Aviva) at 2,522 miles to finish
7 . Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas) at 3025 miles to finish
8 . Steve White (Toe in the Water) 3878 miles to finish
9 . Rich Wilson (Great American III) at 5307 miles to finish
10 . Raphaël Dinelli (Fondation Océan Vital) at 6501 miles to finish
11 . Norbert Sedlacek (Nauticsport – Kapsch) at 6919 miles to finish
RDG . Vincent Riou (PRB). 3rd equal. 30 boats started.