Jockeying for position

One third of the Vendée Globe course of a theoretical 24,275 miles is now completed for the leaders proceeding downwind along their easterly course across the Indian Ocean. Jean-Pierre Dick leads for his third successive day on Paprec-Virbac 2, Roland Jourdain in the south and Seb Josse to his north, trading second and third places. Jourdain is currently computed to be second. A naturally occurring spell of respite for the leaders who have been sailing slower is contrasted with the speeds of the mid-fleet chasing pack who are re-gaining some of their recent lost miles.

Seb Josse, BT,: “Today conditions are quite calm as we are between two low
pressure systems. There is about 15 knots of wind and the waves are about 2m
high, it’s grey, no colour outside at all and it’s cold with a lot of humidity
inside the boat so it is really hard to dry anything. I’m happy with my position
– the boats in the south are on the shorter course but it is more dangerous
because of the ice. It’s not easy to manage the strategy between the north and
south but I try to manage the best I can, to make a nice course and not go 200%
or even 100% all the time, just to make a nice curve on the map!”

The next element to take into account is how they will pass the Kerguelens
Islands. They have a narrow corridor (230 miles) between these islands and Heard
Island to be left to starboard.

* 2001 winner Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia), who started nearly two days late after
returning to fix a water ballast system leak and faulty engine, continues to
gain on the frontrunners, narrowing the margin by over 30 miles in the past 24
hours, and is now in 6th place – just 68.6 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, 16266.2 nm Distance to finish
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 22.5 nm Distance to leader
3. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 22.6 nm DTL
4. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 38.8 nm DTL
5. Mike Golding (GBR), Ecover, 57.8 nm DTL
15. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 575.8 nm DTL
16. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 736.1 nm DTL
20. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 1258.5 nm DTL
22. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1763.0 nm DTL

Vendee Globe