The greed for speed
|Vendée Globe - The greed for speed|
|CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, SOUTH AFRICA-(29-11-2004) Vincent Riou (PRB) is tonight holding onto a lead of 39.4 miles over Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) with nearly a knot more boat speed than the latter over the past 4 hours (13.4 knots), the duo 170 miles north of the first of the southern ocean gates. 43 miles separate them laterally with PRB further to the south. Roland Jourdain (Sill et Véolia) is also piling on the pressure in 3rd after racking up the top instantaneous speed of 22 knots, clearly champing at the bit to get back with his sistership, Bonduelle. The head of the fleet is preparing to weather its first storm of the southern hemisphere with winds of 40 to 50 knots forecast for tonight. Behind them the wake of the rest of the fleet, north-east of Tristan da Cunha, has swerved violently off to the east as the skippers battle to stay in favourable winds north of a depression heading towards South Africa. Unfortunately the train is heading further north than they’d like which means that they will have to study the weather charts intensely to enable them to bail south at the right moment. Amazingly just 267 miles laterally separate the thirteen boats between 7th and 19th place, while backrunner Norbert Sedlacek (Brother) has now racked up a 385 mile deficit on this latter group.
Looking at the figures from the 1900 GMT ranking, it is interesting to
note that the top six have all made over 300 mile averages, except for
Jean Le Cam who has lost 20 miles somewhere along the racetrack today.
Equally puzzling are the self-professed “caveman tendancies” of fourth
placed Sébastien Josse (VMI), revealed to his shore crew this
afternoon. The latter earlier admitted to sealing himself off down
below to escape the breakers that take five hours to recover from,
intent on “completing this Vendée Globe in one piece. Whether his game
plan has changed in the past four hours is difficult to say but what is
clear is that he has the highest boat speed over the past half hour and
the past four, with over 18 knots boat speed...
Fifth placed, yachtsman of the year candidate with Raymarine, Mike
Golding (Ecover) is keeping a good pace with a better VMG (speed
towards the goal) than his compatriot Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), the
latter nonetheless boasting the best 24 hour average with 14.6 knots
boat speed. He is currently 30 miles north of the island of Tristan da
Cunha, 386 miles south east of Bruce Schwab (Ocean Planet) who is the
most southerly of the second group of “1000 mile plus” skippers. This
latter group is comprised of 13 boats, laterally strewn across 267
miles all swerving dead east, set to encounter their first depression
in two days time...
Source: Event Media