Please select your home edition
Edition
Kiwi Yachting - Lewmar

Vendee Globe - Bank of the Doldrums is open again

by Matthew Pryor on 16 Jan 2013
Javier Sanso, Acciona 100% EcoPowered - 2012 Vendee Globe ACCIONA/Jesus Renedo http://www.accionasailing.com/
In the Vendee Globe, after borrowing and lending to the fleet two months ago, the Bank of the Doldrums is open again. Francois Gabart (Macif) entered overnight and has logically been giving away miles to those behind, the next few days will show whether they will be able to bank them. Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) have each borrowed 100 miles back from Gabart in the last 24 hours.

Le Cléac’h became the second boat to cross the equator at 0447hrs UTC and is now in the North Atlantic. His passage across the line, on a route to the east of Gabart’s, took 66 days 16 hours 45 minutes (and 51 seconds) and came 15 hours and 6 minutes after Gabart.

On November 20, 2012, Gabart entered the doldrums in second place, just ahead of Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3)and behind the leader Le Cléac'h. Almost two months later, the skipper of MACIF is 50 miles from the same place of passage and part of the same trio in the lead – but this time it’s just a different order.

Le Cléac’h has reclaimed 104 miles in the last 24 hours on Gabart and is now only 143.7 miles behind, but the leader’s pace has not been dramatically slowed. Gabart still averaged a comparatively healthy 10.7 knots overnight. The doldrums are not normally particularly active at this time of year and compared to November where the leading group were stalled at one point, the front four may simply compress and then extend on the other side. But that will not be clear for two days.

Dick has taken back 109 miles on the leader to lie 586 miles behind and 443 behind Le Cléac’h. Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) still struggling a little on the west, off the north coast of Brazil, has taken only 6 miles back from Gabart, not much to bank. Hugo Boss is still very close to the coast (170 miles).

Worse than the doldrums for the middle five is the high-pressure hole they dropped into. The escape of Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) to the west stalled overnight. He averaged 9.3 knots overnight, compared to Mike Golding (Gamesa) with 11.7 knots, who has nevertheless lost 108 miles to Le Cam in the last 24 hours is back to a manageable 86 miles behind him and 352 miles south east of him. But the weather maps and route ahead for them is still not simple.

Behind them Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) had the worst night in the fleet, averaging just 6.6 knots. He has been the slowest in the fleet over the last 24 hours, averaging 5.8 knots and traveling 138 miles. Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) also had a difficult night and a happier Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas), who is the furthest west, was able to pull back 27 mile on him to lie 46 behind in ninth.

After their passage around Cape Horn, Bertrand De Broc (Votre nom autour du monde avec EDM Projets) and Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives cœur)should find a road paved with gold in the Atlantic. Not for them the headache and weather windows to negotiate, as they will soon feel the by a rise of a beautiful southwest low of 25 knots coming up behind them. It looks strong and steady and should allow them to make good gains on those in front. Even before its arrival, such has been the struggle for Akena Verandas that De Broc has already recovered 127 miles on Akena Verandas in the last 24 hours and is 1,183 miles behind. Vendee Globe website

Related Articles

From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
TeamVodafoneSailing nosedive and win double before heading offshore
TeamVodafoneSailing has had more than their share of action over the past month TeamVodafoneSailing has had more than their share of action over the past month, involving both high-performance multihulls in their stable.
Posted on 9 Apr
NaiadLancer Inflatables - BJSouthern Spars - 100