Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Vendee Globe - Slow down

by Vendee Globe on 6 Jan
Armel Le Cléac'h - Vendee Globe 2016-2017 Vendee Globe © http://www.vendeeglobe.org
As the two longtime leaders of the Vendée Globe approach the Equator, Armel Le Cléac'h has started to slow down as he starts to feel the effects of the lighter winds of the Doldrums.

The trade winds are diminishing for the French skipper of Banque Populaire VIII who has less than 200 miles to sail until he crosses back into the Northern Hemisphere and since last night his British rival Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) has regained about 20 miles to be 322 behind on the 0400hrs UTC ranking this morning. The British skipper was averaging almost 23kts to the Frenchman's 18.3.

The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, or Doldrums, are not looking too promising for the duo who had a dream southbound passage, crossing the Equator on 15th November in a new reference time. The Doldrums are increasing north-south and are already evident at the latitudes of the north of Brazil. And once across the Doldrums, the NE'ly trade winds are disrupted by a depression between the Azores and the Canary Islands. The St. Helena high is relatively slack and benign and thus does not propagate the usual trade winds.

In third place, 770 miles south of Thomson, Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) is now sailing in an easterly trade wind but it is not strong enough for him to make the most of his foil. So too for fifth placed Jean-Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac) who is struggling in light winds and he is being caught by the fifth and sixth placed conjoined twins, Yann Eliès (Quéguiner-Leucémie Espoir) and Jean Le Cam (Finistère Mer Vent) who are sailing within sight of each other and are getting around JP. All three are gradually entering the area of high pressure, sailing upwind in a northerly which will weaken today. There are likely to be regular changes in the rankings as they deal with calms, tacking occasionally as they climb towards the St. Helena high.

In seventh place in the South Atlantic, Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée) is in a transition zone between two low-pressure systems to the north of the Falklands but he should soon pick up a good NNW’ly airstream to climb rapidly to Cape Frio. Burton should narrow the gap to the three in front of him. Nándor Fa (Spirit of Hungary) has finished with the headwinds and can beam reach faster to cover the 850 miles from Cape Horn which he is due to round this weekend. The Hungarian skipper will then leave behind him the icy Atlantic waters where two icebergs have been spotted just to the north of the exclusion zone.

Further back, the pack is stretching out in a high slowing down all six of them. Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut) was down to two knots in the centre of this system, while Didac Costa (One Planet-One Ocean) and Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) are getting closer and closer with just forty miles separating them. On the back of a low-pressure system, which is also affecting Pieter Heerema (No Way Back), they are sailing due east towards the Horn. Finally, Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-faceOcean) is still stuck in Esperance Bay with headwinds in Tasmania, which are preventing him from leaving the narrow channel.

Quotes

Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ): “It’s looking fairly simple now to the Equator. It’s still complicated communicating and getting weather files. I’m now in the easterly trade winds, which should strengthen a little. I’m not complaining as everyone seems to have their little problems, but I now only have my third wind instrument working. The first failed a few days after the start and the second three days ago…

It’s a bit complicated as it is only a metre above the deck, so I regularly have to put the autopilot in compass mode, which means I have to spend more time in the trimming the sails and changing course, but I’m making headway and am still in third place.”
Protector - 660 x 82Naiad/Oracle SupplierWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig - First images
New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. Here are the first images from the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Last night at sea for CrazyKiwi Superhero Conrad Colman
At the latest position report at 0430UTC dismasted solo sailor Conrad Colman is 67nm from the finish at Les Sables At the latest position report at 0430UTC dismasted solo sailor Conrad Colman is 67nm from the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne and looks set to complete one of the most inspiring race finishes in sailing history. After latching into a more favourable weather system, Colman's speed has tripled to around 6.7kts and he is expected to finish in 10hrs or 1430hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – ETAs becoming clearer for Attanasio and Colman
Conrad Colman is only 163 miles from the finish, and although under jury rig is making 6.8 knots towards the finish. Conrad Colman (Foresight Natural Energy) is only 163 miles from the finish, and although under jury rig is making 6.8 knots towards the finish. Eve though the NW’ly wind will continue to veer northerly during the night and become lighter at times later in the day tomorrow, the Crazy Kiwi hopes to arrive on Friday night.
Posted on 23 Feb
Vendée Globe – The best of Didac Costa
Didac Costa's welcome back was big. At the heart of it were the men and women of the Les Sables d'Olonne fire service. Didac Costa's welcome back to Les Sables d'Olonne was big. And at the heart of it were the men and women of the Les Sables d'Olonne fire service.
Posted on 23 Feb
Vendée Globe – Didac Costa takes 14th place
The tenacious, driven Costa succeeded with one of the smallest budgets of 29 skippers who started race on November 6th. The tenacious, driven Costa has succeeded with one of the smallest budgets of the 29 skippers who started the race on November 6th.
Posted on 23 Feb
Vendee Globe - Foresight Natural Energy Day 109 - Ancient Homer
The wind has died. The one proud mainsail drags lazily back and forth across the cabin top. The wind has died. The one proud mainsail drags lazily back and forth across the cabin top. Even the rippling laughter of the wake down the side of the hull has dulled as Foresight Natural Energy lethargically crawls across the dark disk of the horizon. The bright orange jib is the only flash of colour in a quiet world where a dull lead coloured sea lolls under a pewter sky.
Posted on 23 Feb
CCA welcomes America's fastest non-stop solo circumnavigator
The CCA is particularly proud of member Rich Wilson’s accomplishment in the just completed Vendée Globe race The Cruising Club of America is particularly proud of member Rich Wilson’s (Marblehead, Mass.) accomplishment in the just completed Vendée Globe race. Sailing solo for nearly 27,500 miles aboard Great American IV, Wilson finished the planet-rounding competition in just over 107 days, returning to the west coast of France on Tuesday February 21, 2017 after having started there on November 6, 2016.
Posted on 23 Feb