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Southern Spars - North Technology

Vendee Globe Race – The ladder changes

by Andrea Golding on 20 Jan 2013
Jean Le Cam, Synerciel - 2012 Vendee Globe Vincent Curutchet / DPPI
Mike Golding and Jean Le Cam continued to trade lead on Sunday morning with the SynerCiel skipper holding a ten mile cushion from the Gamesa sailor, who held the fifth place most of yesterday in the Vendee Globe Race 2012-2013.

As they scrap over fifth place on converging courses there is very little to choose between Mike Golding and Jean Le Cam this Sunday morning. Now sailing ENE and emerging from his position closer to the Brazilian coast it is Le Cam who has taken back fifth from Golding this morning, by a matter of ten miles, but the British skipper held the position for most of yesterday.

Golding has had a little less wind, working upwind in a corridor of slightly lighter breeze, but both still have very similar boat speeds this morning. Le Cam, now 211 miles WNW of Golding, was making 10.5 kts compared with Golding’s 10.1kts but the British skipper has the better VMG and might expect to carry on gaining on his French rival. Conditions remain unpleasant as Golding battles against Le Cam at the head of a group of five boats. In the upwind conditions the boats are slamming a lot in the seaway.



'It is still pretty horrendous just now although the wind has stabilised, but for me it is heading just now which is not ideal and there is not much I can do about that. I have only so much runway, I will probably go east again in about six or seven hours. I am not worried about Jean, I am just sailing my own race. But the writing is on the wall for him. I am not too worried about him.'

'It is better than it was yesterday when I had squalls all the time. I had up to 30kts which is a lot when you are set up for 15. The seas are still choppy and awkward, not like bone crunching, but just awkward. I don’t know why it is so bad but it feels like this has gone on forever. I saw what Jean was saying about the South Atlantic and I do agree that we really have sailed the hard yards now and hope that the last bit, the North Atlantic, is kind to us.'

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