In the Vendee Globe, offshore, along the coast of Brasil, to the west of Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, between Madeira and the Azores the skippers sail in the winds, along the edge of high pressure. There is another low north of Spain. 'That's the Vendée Globe,' said Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM).
It is an anthology of fickle conditions for the nine competitors still racing. Their arrival dates in Les Sables d'Olonne range between the 4th and 18th February.
It is terrible weather in Les Sables d'Olonne. The storm that was forecast and causing Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) to decide to seek shelter on a buoy in Galicia, Spain has arrived. There is rain and strong gusts. This winter wind does not prevent onlookers wandering around the race village, in Port Olona, to visit the first three boats of the Vendée Globe. Now, they await a fourth; a blue boat without a keel.
Since his arrival yesterday (Thursday) at 5:30 at the port of San Ciprián, the skipper of Virbac-Paprec 3 has not been tapping his feet. He has swung the boat 180 degrees around on it’s mooring, dived beneath to check the damage and also to affix his line so the boat is more secure. 'It's impressive,' he told us this morning, talking about the damage beneath. He’s food supplies are low. Today, he enjoyed some pureed vegetable. Yesterday, bloggers, journalists and Spanish TV show all come to stare at the boat. Jean Pick has made a sign saying ‘do not touch the boat’. He sits in a situation that is part prison, part zoo. But having rested and undertaken his boat husbandry, and completed some jobs on the jobslist he is ready to leave at daybreak on Sunday. The wind around the Spanish coast is not very co-operative, with light airs at first before there is a westerly flow, which will fill his sails and project him back to Les Sables d’Olonne.
Between Madeira and the Azores, it's always the same story between Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) and Mike Golding (Gamesa). Their duel began in mid-November, almost the same place, at the descent of the North Atlantic. For the umpteenth time, it has once again renewed intensity. As they circumnavigate the high pressure, Gamesa is just four miles SynerCiel. Shifted to the east, Golding was faster than his French counterpart in the past 12 hours. The situation is not clear and there could be an opportunity for Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) to return, despite his low speeds of 3 knots on the last two rankings.
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Theoretically, it will be he who touches the wind first will accelerate. Over the next 48 hours, according to the less extreme routings, the duo could go back to the tip of Brittany to pass the high. The two men are expected to Les Sables d'Olonne February 6.
Prior to wrestling the same high as the two ahead, Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud), Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas) and Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) still enjoying fresh winds. On this, the first day in February, they are by far the fastest in the remaining fleet. Focussed, they are trying to outrun the man who made a fantastic comeback in the South Atlantic, Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM). He is trapped on the edge of a high and none of the routing is offering him a perfect escape.
Dominique Wavre, Mirabaud - 2012 Vendee Globe - © Dominique Wavre
ETA February 1
- Jean Le Cam Wednesday, February 6th
- Mike Golding between five and seven hours later
- Bernard Stamm (excluding travel) February 7th
- Dominique Wavre and Arnaud Boissières Friday, February 8th
- Javier Sanso 8th or 9th February
- Bertrand de Broc on 11th or 12th February
- Tanguy De Lamotte on 14th or 15th February
- Alessandro Di Benedetto between 16th and 18th February
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Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA, Virbac Paprec 3): Being here is a bit stressful, but I anyway managed to sleep a bit. I’m going to leave on Sunday morning. Maybe Saturday night if the weather conditions allow it. I met some people who were a bit scared for me. There was the Spanish TV too yesterday. Everyone now knows there is a Vendée Globe boat in the port.
Bertrand de Broc (FRA, Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projects): The sea is smooth; I’m sailing at 5-6 knots. I’ll have to remain patient. The wind should come back this afternoon. It’s not easy at the moment. Even my routines don’t know what to do. So far, I don’t deal with them as they are saying nonsense things. I’ll have to go faster as my energy onboard is getting low. At the moment, I try to enjoy the moment and take care of my little house. The Vendée Globe is a very particular race. When you look at the race now, there are sailors everywhere in the Atlantics. Each one has his own joy, misery and story. Even if sometimes you have very difficult moments, you also have great ones. And you have to remember those ones.
Ronan Lucas (Banque Populaire, Team manager): We started with a big clean up. We check out the front deck and the mast. There was no big problem. The boat will stay in Les Sables d’Olonne until the end of next week and then we’ll put it back on its feet. This boat is for sale.
Jean Le Cam (FRA, SynerCiel): Thank you for your support. There is no wind, I’m heading north as the wind should come back from this direction. I should go out of this non-wind moment by the afternoon. And then I’ll around the anticyclone. I like doing that. I hope that Jean-Pierre won’t arrive on Tuesday as the weather conditions are going to be awful. My routine told me to go by the Sables latitude. We have to give time to time and I’ll go on with my journey. I’ve enough food for the rest of the trip. I even could do one more week on board. I have everything, food, gas and water. It’s nice to do some laundry. Thanks to my hydros I have free energy. It’s a real comfort and it’s really important.
Antoine Gautier (Macif, Technical manager): We have the same program as Banque Pop. The boat will stay here until Wednesday or Thursday. Then it will go back in Port-La-Forêt.
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by Vendee Globe - 7:32 PM Fri 1 Feb 2013 GMT
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2012 Vendee Globe
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