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Vendee Globe - Cali on the line at nine; Colman with square top main

by Vendee Globe on 17 Feb 2017
- Conrad Colman under sail in the jury rigged Foresight Natural Energy, February 16, 2016 Conrad Colman / Foresight Energy / Vendée Globe
Arnaud Boissières is poised to cross the finish line around 0800hrs UTC, 0900hrs local time. Winds have been very light for his last, quiet night before he takes 10th place.

Fabrice Amedeo on Newrest-Matmut has been a little quicker than his routing, sailing in a bit more wind than the GRIB files forecast. This morning it looks like the breeze will clock to the East and be around 10-12kts which means he will likely finish Saturday morning between 10 in the morning and midday.

Alan Roura (La Fabrique) is still in brisk SW'ly winds and he will keep them until this afternoon when they will drop away to 10kts before backing all the way to the N and NNE. He should therefore finish later on Sunday or maybe early Monday in 12th place.

Conrad Colman has had, comparatively speaking, a good 24hrs making about 80 miles towards the finish line in light downwind conditions on his jury rigged Foresight Natural Energy. He will have downwind conditions until tonight when a N'ly breeze will allow him to get north, but soon he will have his biggest challenge tomorrow seeing how close he can sail to the wind.

He has provided two images from the drone camera he carries on board showing his jury rig on Foresight Natural Energy, complete with square top main. A former sailmaker, Colman has obviously put his skills to good use.

He is currently 590nm from the finish line, his speed in the light winds is 5kts and he lies in 13th place overall.

Rich Wilson is in good conditions on Great American IV, 10-15kts of W'ly breeze, now north of the Azores and making good speeds, around 13kts. He should finish Wednesday according to current routing predictions.

Didac Costa will have to sail considerably further north but the upside for the Spanish skipper is he will be faster and so still looks likely to finish around 24 hours after Wilson.

Romain Attanasio is south of the centre of the high pressure and has a fading SE'ly breeze of around 15kts but he will get into better conditions tonight and so be able to go faster.

Pieter Heerema has 24 hours more in the NE'ly trade winds. After choosing not to stop at Fernando de Noronha yesterday Sébastien Destremau has had very, very light Doldrums winds and is 130 miles to the Equator.

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