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Vendée Globe Day 12 morning update: The key? Live for the positives

by Vendée Globe 19 Nov 01:58 PST 18 November 2020

Well into the regime of the SEly trade winds it has been third placed Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) who has again had the best 24 hours run, to 0500hrs this morning, making 420 nautical miles.

The race leader Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS) is quickest on the morning sked report but the British skipper is certainly under pressure from the two Guillaume Verdier designed boats, seeing his lead eroded slightly.

HUGO BOSS is sailing a slightly lower angle following a routing which maybe shows he will be more lifted sooner.

Six in the south

Four more skippers crossed into the Southern Hemisphere during the night, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) less than two hours behind Thomas Ruyant. The sailor who was brought up in Le Havre and who won the Transat Jacques Vabre this time last year crossed at 2103hrs UTC with an elapsed time of 10days 07hrs 43mins, he was 7hrs 44 mins after the leader and 1hr 54mins after Thomas Ruyant. Fourth was Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) at 2332hrs, an elapsed time of 10 days 10hrs 12 mins, 10hrs and 13mins after Thomson and 2hrs and 29mins after third placed Dalin. Fifth was Kevin Escoffier (PRB) on the 19th November morning at 0321hrs so with an elapsed time of 10 days 14hrs 01 min, 10hrs 13mins after HUGO BOSS and 3hrs 48 mins after Jean Le Cam. Then in sixth this morning at 0356hrs was Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) so an elapsed time of 10days 14hrs and 12mins, 10hrs 13 mins after the leader and just 34mins after PRB.

Louis Burton continues to impress in sixth place. After finishing seventh in the last race Burton was quick to announce the purchase of Armel Le Cléac'h race winning Banque Populaire VII with his sponsors Bureau Vallée. At the same stage on the 2016 race PRB was 28 minutes behind Banque Populaire, this time Burton on that same boat is just 34 minutes after PRB.

Life is Good

But generally in the fleet life is good. All of the boats are showing double digit speeds. Sunrises are spectacular, opening another hard day maximising speed and rest, a relentless routine in the trade winds especially. Indefatigable Japanese skipper Koji Shiraishi has completed his mainsail repair marathon and is making 11kts this morning on DMG MORI, no doubt channelling the spirit of his mentor Yukoh Tada whose solo racing exploits inspired Koji to get into ocean racing. Koji has a remarkable spirit as does the effervescent Italian Giancarlo Pedote said this morning, ""I live in the present moment, life is good, I only take the positives" Pedote is racing closely with Maxime Maxime Sorel (V and B - Mayenne) 20 miles from the French skipper's sterns.

And perhaps the secret of a successful round-the-world racing it is to always extract the positives and cherish them above the constant hardship, to be pushing on for the next uptick. Hands swollen from battling with her sails and paralyzed muscles, Alexia Barrier is tired but positive: "I maneuvered a lot yesterday all day, I rested, I feel good, it is so cool to be surfing with double digit speeds. I can't wait for the day to break to see the sea and the sky."

Miranda Merron reported this morning from Campagne de France, "The wind is blowing 20 knots one minute, and gusting 30 knots the next. The boat takes off surfing down waves in the pitch black night, or wallows, depending on what the wind is doing. Sometime after dark, I got something - plastic? or a fishing net? - caught around the keel. The boat slowed right down. And so for some unwelcome extra sport - I furled both head sails and rounded up into 25+ knots of wind and waves to back down and get rid of whatever it was. It took three attempts.

It's flying fish territory. The first unfortunate creature to be interrupted mid-flight by the boat was safely returned to the sea to fly another day."

Find out more...

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