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Vendée Globe Day 41 morning update: Ruyant rolls the roulette wheel a little

by Vendée Globe 18 Dec 2020 01:51 PST 18 December 2020

Yannick Bestaven is leading the fleet through a transition zone of lighter winds this morning just to the south of Macquarie island as the Pacific lives up to its name. The skipper of Maître Coq has been slowed through the night and this morning is making just 10kts but his margin over second placed Charlie Dalin is a relatively comfortable - for the moment - 100 nautical miles.

Dalin has been second since last night when Thomas Ruyant erred further to the north and has gas had much less wind but is playing a riskier game, one which - according to Dalin - may yet pay off.

The skipper of APIVIA, who led this Vendée Globe for 23 days before damage to his foil bearing case explained the route of his rival Ruyant this morning "There was a very good option to take. I think Thomas had planned to do this before he had his problem with his sail locker filling up with water. It was a really good option to play but the timing was tight and his problem knocked him off his timing I think. You just couldn't hang around because the door was closing quickly. I fully understand why he is there. It was an option that required a big investment at the outset but which meant losing ground sailing in light winds, to gain big afterwards. It's not totally dead for him. But you had to sail in light wind to make some gain afterwards. We cant say yet that it won't work but think there is a chance now that his timing is screwed up because of his little problem. For me it was do-able, but the percentages of the polar that I had to sail to to make it was very high and I had told myself this was not my option. It is a huge gain if it works and big loss. It's a daring option, if I had been in his place I think I would have done the same. This option is paying off in the long run. We will have to wait a little bit to see the result. "

Dalin continued, "I have 15 knots and I am going about 15knots and the seas are quite OK, if the Pacific stayed like this it would be perfect. I don't know if there really is a natural frontier between the Indian and the Pacific but a few hours after the Pacific it was still bad then after that it just became easier. The sky is blue and the good news from the weather files this morning is I should make some little gains, the winds will be light just 12-13kts but when I get through the transition I should have some good winds."

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