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ETA Friday: Sébastien Destremau 1000 miles from the finish

Technofirst Face Ocean, skipper Sebastien Destremau (FRA) Aerial illustration of start of the Vendee Globe, in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on November 6th, 2016 - Photo Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée GlobeTechnofirst Face Ocean, skipper Sebastien De

The final competitor in the eighth Vendée Globe is into his final week of racing aboard what he refers to as his office. At the latitude of Cape Finisterre, Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-faceOcean) is now around a thousand miles from Les Sables d’Olonne and taking advantage of a moderate SW’ly wind blowing at around 25 knots gusting to 35 knots. This means he is able to make good progress towards the finish at an average of around fifteen knots.

50 days after Armel…
The high that lies ahead should not affect him too much as it is moving eastwards and will weaken off Cape Finisterre. The various weather models continue to indicate the moderate SW’ly flow will continue until the eve of the finish. The wind is expected to ease on 9th (to less than ten knots) and turn to the SSE. But that should not prevent Sébastien from finishing on Friday 10th after around 124 days of sailing, fifty more than the winner, Armel Le Cléac’h. But Destremau is not worried about his race time, as his goal has always been to complete the non-stop solo round te world voyage aboard a boat that is almost twenty years old.

OB / M&M

Sébastien Destremau’s log – week 17

It’s starting to feel like I’m nearing home... But even yesterday evening (Saturday evening), I had a bit of a scare when I had to gybe in 35 knots of wind under mainsail with two reefs and J3. I said to myself I was doing something stupid. I had the engine running to charge the batteries, so I managed to push the tiller over with the boat fully ballasted on the other side and the boat kept up her speed. Once the mainsail had gone over to the other side with the boat on her side, I had to empty the leeward ballast tanks and fill up the windward tanks to get back on track. In the end, it went well, but it wasn’t that simple when I was doing it. I had to gybe again at 4 in the morning, but the engine wasn’t running then but the wind was still at 35 knots...

After some hesitation, I cancelled the manoeuvre because of the problem with the ballast tanks... It would have been a good way to break some battens or even bring down the mast. I went back to my bunk to wait until daylight and for the wind to ease... That happened at 10 on Sunday morning, with the wind down to 25 knots... I could then gybe unfurling the gennaker first...

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