Armel Le Cléac'h (FRA, Banque Populaire):
Hi all, everything is fine on board, there is quite a lot of wind (20-25 knots) so we’re sailing fast. The sun is there, too, even though there are clouds too.
The gap with the boats chasing me is closing, I can see that. But it’s not too bad.
It had been very tactical in the Southern Ocean four years ago, and this year, the gate has been moved north, so we’ll have to take that into account, the route will change too. We’ll need to be careful because there will be very tough moments, and key manoeuvres.
I’m done with all my checks, which is good because I couldn’t be doing them in the current wind conditions. I haven’t been up the mast but I’ve checked the main sail. I’ve cleaned up the boat, too, she’s ready for the South. We’ve put our shorts and t-shirts away and now is time for fleece jackets!
In the next few weeks, we’ll be very demanding with the boat and the equipment, but we’ve trained for that. It’ll be interesting to see how everybody approaches that period and that area, how they position their boats.
Arnaud Boissières (FRA, AKEA Vérandas):
It’s been a difficult night, things aren’t as fast as yesterday, but I’m doing fine. The sea is agitated because there’s been a front. The leaders are very fast, so the gap between me and them is growing bigger.
The rhythm of my days is set by the live interviews, which are so exciting (he laughs) and then it all depends on whether or not I have to manoeuvre. I also manage to eat regularly, even if it’s just snacks sometimes. I’m out of cannelés(editor's note: cakes from the Bordeaux area), though! But I have plenty of other good things to eat.
I’m really enjoying myself here, even though I know I’m far from the leaders. What truly matters to me is sailing in a race on this amazing boat, and there’s competition too, because Bertrand de Broc is behind me and I want to catch up with Javier Sanso. I’m fighting, it’s just that I haven’t been very successful or lucky lately.
Jean Le Cam (FRA, SynerCiel):
I’m doing really great, it couldn’t be better, fast and wet. I can’t be at the helm, though, because I have to protect from the water and it’s moving a lot. I wish I could helm more, it sucks big time...
I’ll be done in about three hours, because the front will be gone, but right now, it’s unbearable.
I have black birds behind me, a dozen of them. But it’s really war-like conditions here now, it’s impossible to do anything.
Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA, Virbac paprec 3):
The conditions are really tough, and the wind has been stronger and stronger since this morning. My current speed is about 20 knots.
I have Armel and François close to me, it will be a nice fight but we’ll have to make sure we don’t push the equipment too hard, we don’t want to break anything. Especially since even if we do get ahead now, it won’t necessarily mean anything in the end.
I’m starting to see birds, but no albatrosses yet, I think I’ll have to wait a little bit more for them.
My tactical choice paid off, but not as much as I wish it had. I thought it would put me ahead of the others, but it didn’t. But what truly matters is we’re all doing ok, no major incident.
Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA, Initiatives-coeur):
I usually eat between 3,500 and 5,000 calories every day, depending on the outside temperature. There’s a lot of variety in what I eat, cans, freeze-dried or even fresh. Some things were cooked by my uncle. It’s all stored in bags, one for each day. I also have a couple of bottles of drinks that are not water, like fruit juice for example.
I have food for 100 days and 10 days worth of freeze-dried, too.
The current conditions are a perfect opportunity for me to check everything is right with the boat, I’ve had some visual checks, but also more technical things, like the electronics. I’m glad to say that so far, it’s all good.
I’m going to shave today, and I’ll show you all what the result looks like.
I’m not surprised to see the boats are going that fast, close to beating records, because we all know how well-prepared they are. I would have been surprised if they hadn’t been that fast!
The sea will change very fastonce the skippers have crossed the front, there will be very different conditions.
It’s great to see sailors shooting videos and enjoying it so much, they make us dream through those videos and pictures..
When sailing solo, you can’t stay at the helm when the conditions are so tough. You can when you’re sailing with a crew because then you have time to recover.
I’ve sailed quite a lot with British sailors, and I have to say I do think a British skipper can win the Vendée Globe, it would be great for the race, too.