The majority of the Vendee Globe Skippers have also chosen this route with spectacular performances from Marc Guillemot sailing his virtual boat Safran (currently in 143rd position), closely followed by Mirabaud, skippered by Dominique Wavre. In all, 4 of the real skippers are in the Top 1000.
From a British perspective, Alex Thomson’s virtual Hugo Boss appears to have been left to its own devices over the weekend whilst he’s been sailing the real Hugo Boss from Gosport to les Sables D’Olonne and is currently on her way to the Caribbean! However, with the rest of the fleet about to meet the doldrums, this far west route may well turn out to be a winner. Meanwhile, Mike Golding’s virtual boat is at Madeira so the most realistic hope for a British victory in the virtual race lies with Sam Davies, who is currently in 754th place.
The top 10 is dominated by French sailors with Cofreno currently holding off strong challenges from La Musique and La coccinelle mauve. Whilst Cofreno has strong form in the Vendee Globe having placed 4th in the Virtual Vendee in 2009, La Musique is a relative unknown. One of an increasing number of women virtual sailors, the skipper of La coccinelle mauve is one of the most experienced Virtual Skippers with regular top 100 finishes in virtual regattas over the past couple of years.
As the skippers approach the doldrums, however, the fleet will compress and anyone in a good position further west is likely to make huge gains over the next couple of days. Those behind the leaders will catch up as the wind dies off and the race will be on for the equator. Choosing the correct route through the light winds in the next few days will make or break this virtual dash to the equator.
If you want to be part of this virtual extravaganza, it’s not too late to join in. Witness and participate in the closing stages of the Vendee Globe pre-race by registering for the pre-race at www.virtualregatta.com.