Here is what Armel Le Cléac'h, Jean Le Cam, Arnaud Boissières and Jean-Louis Etienne said during the Thursday, January 17 live TV show on Vendée Globe TV.
Alex Thomson (GBR, Hugo Boss):
I’m looking forward to getting into the northern hemisphere, I’ve got about 180 miles to go and I’ll be catching probably for a little while so that’s good. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the North Atlantic. I’ve taken some pain over the last four or five days. I made some gains off the semi-permanent front off of Rio, but since then I’ve been bleeding. At some point it was going to stop and now it seems to be good. So, I feel positive, optimistic for the future and if I get a lucky break up the North Atlantic maybe there’s a podium place still available.
I’ve had squally weather pretty much all the ways along (the coast) apart from yesterday. I going to be crossing the doldrums tomorrow afternoon and to me it doesn’t look like it’s going to be too bad and the area should be fairly small. There’s always the possibility, when we come out of the doldrums I’m going to be further west, hopefully I’ll have slightly more lifted breeze but on the other hand the guys to the east have better reliability. At the moment it looks like all of us are going to be crossing the Azores high pretty much north of where we are, I don’t think there’s going to be an eastern route right now, so those guys will have the ability to come down to me. So, it really does depend on whether the high pressure holds the boats in front up and allows me to get to them, that’s going to be the deciding factor.
In all honesty, the other problem I’m going to have is that even if I do make the miles up and I was to get equal with Jean-Pierre (Dick) if we’re sailing in the same breeze and neither of us have any problems he does have a slightly faster boat, so I have to think about that, I can’t really be doing the same thing as those guys, if I have a chance to beat them. There’s a big gap between me and Jean Le Cam (in fifth) so in terms of routing and navigation, maybe there’s a possibility of taking some risks for making some gains and not following people because if I follow I’m not going beat them in a boat speed race.
Mike Golding (GBR, Gamesa):
I am alright, it’s just a bit of slog. We’re in trade winds and the wind is blowing is perfectly out of where we want to go (laughs - e.g. it’s a northerly on his nose). So. I’m just sticking with the original plan and trying to just deal with the St Helena high, trying to get on the right side of the right hand shift. I’ve had several doldrums in this race, yes, it’s a frustrating period because the boat is being sailed pretty hard, it’s quite unusual in the Vendée to be going upwind fully ballasted with the boat working very hard indeed but for so little return in terms of the VMG.
I’m having problems with comms (communications) at the moment, they’re pretty poor, I look at satellite imagery (as well as the weather files) but I wouldn’t claim to be a meteorologist. The files we get from Europe and the US are models that have been worked on over many years by people much more qualified than me. When I see an error in a file, I can modify it if the wind you’re experiencing isn’t quite what you’re seeing on the file and that something that helps you establish better routing.
Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA, Banque Populaire):
I’m fine. I’m getting out of the Doldrums. I’m sailing front wind now, I’m Ok.
Last night there were some clouds, with rain and some time no wind. But globally I did well. I hope I be able to use this great crossing for the finish.
Everything remains possible, the game is open. I’ll try to find the opportunities to come back on François. Maybe I won’t be able to come back now, but in a few days I might be able to do something. The journey is still long and there are many dangers on our way to Les Sables d’Olonne.
We have a nice sail when there is no wind (Code 0), I used it for my Doldrums crossing. It worked well...
I have a few strategies in mind, especially with the Azores anticyclone. I’ll do my best to come back. The first objective is completed (getting closer to François) now the next one to fight for the win.
(About his partnership with Banque Populaire): It’s great news. In the years to come I’ll have the opportunities to sail on the Route du Rhum.
Jean Le Cam (FRA, SynerCiel):
As the Carnival is coming soon I’m going to stop at Rio... If I keep on sailing forward I’ll be there within 5 hours.
Last night was difficult with strong winds but it’s getting better. The sea is getting smoother, now it’s nice. Last night I saw six gas platforms which weren’t on the files... I’m giving you the info!
So the situation is not easy and even more when the files are not correct. So you have to guess! This way up the Atlantic is really hard.
I think at the moment people needs to dream and I‘m glad to be useful.
Arnaud Boissières (FRA, Akena Vérandas):
I’m not sailing very fast. I have to wait. We are off the Brazilian coast, it’s hot and so are the girls...
As for the weather conditions, it’s quite a mess. The sky is between blue and black. The sea changes all the time. It’s hard, but I remain focus, I know it will get better.
I try to follow the current evens but I must say I’m much more concern with my Vendée Globe.
Jean-Louis Etienne (French Explorer):
The Vendée Globe makes us dream. Every day we see nice pictures, nice fights between gentlemen. It’s a true show. I love it.
Sometime when you are alone and when you feel alone it’s nice to think about your project. When you know you make some people dream it’s good for the moral.