Good night for Le Cléac'h

Aerial shot of Banque Populaire VIII, skipper Armel Le Cleac’h (FRA), off the Kerguelen Islands, flied over by the National French Marine Nivose Frigate, during the Vendee Globe, solo sailing race around the world, on November 30th, 2016 - Photo Marine Na

Just over 600 miles behind them Sébastien Josse (Groupe Edmond de Rothschild) is facing a testing 24 hours as he approaches the Antarctic Exclusion Zone on a forecast for strong winds. Josse is making 18kts this morning but the front which is approaching him is due to bring more than 40kts of wind and Josse faces the prospect of gybing along the barrier in heavy airs. In fourth place, Paul Meilhat (SMA) continues to make fast speeds this morning, more than 22kts at times, riding the leading edge of a front which is bringing the leading rookie 30kts of wind.

Maître CoQ continues to route towards Amsterdam Island at reduced speeds, following the damage to the hook on the mainsail car on the mast track. Jérémie Beyou reported that the front has passed him and he saw a maximum of 45kts. He has around 70 miles to make to Amsterdam Island. He informed race direction that the hook had broken last night at 2005hrs UTC and he has been sailing with no mainsail since.

Yann Eliès in sixth on Quéguiner-Leucémie Espoir has avoided the worst of the bullet depression which threatened him yesterday but he still has more than 30kts of wind this morning and is making nearly 16kts of boat speed. Jean Le Cam (Finistère Mer Vent) gybed close to the AEZ last night, getting to within seven miles of the exclusion area, holding a lead of 160 miles over Thomas Ruyant (Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine). Ruyant is 176 miles NW of the Crozet Islands.

Louis Burton passed the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope last night at 1708hrs  UTC, entering the Indian Ocean solo for his first time. Next to cross should be Nandor Fa (Spirit of Hungary) who has less than 100 miles to make and has six boats within about 140 miles behind him. Fa is only 17 miles from Koji Shiraishi (Spirit of Yukoh) which has just lost the top of his mast above the hounds this morning.

Didac Costa (One Planet One Ocean) is battling to escape the South Atlantic High and is now reaching while Sébastien Destremau (Techno First FaceOcean) is still struggling with his attempted engine repair and says he will remain at the same latitude until he has a solution. His engine is required to fill his ballast tanks.


Andi Robertson / M&M

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