21 December 2020 - 16:01 • 5458 views



Thomas Ruyant / LinkedOut Third, in the big South where the weather forecasts are only reliable short term, Thomas Ruyant is happy to not be leading the way as he explains......

"I've just made myself a little risotto, with a little rice pudding for dessert. In terms of food, it’s not bad and I am happy because I've had prepared for 80 days of food.

It is going to be a game of gybes in the right 'timing' at the right moment, with just a small mouse hole to through, even if there's little chance that we'll actually go through with wind all the time, there's going to be some moments where we just get stalled. We will have to pass the centre to get pressure again. For the moment, we have average West, West-North-West breeze and making progress in that, with some manoeuvres to try to gradually make gains in the East and South, to get closer to the ice zone and to be as far as possible from the centre. This anticyclone will keep us busy for a few days. I hope that Yannick (Bestaven) does not whisk off. I don't think so, it will stop at some point. I don't see the thing stretching out in front. Every time I run a weather model, things are different, I tune and adjust around three times a day, it's not going to be easy, you have to be on top of it.

We still have 15 to 17 knots of wind and do about that in VMC (speed to goal). We can't attack, we're low on our angles, it's pure VMG, which is not what our boats do best of what they are built for. We still have pressure for a little while, but the more we go forward, the less we will have.

The conditions are rather nice, the high pressure brings a big blue sky, 15 to 18 knots downwind. We've had worse conditions in the south. We're not breaking any records, but it's rather pleasant. The weather spoiled us in the Indian Ocean. It's going to be long!

I took food for 80 days when before the start it was a bit of a guessing game. Alex Thomson said he had enough on board for 58 days. I don't know how much Charlie (Dalin) took. I'm glad I don't have to ration it. The bluff was fun, but you can see how hard it is to make weather predictions for a trip around the world. It's not like statistics, it's slow, there are regroupings, you make gains sometimes coming back and other times you extend from the lead. It's hard on the nerves, that's the way it is.

For the past three nights or so I have had good rest because the conditions allow for it and it feels good. It had really taken it out of me and cost me a lot in terms of lucidity and energy; I made some errors in course choices. Even if things could have gone well, I made some mistakes. I'm slowly catching up on Charlie and I've recovered well. I was pretty fried out.

How much confidence do I have in the weather we get? The forecasts remain fairly reliable, at two or three days. On out route to Cape Horn, forecasts are not that good so far ahead and we just do not know what to expect so can’t make a long-term plan.

I'm lucky at the moment to be a hunter, to be able to line up against the boats ahead in these not very easy to read conditions. It is not me who leads the way. I am on it and analysing at all times.”