Benjamin Dutreux nearly got stuck in the ridge, determined to give it his all in PacMan mode. The skipper of OMIA - Water Family managed to extricate himself yesterday having worked all night. Heading north, the Vendée Globe skipper is now working hard to stay in the game.
"You didn't wake me up: I was awake, tidying up my spinnaker which I had lowered ahead of the front. I was starting to get gusts at 25 knots, it was getting borderline and I had to lower the spinnaker. Now it's in the hold, I put the gennaker back up and here we go again! I'm heading North, I'm happy to be out of the ridge of high pressure, that was a close call, I'm just about through. I had a hard time last night. I'm going up north to get a little more wind, and above all the wind shift that will allow me to gybe. Then it will be stronger. For the next few days it will be strong. I tried going for it before the ridge of high pressure set in. I didn't sleep much last night, I tried to hang on so I wouldn't be far from Jean (Le Cam) to play for it to the end. Physically, it's a bit tiring, the game is to give it my all, all the way to Les Sables-d'Olonne.
I'm trying to make the most of it: you have your head in it, you realise as you get closer to the finish, that you're comfortable on the boat, that a symbiosis is taking place: I'm much less afraid of sending the spinnaker up, I'm less afraid of manoeuvres, everything is done more naturally.
My ETA is for Friday lunchtime. I hope I don't arrive too early, that the conditions will be there: we'll have to remain vigilant because there will be some rough weather, we'll have to be careful right to the end. I'm not going to take all the risks; I'm going to sail as fast and safely as I can and not go at it hell for leader. I miss the Vendée, I miss my mates, I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone again and but at the same time I'm afraid to go back".
Benjamin Dutreux / OMIA - Water Family