Although he is more than a hundred miles from the two leaders, Thomas Ruyant knows that the final days at sea will be similar to a stage in the Solitaire du Figaro, a race in which he has already competed several times. Above all, the final race sees him as much on starboard as on a port tack, where he will be able to use on his fully working foil.
Fresh to fruity conditions late afternoon and much of the night. Some extra excitement when in the middle of the night I could hear flapping sail cloth, never a good sign. The mule (fractional reaching/ downwind sail) had developed an air pocket neaer the top. The only solution was to unfurl it and refurl it in quite a lot of wind. It took a couple of goes as the air pocket had reverse twisted the furl. It is now extremely tightly furled. The breeze is dropping, deceptively so at times, only to increase again, so I'm being a little conservative with sails.
In 24 hours time, we'll be struggling to cross the centre of the high in no wind to reach the fabled easterly winds the other side. It may take a while!
Azores Ahead Are Prelude to Winning Moves
At 350 miles SW of the Azores this morning Charlie Dalin (Apivia) is still proving able to hold off the advance of Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) as they negotiate a key phase looking to be able to transition from the north side of the Azores high pressure into the low pressure train. Burton has been fast coming back from his westerly option, converging into the super consistent Dalin to see their lateral separation dropping all the time to 55 miles this morning.
Three Musketeers Strike Out For Vendée Globe Victory?
With just five days or under 2000 miles to go until the first skippers finish the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe the outcome still hangs in the balance. Today and tonight Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton of France and Germany’s Boris Herrmann have the chance of making a small but potentially decisive breakaway from the hard chasing group of six solo skippers, their small advantage could grow over the weekend. Meantime at the back of the fleet France’s Alexia Barrier and Finland’s Ari Huusela face the toughest moments of their race yet as they are set to round Cape Horn over the weekend in 40-45kt winds and big seas.