Towards Cape Horn, less than 2000 miles ahead
At just under 2000 miles to Cape Horn, the leaders of the Vendée Globe have a long, tough week of work ahead to reach the big left turn, the release out of the Pacific back into the home ocean. There is some relief that speeds are quick again as their position on the depression finally yields reaching conditions, cold SW’lies for the chasing peloton, NW’ly for Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) and Charlie Dalin (Apivia).
And while there were predictions that Bestaven might run away from his pursuers, Dalin is less than 90 miles – or about six hours – behind.
The pack is still tightly grouped but Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil) is up to fourth and Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) fifth, Seguin is fastest of the top 10 this morning. Although it is cold and wet skippers’ energy reserves are restored for the meantime after the lighter wind period over Christmas.
This depression should roll away by Tuesday when there might be a little period of respite before the long assault on the eastern Pacific when conditions look challenging for the latter part of the week. It still looks like Saturday 2nd January for the leading duo at the Cape. And with the new systems coming in from behind there should be more compression among the top ten or 12 boats, maybe even a chance for Cremer, Tripon and Attanasio to close in to the pack a little more.
All the way back to Cape Leeuwin (or more for Sébastien Destremau, who is still on a course towards Tasmania), the fleet also seems to be compressing under the influence of the southern depressions. Finland’s Ari Huusela (STARK) should thus cross the longitude of Leeuwin today 200 miles behind Alexia Barrier (TSE-4myplanet) who passed Leeuwin at 23:48 am UTC Sunday night having had some repairs to make over the weekend last before tackling the end of the Indian Ocean that Manuel Cousin (Groupe Sétin) and Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One) should emerge out of late today.
Already in the Pacific: Jérémie Beyou (Charal) and Stéphane Le Diraison (Time for Oceans) have the start of a nasty low coming down from Tasmania. On the contrary, in front of this front, Pip Hare (Medallia) and Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) have caught close to Alan Roura (La Fabrique) who has his keel problems three days ago.
And so it looks like the waters of the south of South Americaa will be scattered with Vendée Globe racers in an unprecedented climb back up the Atlantic.