Bestaven Back On Top
Still racing upwind but having changed on to the ‘making’ port tack – the angle taking them closer to the mark than away from it – Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq) is back in the lead but only by a small handful of miles over Charlie Dalin (APIVIA).
The seven strong peloton are now compacted into a postage stamp area some 50 by 70 nautical miles but are once again bumped into the light winds of the high pressure barrier, they are all making much less than ten knots.
The significant movers over the course of the last night and yesterday are the ‘comeback kids’ Jérémie Beyou (Charal) now making continued inroads at good speeds, averaging over 20kts for much of the time and so now up to 18th place passing Didac Costa (OnePlanet-One Ocean) and Stéphan Le Diraison (Time for Oceans). And Armel Tripon (L’Occitaine en Provence) has passed Roman Attanasio (Pure-Best Western) to take over 13th place. They are feeling the effects of a new high pressure system which is slowing them.
The slow down for the peloton, the group led by Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) and Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco) has been good for Maxime Sorel (V and B Mayenne) and especially for Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) who have made miles back in the group, Burton more than 250 miles over four days.
Alan Roura (La Fabrique) in 15th is more than 300 miles ahead of Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline-Artisans Artipôle) and Pip Hare (Medallia): the start of the Pacific is quite good for them although they have this depression chasing them. At the moment three solo sailors (Beyou-Le Diraison-Costa) are in the system in thirty knots as they leave the Indian Ocean. Manu Cousin (Groupe Sétin) has preferred to sail much further north.
From the morning calls at 0400hrs UTC
Boris Herrmann (SeaExploerer-Yacht Club de Monaco): “ I got pretty fed up with the eating out of a plastic bag adding hot water and eating with a spoon, so there is no sensation to the process of having a meal and so I started having a routine of having a meal now where I start by cutting a little piece of cheese into smaller pieces and some sausage just to have some manual sensation to taste what I eat a bit more and so something with my hand. That keeps me motivated to eat. And so that keeps some of the joy of eating.
We will be getting a bit more back to normal. This is unusual to have a couple of days of very light winds, or no wind. Once we are done with this in about one day it goes back to normal and we are dealing with stronger breeze, fronts, wind between 20 and 30 knots instead of between three and eight knots.
I think the next couple of days can be quite good. The conditions for me for foiling are when the wind is wider than 65 degrees 70 degrees TWA and stronger than 12 knots and when we are VMG running and with the wind straight from behind I am not faster than Jean Le Cam or any of these kind of competitors here around me.”
Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) “It is quite windy, 28-35 knots, I am reaching along the top of the forbidden Australian zone and I have another 180 miles to go before I can start going south east should I choose to do so. I think I have passed Cape Leeuwin which is pretty good. It is going to be fast. Earlier this morning I had up to 43 knots which is less amusing and last night the wind was what I call ‘mad wind’ really badly organised from 12-25 knots, big shifts and when it is like that it is hard to know what direction to point the boat in. It is steady over 30kts. I had a Christmas dinner made by a company called ActiveEat they made it for me and for Sam Davies and it was delicious, Turkey, stuffing, greens, potatoes, parsnips and some Brussels sprouts and I shared it virtually with Sam Davies on WhatsApp which was rather nice. It was really nice, classic Christmas Dinner and then my mother’s classic Christmas Cake. It was a nice Christmas. And a lovely Christmas Cake with lots of fruit in it and lots of alcohol.