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Vendée Globe . Bestaven’s Biggest Lead

Vendée Globe

Bestaven’s Biggest Lead

For the moment, and it may still be temporary, Yannick Bestaven has accelerated north and left the battle for second in his far distant wake. Making up to 20kts over night after connecting to a stronger flow of SE’ly wind yesterday afternoon, the skipper of Maître CoQ IV has made significant gains while his immediate pursuers – now led by Damien Seguin in second – for a long time were not managing to make ten knots.

Bestaven has the biggest lead of the race so far now at 376 nautical miles while there is just 19 miles, in terms to distance to the next waypoint, between second placed Seguin and Charlie Dalin (Apivia) and Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) who is now fourth. Dalin and Ruyant are negotiating the west side of the high pressure system and trying to get north to the stronger breeze while Seguin is 250 miles to their SE on a radically different option.

“Really until now I have never made a bad choice.” Said Seguin this morning, “ I continue to believe in my lucky stars. It was also a choice to control my opponents behind me. I am happy to be second on the leaderboard, I can’t hide my happiness to be here where I am on the water right now, even if it is complicated. There will still be traps. I have taken my option, I believe in it, I’m going all the way, and this is a big option.”

At Cape Horn Romain Attanasio (Pure-Best Western) passed this morning at 0545hrs in 14th place. His passage time is 59 days 16 hours and 25 minutes, 4 days 16 hours and 2 minutes after leader Bestaven and 21hrs and 44 minutes after Armel Tripon.

On board Jean Le Cam’s Yes We Cam! (or Hubert as his boat is called, named after the late brother of Michel Desjoyeaux who was his good friend and business partner) a disheveled Jean Le Cam was woken from his nap for this the 0400hrs Skype call. In seconds Le Cam was on good form miming “Darth Vader” in the gloom of his cabin joking that his pack (Dutreux, Pedote, Sorel, Herrmann and Joschke), signed a pact to stay together in hunter mode. “There is just the young Dutreux who is doing his own thing. So sometimes I call him, I tell him come back, we signed a pact! Damien left us and so good for him.” Laughed Le Cam.

Tough in the South Pacific.

With gusts of up to 60 knots, rough seas, the conditions close to Point Nemo are tough uncomfortable and quite extreme. From Medallia to One Planet One Ocean, the watchwords are looking after the boats and sailors.

“I’m in machine mode. I don’t feel cold, hunger, or fatigue. I do what I have to do, which is to trim and work like an automaton.” Confided Stéphane Le Diraison on Time for Oceans.

In these rough seas and gusting, stormy winds, the objective it to balance the boat so that it does surf madly or is overtaken by a breaking wave.

“I found myself completely under water in the cockpit suddenly engulfed by a huge wave.” Reported skipper of Time for Oceans.

Arnaud Boissières and Alan Roura had 60 knot squalls of wind, their boats under a tiny headsails and still have 1200 miles to go to Cape Horn.

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