Vendée Globe, day 69

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Damien Seguin this morning on his Easterly position

The double Paralympic champion is enjoying his fifth place in the pack that is advancing up along the coast of Brazil. Especially since his offshore, easterly position gives him a slight advantage in terms of the course he has to follow to reach the northern hemisphere

“I am not too badly positioned: I knew that my position further East would pay off at some point and it is from now on that this will really come good. I am satisfied with where I am: I have been fighting for two days to win this position, which wasn’t easy. And today it is bearing fruit. We know that at the coast, there is a little bit less wind and stormy conditions that make it more difficult to get away from Brazil. I’m going to try to keep this place upwind, for as long as possible, but I’ve already got Boris (Herrmann) who’s overtaken me! He’s going very fast with his big foils…

Herrmann Up To Third And Growing Threat To Leader Dalin

Racing now with less than 160 miles to go to pass Recife on the north easterly corner of Brasil, leading duo Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton will be starting to recognise a threat from German skipper Boris Herrmann as he moved into third place overnight Thursday and is now just 39 miles behind Dalin and 17 behind Burton;

The 37 year old from Hamburg has been quickest of the top group overnight, profiting especially from his position with Seaexplorer Yacht Club de Monaco slightly further offshore than Dalin and Burton – about 30 miles – but more particularly because he has a pair of larger, new generation, working foil on his IMOCA 60, which were upgraded last March, and he has consistently reported that he has a full armoury of largely undamaged sails. Herrmann was quicker than leader Dalin this morning by two knots and in theory his gains should continue at least until the transition zone off Recife where the wind could be lighter depending on the time of day the leaders pass.

The Doldrums extend from about 0 ° 30 South to 3 ° 30 North, that is to say about 200 to 250 miles wide at 33 ° West but it is maybe not as narrow and easy as some have been suggesting. There are a few storm cells forming and the cloud mass appears very dark. The trade winds in the Northern hemisphere seem to converge with those of the Southern hemisphere to generate an approximately easterly flow for the weekend.

Miranda Merron this morning, ….finally letting myself think about Cape Horn

Miranda Merron is finally allowing herself to think about Cape Horn, as she said on this morning’s 0400hrs UC call. “I am in a NW’ly airflow and have just under 800 miles to go to Cape Horn and it is a little bit difficult to know what sails to put up because the breeze is building and there is no point in breaking anything now and so I am being a little bit conservative. And it is going to get windier before it goes to the W and gets lighter.