by Rob Sharp
(Abromowitz Sharp & Associates – Yacht Brokers – https://www.yachtbrokers.co.za)
The doldrums will not hinder front runners – there – I have said it!
The top 11 boats in the Vendee Globe have all posted + 400 mile days and they don’t seem to be letting up. The path through looks timid in terms of a park up, so we might see a free flow through for the front 4 at the very least and maybe all 11.
The 24-hour runs have been impressive as they descend the Atlantic ocean with boat speeds matching VMG as they head south looking for the SE trades. Thomas Ruyant (‘LinkedOut’) has clawed back a few miles from Alex Thomson and now sits dead astern BY some 107 miles with Charlie Dalin (‘Apivia’) a further 46 miles to the north.
No need to be astounded anymore with the performance of ‘Yes We Cam!’. Still in the hunt and this morning we find him in third place to weather of ‘Linked Out’s’ hip and ‘Apivia’s’ bow, and still posting +400 mile days as much as his foiling friends ahead and astern.
Looking back up the Atlantic, you have to feel for the 12 back markers who have had a mare in the Azores High. They must be looking at the front guys in disbelief as there doesn’t appear to be a real doldrum problem as they flop around in flat calm glassy seas and will see the North South separation extend. As it is after 9 days racing there is a 1500 mile split from first to last – and that’s not counting Jeremie Beyou who will set off again today from the Les Sable d’Olonne.
Memories of the last edition in 2016/17 with Dida Costa having to turn back to port and restarting 4 days later. He went onto finish 14th out of the 18 finishers and out of the 29 starters. It will be a long slog for Beyou on ‘Charal’, but you can be sure there will be determination to finish. A far cry from his last lap of the planet where he finished 3rd behind Alex. Respect for that man!