mercoledì 9 novembre 2016

Vendée Globe - Small decisions, big consequences?

The leadership of the race has swapped between five different skippers since Sunday’s start. Midday Thomson realised the gain from his choice to work east, closer to the coast. That gain increased slightly in the day, but he admitted that his choice – executed partly in light of pre-start strategy - may not be as beneficial in the long term. “I am not too sure about my positioning now,” Thomson told Vendée Globe Live at midday (UTC). “Initially I thought it was a good idea and part of the strategy at the beginning, I am not too sure it is going to pay off that well in the next day or so.”
Armel Le Cléac’h, runner up in the last two Vendée Globes, has – typically for him - sailed a more conservative line on Banque Populaire VIII, sticking closer to the direct route, looking further ahead.  “The strategy has changed somewhat since the start,” Le Cléac’h said.” The high is blocking us and the choice down the Portuguese coast isn’t as interesting as we initially thought. We’re keeping out to the west to pick up the next lot of wind. When you’re dealing with strategy it’s for the long term, in particular how to deal with Madeira and the Canaries. We need to choose our position in the coming hours.”
Leading trio may escape
The top trio have earned themselves a small cushion – around 12 nautical miles – on fourth placed Vincent Riou on PRB. That may grow as they sail free of the high pressure ridge which has enveloped the fleet with lighter airs. Sparring partners are pairing off, albeit temporarily perhaps. Riou on the non foiling PRB is tussling at identical speeds with the foiler Edmond de Rothschild of Sébastien Josse two miles apart. So too, long time Figaro adversaries, Yann Elies and Jéremie Beyou, were scrapping over early bragging rights. The pair – both three times winners of La Solitaire du Figaro – were close to colliding last night but are at the same latitude – separated 20 miles laterally.

Didac Costa nearly ready to leave Les Sables d’Olonne
In Les Sables d’Olonne, Didac Costa was close to being ready to restart with his One Planet One Ocean but the Barcelona skipper, who had to return to the start town within one hour of the start when his boat partly flooded due to a ballast pipe leak, must wait for a weather window to open. His water damaged alternator was being replaced this afternoon and all of his damaged electrics have been repaired and checked. The Bay of Biscay is due to take a battering from 40kts winds and so the Catalan soloist will wait for a prudent moment to leave and give chase.

Rich Wilson Will Speed Up if Clinton Wins
American skipper Rich Wilson said that he did not feel too disconnected from today’s US elections, despite being at sea in his second Vendée Globe. He was lying 23rd in the fleet, 120 miles SW of Cape Finisterre, chasing Hungary’s Nandor Fa who was nine miles ahead of him. A noted Democrat, Wilson said: “I am for her. I hope things go well today. I will sail better for sure. We are certainly not connected to it by normal means and I feel quite strongly, I have followed it intensely over the last 18 months as the American elections always seem so long. I was involved back in 1988 in the Dukakis campaign, a long time ago, but I have followed it very closely ever since. And we all should. It is how our society represents itself to each other. So I feel quite connected to it even though I am our here.”

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