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Vendee Globe Race 2016/17

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18th of December 2016
News > Pacific funnel

It’s fiercely battling within the Virtual Vendée Globe leaders' group in this 42nd day of race. Some changes have occurred but as it’s getting closer to the ice limit, the fleet will definitely get compressed and this will reshuffle the cards. Further back, the sailors whom we have interviewed since the start are still sailing eastwards with more or less success. The VR News staff wishes good luck to Stéphane Le Diraison, who dismasted yesterday, for the longue route expecting him to reach Melbourne. Chin up and chest out, everyone, in this Dec 18th Sunday!

Different weather systems for Hugo Boss and Banque Populaire
Different weather systems for Hugo...
Le Diraison to Australia, Colman at Leeuwin and in the Court of King Jean
Le Diraison to Australia, Colman at...

Positionen Nähe Point Nemo
The more the hours go by, the more the route will be hazardous for the forerunners who are approaching the ice limit. Nose diving since several days from the NW, the northern forerunners is getting closer to the Ice Exclusion Zone on a rather closed point of sail, but the slight wind rotation forecast for the next hours should let a door open to sail along the red line.
Let’s hope that this forecast is correct, otherwise things may turn a bit complicated for them. At the 11:30 ranking, phosphorIST holds the top spot ahead of Nistagmus (at 3,37 NM) and NZ-Eligo « IST » (at 4,10 NM). The southern Pacific Ocean will not be a long conveying belt toward Cape Horn. One will have to find the good passages in order to move eastward without losing to much terrain. The ultra-northerners will also have to face some complicated passages; but their routes options, which are wider, will maybe enable them to better cope. To be continued…

What did they become?
Meanwhile, Estelle Denis, Benjamin, Castaldi, LoÏck Peyron, Ian Lipinski, Jean Michel Bayle, Axelle Lemaire et Yves Le Blevec are still sailing eastwards. Quick kit inspection of their positions:
Estelle Denis, always at full tilt in the game, is sailing in the South of New Zealand. Being 102,500 th she’s not letting off and still hopes gather some ranks.
As for Loïck Peyron, 33,000th, he’s approaching the 160°E longitude. Currently near the ice limit, he’s sailing in a good 25 kts SW’ly flow.
Yves Le Blevec has grown wings and is sailing, 851st, on a route parallel to the Ice boundary. He is 252 NM away from the race’s leaders and not far from another sailor, Ian Lipinski, who is slightly more in the South.

The Troublé family, on Wanaka, has opted for a very northern route. They just have crossed the 160° E longitude and hope to get strong winds in order to sail in the best way down to Cape Horn.
Jean-Michel Bayle, on his side, just made the interior to VR News, like on a racing track. The two boats are currently negotiating a delicate passing and above all, a big wind rotation. Still in the Indian Ocean, Axelle Lemaire is sailing between the Kerguelen Islands and Cape Leeuwin in a 26 kts wind. Since the interview, the boat has gained 70,000 ranks. Finally Benjamin Castaldi is in the heart of a big low with 40kts winds. He’s currently sailing at 26 kts between Tasmania and New Zealand. Being 172,500th, he’s ideally positioned to have a nice eastward route.

Sailors Words
JackParis Hello VR, can you switch your engine off, please? It’s not fair for the others who are stuck among rotten fronts. La Houssaye (77) hello, what’s the Nemo point that appears on the chart? Wild-Thing 9 hours in a transatlantic flight without any Internet connection! What an anxiety! I think I’m addicted! Congratulations! lilou du cellier Hello VR News. I’m Lilou and I will shortly turn 9 y.o. I’ve gained lots of ranks and I will soon catch up with you. Enverland We are sailing the race all the way round, in reverse, and we’re now facing the competitors, level with Armel. Fair winds! tradewindz Gained almost 100k places the last few days but still can't catch you! This race has caught the imagination of a Canadian. Maybe next Vendee

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