Vendée Globe leader for nearly two weeks now Charlie Dalin has a lead of nearly 200 miles again this morning as he races south-eastwards 270 nautical miles north of the Crozet Islands. The sea state, big, short crossed waves continues to be the limiting factor for Dalin on Apivia as he constantly tries to moderate his speed to look after the boat and himself. Still racing towards the back of the frontal system, it is a tough, relentless routine at the moment but Dalin said this morning he is in his strong wind rhythm trying to stay rested and monitoring the weather.
He said this morning, “”I’m glad to be in the lead, yes, but I don’t pay it any more attention than that. I try to preserve my boat as much as possible, knowing that the sea conditions prevent us from going fast and then there are so many miles to go! I have big, disorderly seas, blues skies with squalls, but the sea state is the principal problem. It is the same all the time. The boat buries itself in the sea, it is the state of the sea which is making it hard. In terms of wind we have 30-40kts, depending, at the moment it is not so bad but it has been like this for a few days, but I have my rhythm in the strong winds but I stay well rested, I slept well last night, I have had a few days when I have not eaten that well, it is another world here in the Indian Ocean. But in general I am in my strong winds rhythm, I trim the boat, I do my navigation stuff, my routine for the Indian Ocean but the problem is the crossed seas. The seas are not so big but they are short and steep. It is pretty much a week in these conditions. It is a bit monochrome. The days are long and I feel like I have had my quota of the Indian Ocean. But you get the feeling we are going east because day by day the sun sets earlier and so you get the feeling you your making distance each day. Sunrise was about 0100hrs this morning and last night it set about 1730hrs.”
Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) is pretty much on the same course as Dalin while Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée) is racing nearly 100 miles to the south of Ruyant and has been slowed this morning, closer to the Antarctic Exclusion Zone.
The peloton of seven skippers chasing Dalin have the same south-westerly airstream, there being only about 250 miles east-west separating Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil) from Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) in tenth.
Meantime Sam Davies (Initiatives Couer) is closing to the South African coast, near Cape Town. Having recrossed the Cape of Good Hope heading towards shelter she reported this morning, “Safely past Cape of Good Hope – AGAIN. 35 to 40 knots wind but safe sailing gently downwind. How disappointing to have gone backwards these last few days 🙁
At least I was treated with a magnificent sunrise just before the Cape.