Second placed Mark Slats sailing the Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick has taken more than 500 miles out of Van Den Heede’s lead over the past week.
Slats is now within 1,500 miles of the leader who is nursing a damaged mast on his Rustler 36 Matmut after the yacht was pitchpoled in a storm a week ago.
The 73-year old veteran is now within 1,300 miles of the Horn, speeding along at 5.3 knots, having ‘fixed’ the damage to his mast by climbing up and lashing the lower shroud fixing to the spreader bracket above.
In a radio broadcast last Friday, made over the Ham net, Van Den Heede spoke about his knockdown, which now transpires to have been a far more serious end-over-end pitchpole.
In a subsequent safety call to Race HQ in Les Sables d’Olonne Monday, Jean-Luc explained what happened in greater detail to Don McIntyre.
He was not knocked down as we first perceived, but pitchpoled. He had already prepared for the worst, having screwed down floor boards, stowed loose items securely and closed the companionway hatch.
He was in his bunk, and his storm tactic was to allow the boat to run freely downwind with 6 sq metres of headsail set and no warps trailing astern, steered by his Hydrovane wind vane self steering.
Suddenly, the boat was as picked up by a huge wave and surfed down the forward face, the bows dug in and the boat went end-for-end before rolling out on her side.
Jean-Luc says that he was thrown out of his bunk and finished up on the ceiling surrounded by all manner of gear. Some water got into the cabin and everything got thrown around.
It was a complete mess, and a week on, he is still searching for some things.
Robin Knox-Johnston found that his double-ender Suhaili behaved best when warps were towed. Bernard Moitessier on the other hand simply allowed his larger Joshua to run freely before the storms.
Mark Slats has to average 1 knot more than Matmut over the remaining distance to take the lead at the finish.
At 08:00 UTC Tuesday, Ophen Maverick was averaging 5.7 knots against Matmut’s 5.3 knots.
Golden Globe Race – Positions at 12:00 UTC 13 November 2018
1st Jean- Luc van Den Heede (FRA) Matmut – DTF 8,409 nm
2nd Mark Slats (NED) Ohpen Maverick – DTF 9,8823 nm – DTL 1,473 nm
3rd Uku Randmaa (EST) One and All – DTF 11,319 nm – DTL 2,910 nm
4th Susie Goodall GBR) DHL Starlight – DTF 11,798 nm – DTL 3,380 nm
5th Istvan Kopar (USA) Puffin – DTF 12,024 nm – DTL 3,615 nm
6th Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Asteria – DTF 12,554 nm – DTL 4,145 nm
7th Mark Sinclair (AUS) Coconut – DTF 14,950 nm – DTL 6,541 nm
8th Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Esmeralda – DTF 15,673 nm – DTL 7,627 nm
Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna
Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland