First Vendee Globe Ice Gate is moved

The first Vendee Globe South Atlantic gate has been shifted 1 degree north and 7 degrees east to avoid excessive concentrations of ice. To protect the skippers from playing a lethal game of Russian roulette, the race organization has implemented, chokepoints, called "ice gates" to limit the temptations to take the shortest, most southerly ice riddled route. These gates are monitored closely, and are subject to change according to tracked ice movements.

Vendee Globe - Top Ten Rankings Monday 26 November 2012, 16:00 hrs
1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Clac'h
2. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 25 nm to the leader
3. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 127.0 nm
4. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 151 nm
5. Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm 162 nm
6. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 374 nm
7. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 388 nm
8. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 496 nm
9. Acciona 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sansó, 742 nm
10. Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy De Lamotte, 811 nm

Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) said, “The conditions keep changing, the night hasn’t been easy, I was shaken a lot and not really fast. But there’s still a long way to go, and finding the right route in the next few days will be very important for the rest of the race. There are a lot of possible strategies for the skippers behind us and I’m keeping an eye on what everybody is doing. The gaps between us aren’t too big, considering how long the race is. The next few days will be complicated for us all, we need to stay safe too.”

Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) have elected for a more southerly course, which has positioned them to the west of the competing boats.

On Vendée Globe LIVE today Mike Golding (Gamesa) discussed the situation, “It’s not that they are going more west but more that they are trying to get south and of course, you have to weigh that up against what you have to do along the course. It doesn’t look too bad. I ran the routing this morning and it looks like it’s moving quite nicely but I need to have a closer look at it. It looks fairly straight forward as we head to the first gate.” Golding was in great spirits and in response to not let himself be hunted by Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) he jokingly said, “ I won’t. I am a one man war machine."

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) continues to keep ahead of Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat). They have a definite advantage and can watch to see how the front three extricate themselves from the calm of the ridge.