Offshore

Thomson into second place of Vendee Globe

Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) was into second place at the 15:00 GMT ranking Tuesday. Although he feels it will be short lived, he still held second Wednesday morning at 08:00 hrs, “Up to 2nd place on the rankings! Will be short lived when Macif and Virbac get the new wind first but happy anyway!" The frontman, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) is sticking to the direct route, and sailing the shortest course. In his wake, Thomson, sailing in the slip stream of Banque Populaire, he has chosen to sail the shortest course. Third place, Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) is making his way south, and losing a few miles on the leader. The gambling three (Gabart, Dick and Le Camm) might be rubbing their hands with glee if this tactical choice plays in their favour.

Vendee Globe - Top Ten Rankings Wednesday 27 November 2012, 08:00 hrs (UK)
1. Banque Populaire, Armel Le Clac'h
2. HUGO BOSS, Alex Thomson, 150 nm to the leader
3. Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard Stamm 206 nm
4. MACIF, Francois Gabart, 247 nm
5. Virbac Paprec 3, Jean-Pierre Dick, 314 nm
6. SynerCiel, Jean Le Cam, 390 nm
7. Gamesa, Mike Golding, 391 nm
8. Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, 493 nm
9. Acciona 100% EcoPowered, Javier Sansó, 698 nm
10. Initiatives-coeur, Tanguy De Lamotte, 793 nm

Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA, Banque Populaire): “Everything is fine onboard Banque Populaire. I’m trying to find the best way to the first Ice Gate. The weather is still nice and hot. It allows me do some repairs, to clean the boat and everything. But I can feel the cold is coming, especially at night.”

About his strategy: “You cannot be sure of anything. I’m looking at the others. My northern strategy is clear. We’ll see how it goes in a few days. I’ll keep on with this strategy. I’m passionate with those strategic moments. We are entering an important moment of the race. It’s very interesting to see how everyone is doing. At the beginning of the Vendée Globe, it was more a speed race, now it’s becoming much more strategic. I’m sitting at the map table as often as I can. We have updates every 12 hours. Around 7 am I check it out. At this time of the race, these are very important moment.”

So the three dimensional chess game that Mike Golding (Gamesa) loves is now on. Golding is by his own admission is struggling with the high pressure ridge, which is blocking his southerly progression.

"It’s the third Doldrums of the race, it is very frustrating. The wind is up and down and it is pouring with rain. All night it has been like this. I had a steady afternoon yesterday, with 15kts of breeze. Then I had a little stoppage. Then it came back at 15kts, then 15kts from a bad direction, then I stopped again and since then it has been up and down. As I speak it’s just dropped to five knots. It is so up and down, it is hard to rest. It’s hard to see a way out right now, you kind of have to wait until the system moves and evolves. Certainly the wind is not doing what is says on the files.”

G New
27 November 2012 18:56 GMT


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