UPDATE Wednesday 18 Nov: Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss is the first competitor to reach the Equator, at 13:19 (UTC). Elapsed time since the start : 9 days 23 hours and 59 minutes.
Earlier . . . at a little less than 100 nautical miles to the Equator at 05:00 hrs this morning Alex Thomson is into the SE’ly trade winds with his lead cut to just under 70 nautical miles.
After a patchy evening and night with speeds up and down Thomson has seen his boat speed rise on Hugo Boss to 14kts again with his course more headed, making a more SW’ly course than due south.
His closest rival, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) was still slower on this morning’s report suggesting that Thomson’s lead stretch once more.
Meantime the seemingly omnipresent Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam) – who, since 2004 until last edition held the record to the Equator, has dropped to fourth behind Charlie Dalin on APIVA.
A world away in the Bay of Biscay where after restarting Tuesday evening Jérémie Beyou has just spent second ‘first night’ on the course, he is heading into a front.
“I’m tiptoeing with things, I went a little south to avoid getting too much wind on this front. It’s very weird, I’m used to having competitors around me and now you can’t call this being in a race. But I want to do it right. And I have to do it for me.”
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 11 – Wed 18 Nov – Updated 21:00 hrs UK
1st GBR Alex Thomson – HUGO BOSS – 21,183 nm to finish
2nd FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 61 nm
3rd FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 82 nm
4th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 113 nm
5th FRA Kevin Escoffier – PRB – 180 nm
6th FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 190 nm
7th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 215 nm
8th GBR Sam Davies – INITIATIVES-COEUR – 224 nm
9th FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 226 nm
10th FRA Benjamin Dutreux – OMIA – Water Family – 228 nm
22nd GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 1109 nm
27th GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 1494 nm
Retired: Nicolas Troussel