The leaders of the Vendée Globe fleet are now approaching the Cape of Good Hope with race leader Charlie Dalin expected to cross the first great Cape Monday afternoon.
The weather for the pacemakers is much colder and this passage under South Africa promises to be quite tough with a breeze contrary to the Agulhas current which flows down the east side of the African continent, marking the western edge of the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean.
For the leaders who are now mostly in the strong SW’ly air flow the temperatures are much colder, around 7 deg C, unstable winds 25kts gusting to 35kts on big, unruly seas which sluice over the deck, water temperature no more than 8 deg C.
Some like Sam Davies (image above) on Initiatives Cœur and Damien Seguin on Groupe APICIL are already behind the cold front.
So they are onn rougher seas in a fresh to strong SW’ly air stream (25-30 knots), forcing them to sail towards the edge of the Ice Exclusion Zone at around 45°S.
The first big southern storm is developing off Cape Town, and is on its way, and of course the colder air is much more dense and so each gust feels much more powerful than the recorded windspeed.
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 23 – Mon 30 Nov – Updated at 11:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 17,744 nm to finish – sailing at 19.6 knots
2nd FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 242 nm
3rd FRA Kevin Escoffier – PRB – 267 nm
4th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 292 nm
5th FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 323 nm
6th FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 333 nm
7th FRA Sebastien Simon – ARKEA PAPREC – 352 nm
8th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 391 nm
9th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 459 nm
10th FRA Giancarlo PEDOTE – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 514 nm
11th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY – 533 nm
12th GBR Sam Davies – INITIATIVES-COEUR – 543 nm
15th GBR Alex Thomson – HUGO BOSS – 752 nm – Retired
24th GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 2230 nm
28th GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 2682 nm
Retired: Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson