Racing in 25 knots of wind at 53 degrees south, Thomas Ruyant and Yannick Bestaven, the top two Vendée Globe skippers are less than ten miles apart.
They both gybed early Wednesday morning and are heading fully east running parallel to the Ice Exclusion barrier, for the Pacific where they are hoping the sea state will be easier and more conducive to higher average speeds than the Indian Ocean has been.
Ruyant and Bestaven now have a gap of over 140 miles over longtime leader Charlie Dalin who reported port foil damage around 18:00 hrs UTC Monday night.
But Dalin, Vendée Globe leader for 23 days, appears to be back in race mode, making over 19 knots south eastwards towards the south Pacific Ocean.
Dalin’s team communication said, “The port foil remains whole. The damage is to the lower support, where the foil rests as it leaves the boat. Charlie has therefore been focusing on strengthening the foil attachment to make sure the casing remains secure.”
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 39 – Wed 16 Dec – Updated 17:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 12,179 nm to finish – sailing at 20+ knots
2nd FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 16 nm
3rd FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 153 nm
4th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 468 nm
5th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 485 nm
6th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY – 488 nm
7th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 495 nm
8th FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 520 nm
9th FRA Isabelle JOSCHKE – MACSF – 630 nm
10th FRA Giancarlo Pedote – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 657 nm
19th GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 3120 nm
23rd GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 3902 nm
Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Escoffier, Alex Thomson, Sebastien Simon, Sam Davies, Fabrice Amedo