The high pressure which the Vendee Globe leaders are sailing into in the South Pacific could compress the top ten even more.
If race leader Yannick Bestaven does not escape away first and the second group, the chasing posse, successful grab miles back by going north, some modelling shows the top eight compressed into around 100 miles on Boxing Day.
This morning it looks like Charlie Dalin and Thomas Ruyant will be forced to stay on the north easterly gybe, rather than gybe back to stay on the line of the exclusion zone so that they don’t stray into the centre of the anticyclone.
Likewise behind them Germany’s Boris Herrmann and Jean Le Cam are going north east to try and get round to the north of the anticyclone’s centre.
Sébastien Destremau (27th place) continues to suffer from problems with his steering and autopilot, causing his boat to broach without warning and stepping up the stress levels for the skipper from Toulon.
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 45 – Tue 22 Dec – 11:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 10,341 nm to finish – sailing at 12 knots
2nd FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 90 nm
3rd FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 174 nm
4th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 309 nm
5th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 367 nm
6th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY – 383 nm
7th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 465 nm
8th FRA Isabelle JOSCHKE – MACSF – 494 nm
9th FRA Giancarlo Pedote – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 531 nm
10th FRA Maxime SOREL – V and B-MAYENNE – 647 nm
11th FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 814 nm
17th GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 2930 nm
23rd GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 4118 nm
Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Escoffier, Alex Thomson, Sebastien Simon, Sam Davies, Fabrice Amedo