Current Vendee Globe race leader, Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) is racing east about 50 miles north of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone.
Earlier Bestaven gybed north-eastwards with a lead of 100+ nautical miles over Charlie Dalin (Apivia) who has Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil) around 40 miles behind in third.
The passage of the depression will give the first three – or maybe five – a strong NW’ly of around 35kts in Drake Passage as they round Cape Horn.
The wind then shifts to an icy, moderate SW’ly for the second part of the hunting group.
With 80 to 95% cloud cover and sometimes torrential rains, intermittent sleet and hail it will not be pleasant.
The the long Pacific swell will mix with sometimes breaking waves of more than six meters and so deliverance from the biggest ocean on Earth will be well earned.
And the bad stuff does not switch off once Cape Horn is rounded, there is usually no rest until the Falklands.
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 53 – Wed 30 Dec – Updated at 14:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 8,387 nm to finish – sailing at 17+ knots
2nd FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – 109 nm
3rd FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 170 nm
4th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 173 nm
5th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 244 nm
6th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY – 250 nm
7th FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 279 nm
8th FRA Isabelle JOSCHKE – MACSF – 300 nm
9th FRA Maxime SOREL – V and B-MAYENNE – 349 nm
10th FRA Giancarlo Pedote – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 387 nm
17th GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 2045 nm
23rd GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 3654 nm
Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Escoffier, Alex Thomson, Sebastien Simon, Sam Davies, Fabrice Amedo