The Doldrums are the next Vendee Globe hurdle, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone is in the crosshairs, with its normal diet of squally showers, wind holes and unsettled, shifty breezes.
In theory the first in should be the first out, but not necessarily.
In an E’ly trade wind which has built and rotated right a little since the minor pinch point at Recife, the leading trio of IMOCAs, Apivia, Bureau Vallée and SeaExplorer Yacht Club de Monaco have accelerated slightly returning average speeds of between 17.5 and 19 knots.
At 260 miles to the Equator this morning, Vendee leaders Charlie Dalin, Louis Burton and Boris Herrmann have all gained slightly on fourth placed Thomas Ruyant.
Ruyant is unfortunately, not able to match the leaders’ speed with no useable port foil.
Sébastien Destremau, skipper of the 26th placed IMOCA Merci, has been finally forced to abandon his attempt to complete his second Vendée Globe.
Vendée Globe Leaders – Day 70 – Sat 16 Jan – 08:00 hrs UK
1st FRA Charlie Dalin – APIVIA – – 3465 nm to finish – sailing at 17+ knots
2nd FRA Louis Burton – BUREAU VALLEE 2 – 12 nm
3rd FRA Boris Herrmann – SEAEXPLORER – 57 nm
4th FRA Thomas Ruyant – LinkedOut – 88 nm
5th FRA Damien Seguin – GROUPE APICIL – 97 nm
6th FRA Yannick Bestaven – Maître CoQ IV – 135 nm
7th FRA Giancarlo Pedote – PRYSMIAN GROUP – 204 nm
8th FRA Benjamin DUTREUX – OMIA – WATER FAMILY – 260 nm
9th FRA Jean Le Cam – Yes we Cam! – 272 nm
10th FRA Maxime SOREL – V and B-MAYENNE – 592 nm
17th GBR Pip Hare – Medallia – 2468 nm
22nd GBR Miranda Merron – Campagne de France – 3916 nm
Nicolas Troussel, Alex Thomson, Kevin Escoffier, Alex Thomson, Sebastien Simon, Sam Davies, Fabrice Amedo, Isabelle Joschke, Sébastien Destremau