Vendee Globe: Clear route in for Fa

Friday, 03 February 2017

After three or four days slowed in a messy Azores high pressure system Nandor Fa finally has a good routing for the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne where he is now expected on Tuesday afternoon.

The skipper of Spirit of Hungary now has around 1600 miles to go, is just north of the Azores, and is making 13-15kts of boat speed. He may take a moment to reflect how far he has come, both literally and figuratively since he and Conrad Colman were in the same area in 2015, fighting to finish the Barcelona World Race on Spirit of Hungary. They had lost two keelbolts and were worrying whether they would manage to complete the double handed race round the world. Fa is in a good 20-25kts SW'ly wind this morning and will see the breeze veer to the W and build to 30kts, maybe as much as 35kts on Sunday morning.

© Conrad Colman (DR)Eric Bellion (CommeUnSeulHomme) is starting to feel the effects of the Azores high that Fa has just battled clear of. He has the remnants of the E'ly trade winds but has 300 miles of variable winds to pass through before getting into a SW'ly flow which will allow him to point more directly towards the finish line. Conrad Colman, some 490 miles behind, is in regular 25kts NE'ly trade winds and so still making 17kts. The skipper of Foresight Natural Energy should be able to pull back a few small miles on Bellion for the next couple of days which is always good for morale.
The trade winds regime is also good right now for Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline) and Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut) who are now only 43 miles apart with Amedeo back on the attack, two to three knots faster. Alan Roura (La Fabrique) is sailing an extraordinary race right now on the much less powerful year 2000 launched Pierre Rolland designed former Superbigou. He is just 326 miles behind Amedeo and holding a solid 13th place.  He was 80 miles to the Equator this morning. Rich Wilson (Great American IV) is making good miles northwards with some 600 miles to the Equator and should return to the home hemisphere on Sunday afternoon.

Didac Costa (OnePlanet OneOcean) and Romain Attanasio (La Famille Mary-Etamin du Lys) are in good trades now just 14 miles apart, Attanasio catching slightly this morning. Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) is in a strange, mixed up area of high pressure but has about 300 miles more to climb to reach the trade winds. And Sébastien Destremau is getting closer to the upwind conditions on the west side of the Saint Helena high, but still has some enjoyable downwind sailing today.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 03 February 2017 )