Vendée Globe Fast Fa on Les Sables Layline

Saturday, 04 February 2017

 

Nandor Fa is getting a perfect slingshot towards Les Sables d'Olonne on a fast moving low pressure system. This Saturday morning he has a 1300 miles layline for the finish line and is making a steady 15kts on Spirit of Hungary. Fa has 25-30kts of wind and his ETA on the finish line of his second Vendée Globe is still Tuesday afternoon.

The Azores high pressure system is back to its normal place. The skippers have to round it via the West.

The Azores high pressure system (marked with an H on the chart) is back to its normal place, south or south-west of the Azores. The wind rotates clockwise around this big blue area with no wind in its center. The skippers have to round it via the West. They will then try to stay in the zone with winds between 20 and 30 knots to its north. They will have to choose the right moment to sail north towards the finishing line, between two depressions. For most of the skippers, the goal is now to finish the race and to avoid extreme conditions, like those forecast tomorrow in the Bay of Biscay with winds blowing at 60 knots.

After Louis Burton, it is Nandor Fa who has just passed to the north of the high. He will be followed by Eric Bellion and Conrad Colman for whom the weather patterns look identical.

The Azores high pressure system is back to its normal place. The skippers have to round it via the West.

The Azores high pressure system (marked with an H on the chart) is back to its normal place, south or south-west of the Azores. The wind rotates clockwise around this big blue area with no wind in its center. The skippers have to round it via the West. They will then try to stay in the zone with winds between 20 and 30 knots to its north. They will have to choose the right moment to sail north towards the finishing line, between two depressions. For most of the skippers, the goal is now to finish the race and to avoid extreme conditions, like those forecast tomorrow in the Bay of Biscay with winds blowing at 60 knots.

If Fa in eighth place is getting something of a sting in the tail of his Vendée Globe, an unwelcome test close to the finish, so it looks also like there will a new challenge for both Arnaud Boissières and Fabrice Amedeo in 11th and 12th places respectively. While it looks like a realtively straightforward weather scenario and routing in for Eric Bellion in ninth and Conrad Colman in tenth, the low pressure system is then set to be replaced by a high pressure extending over Biscay in a slightly similar way it did for Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson.

According to Amedeo their race is now likely to take another two days to the finish line, placing an even greater pressure on his already limited food supplies.
Journalist turned round the world race Amedeo told Race HQ today:

 I am in the NE'ly trade winds since yesterday. I am bouncing and slamming upwind. It is quite grey and there is quite a swell. Our time in the southern hemisphere is over. The flying fish and turquoise blue seas are gone. It is a radical change of scenery since the end of the Doldrums. We are on the road home but the scenario towards the end of our race now looks quite uncertain and looks set to make our race last longer."

He continued:
" Right now is it is not really much fun. We are slamming and it is hard to move around the boat. I move from the chart table to the bunk. I think our conditions are a bit better than Eric Bellion's. We have about 25kts and he has about 30. And it looks like we will have this until Monday then it should ease."
" At the moment I'm beam reaching and I am looking to get around the Azores high. It is going to be very west and so we are going to be forced to make a huge detour to get to France. It looked like it would be the 16th before but now this detour, the additional miles north and west, will probably add another couple of days, making it more like the 18th. Even so this all a bit of a guess right now, how it looks. There will be a low on the Portuguese coast and to the west is the high pressure and so it will be a long way around."

He continued:
" Right now is it is not really much fun. We are slamming and it is hard to move around the boat. I move from the chart table to the bunk. I think our conditions are a bit better than Eric Bellion's. We have about 25kts and he has about 30. And it looks like we will have this until Monday then it should ease."
" At the moment I'm beam reaching and I am looking to get around the Azores high. It is going to be very west and so we are going to be forced to make a huge detour to get to France. It looked like it would be the 16th before but now this detour, the additional miles north and west, will probably add another couple of days, making it more like the 18th. Even so this all a bit of a guess right now, how it looks. There will be a low on the Portuguese coast and to the west is the high pressure and so it will be a long way around."
" It is hard for the morale now to see everything extend a bit more, but the finish line will come. Even so I have to be super careful now with my food. I have to ration what I have and I am tired and have to be careful how I move around the boat. I take care to have the boat well balanced. There are not many manouevres to be done, it is J2 or J3. But when we get to the Azores high it will be more work and I will have to be more alert. So I am going to rest as much as I can right now and build up my reserves over the next 2-3 days."
" I converse with Cali (Arnaud Boissières) by email. This morning I asked him if he had shed a tear too. He answered that he sees the same thing and we need to plan for the go-slow. I managed to watch a few movies in the south, some real turkeys, but now I prefer to listen to the boat, to know if I have to shorten sail, to trim, to make adjustments. Really, right now I have trouble disconnecting and thinking of anything much else other than the boat."

 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 04 February 2017 )