Things are hotting up in more ways than one in the South Atlantic for Vendee Globe leader Yannick Bestaven on Maître CoQ IV who has seen his lead shrink from 435 nautical miles (nm) to 263 nm today.
While Bestaven has been slowed by light winds off the coast of Argentina, second-placed Charlie Dalin on Apivia has been pushing hard in near ideal foiling conditions – flat seas and 15-17 knots of breeze – and has been constantly making 23 – 25 knot average speeds.
50 miles back from Dalin in third place is Thomas Ruyant on LinkedOut.
“I have good conditions to go fast,” Dalin reported today. “I currently have 22/23 knots of boat speed for 15 knots of wind. So, I am on the right foil. The sea state is getting flatter and I can feel the distance between Yannick and me shrinking, so I hope that carries on for as long as possible. It is not going to be a straight line for me onwards, but there is an opportunity here and I am on it.”
Although happy to be making gains at this stage Dalin predicted tricky times ahead for the frontrunners.
“It is going to be a complicated … dealing with the high pressure which will pass behind Thomas and I, and there will be transitions and the trade winds and this high pressure, which is really really complicated with a big area of no wind.
“It’s changing all the time on the GRIB files. It is going to be a tough ascent to tackle I see there is an opportunity to catch up. So hopefully it will go OK.”