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VENDEE GLOBE NEWS-THE ATLANTIC

Monday January 19th, 2009
Michel Desjoyeaux may well have been slowed down by a ridge of high pressure but he still maintains a considerable lead on second placed Roland Jourdain.The Atlantic has brought various fortunes and misfortunes upon the skippers still in the Vendee Globe but surely crossing the Equator must bring each one of them a sense of relief as they head towards Sable d’Olonne.
“I’ve finally got back on course since 0500 hours this morning… Right now I’m sailing full and by at 10.5 knots. In principle I’m clear of the zone now, unless some more washing machines land on top of me! We’ll get as far as Salvador de Bahia tomorrow and late on the 19th we’ll reach the Doldrums. Just now the seas are becoming calmer… but we were still wave jumping till last night. It was shaking the boat about so much you couldn’t stand up”. Said Desojeaux. “As he had more E’ly wind than me, he managed to get some separation and all of a sudden he should have an identical angle to mine, virtually at the same time as me… As such, in principle, the separation between us should remain stable at around 250 miles. As I said before the Horn: this area as far as Cabo Frio could be the most complicated zone in this Vendée Globe in terms of strategy. Indeed, that’s just what’s happening… even though I reckon I’ve not done too badly. It was just the last bit, working my way around the edge of the anticyclone which wasn’t easy…”
The gaps between the boats mean that the effects of the Doldrums should make little difference to the positioning. However the tightly nit bunch of Thompson, Boissieres and Caffari is proving a very exciting prospect with Thompson losing miles to the other two because of wind conditions in their favour. Caffari is now within 18 miles of Boisseres.
Meanwhile Steve White is about to pass Cape Horn and must be feeling elated. Who would have believed that this man was close to not even getting to race back in November. Steve remains thankful and philosophical.
“I have just spent the longest time just gazing out of my door looking at all that is around me. It won't be long now and the Southern Ocean will be behind me, for a while at least, and I shall really miss it, it has been fantastic - bleak, desolate, isolated, powerful, all of those things, but immeasurably beautiful too, with undoubtedly the best sailing in the world.” He said “As I looked out there were three albatrosses: two older ones and a spotty brown young one. They are quite sweet really, he was flying round and round the boat, obviously curious and practising his slow flying at the same time. He was doing well, but hobby-horsing slightly on the really slow bits where as the adults just fly like they were on rails!… I am ready to leave the South though now; firstly before I break anything else more serious than the loo seat and the kettle handle, both casualties of the last blow, and secondly because then it will be nearer the time when I can come back better prepared and more knowledgeable.”
VENDEE GLOBE ENTRANTS
Dee Caffari (Aviva)
Sébastien Josse (BT)
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) (EXTENSIVE DAMAGE OUT OF RACE)
Mike Golding (Ecover 3)
Derek Hatfield Algimouss-Spirit of Canada
Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) (DISMASTED OUT OF RACE)
Marc Guillemot (Safran)
Yann Eliès (Generali)
Jean Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac 2)
Jérémie Beyou (Deta Dore)
Raphaël Dinelli (Fondation Ocean Vital)
Marc Thiercelin (DCNS) (OUT OF RACE)
Vincent Riou (PRB)
Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux)
Jonny Malbon (Artemis)
Brian Thompson (Bahrain Team Pindar)
Armel Le Cléac’h (Brit Air)
Jean Baptiste Dejeanty (Maisonneuve)
Dominique Wavre (Temenos II)
Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat)
Steve White (Toe in the water)
Unai Basurko (Pakea Bizkaia)
Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas)
Norbert Sedlacek (Nauticsport-Kapsch)
Rich Wilson (Great American III)
Samantha Davies (Roxy)
Yannick Bestaven (Aquarelle.com) (OUT OF RACE)
Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia)
Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) (DISMASTED OUT OF RACE)
Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement)
TO FOLLOW THE VENDEE GLOBE PROGRESS CLICK THE LINK BELOW
Vendee Globe - monitor progress
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