Vincent Riou ("PRB")
On the 18th day of the 24,000-mile one-handed regatta, the Frenchman Jean Le Cam continues to hold the top position with his new build "Bonduelle". His compatriot Vincent Riou ("PRB") is just a blink of an eye (almost 9 nautical miles) away from him, waiting for a mistake on Le Cam.
The Vendée has entered a crucial first phase. Close to the southern 30th parallel, the two Frenchmen Le Cam and Riou set out to sail up and away from their pursuers. Just yesterday, the French Roland Jourdain ("Sill et Véolia"), Sébastien Josse ("VMI") and the British Mike Golding ("Ecover") had some contact with the leadership duo. Overnight, however, a good 170 nautical miles gap opened up between them.
Responsible for the falling back of the chase troops is a high that was pushed between them and the two front runners. And while they were making good progress at speeds of up to ten knots, the frustrated Roland Jourdain, known as Bilou, reported that he had now only made half a mile in four hours. Ultimately, he lost more than 100 nautical miles overnight. As the Briton Mike Golding aptly remarked a few days ago when this situation was announced: "The rich get richer, the poor get poorer."
Leading Jean Le Cam finds the current racing situation very motivating. "It is very stimulating to be sailing so close in contact with Vincent the Terrible," he said in his email to the Race Office yesterday. However, according to the leading skipper in the Vendée Globe Challenge, it was very exhausting to sail in the choppy winds of the last few days. "Even when the autopilot is steering, you have to be very active sailing to get the most out of it," says Le Cam.
The only German-speaking skipper in the field, Norbert Sedlacek, can calmly look at the difficult wind conditions in the front of the fleet. He and his "brother" only entered the South Atlantic two days ago. And although he is now almost 1,500 nautical miles behind the leaders, he did not miss a few quiet moments to celebrate the crossing of the equator with a sip of red.
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 18,952.1 nautical miles to the finish in Les Sables d ’Olonne 2. PRB, Vincent Riou, nautical miles to leader: 8.93. Sill et Véolia, Roland Jourdain, SzF: 174.74. VMI, Sébastien Josse, SzF: 183.75. Ecover, Mike Golding, SzF: 229.56. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, SzF: 432.87. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, SzF: 458.58. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, SzF: 486.09. Temenos, Dominique Wavre. SzF: 486.210. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, SzF: 501.611. Skandia, Nick Moloney, SzF: 529.412. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, SzF: 530.213. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, SzF: 530.414. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, SzF: 741.415. AkenVérandas, Raphaël Dinelli, SzF: 956.416. Roxy, Anne Liardet, SzF: 1,067.6 17. Max Havelaar / Best Western, Benoît Parnaudeau, SzF: 1,110.218. Benefic, Karen Leibovici, SzF: 1,166.319. brother, Norbert Sedlacek, SzF: 1,493.8n / c VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentier