They are getting closer and closer: With practically every position update in the last few days, the gap between leading Vincent Riou and his pursuers Jean le Cam and Mike Golding melted.
While the Briton probably only has a real chance of victory if the leader has a major blunder or defect, Jean le Cam is almost within striking distance: According to the last ranking this morning, only 14.5 miles separate him from Riou - after almost 23,000 miles sailed!
However, the ranking distorts the actual situation somewhat, because the distance to the target is measured. That is almost the same for Riou and le Cam, but the leader is in a much better starting position: He is sailing more than two degrees further north, while his pursuer is sailing further east. If the wind shifts as most weather models currently see it, Riou can "turn" a few hours earlier with half wind on the home straight, while le Cam would have to continue sailing close to the wind.
Has all the trumps in hand: Vincent Riou
The reason for this is a high pressure area over the Bay of Biscay: It slowly pulls in the direction of the three leaders and demands the turnaround at exactly the right moment. If Riou misses this point, he could lose valuable time in the weak wind and give Le Cam the opportunity to finally catch up. If he does everything right, the pursuers will find it difficult to intercept the smart French before the finish, even if they have the clearly faster boats.
The organizers are currently expecting a finish on Wednesday. In any case, one thing is already certain: No matter who wins, it will be the closest finish in the history of the Vendée Globe.