Abeam of Ortegal
The twenty-eight solo sailors competing in the Vendée Globe have just completed their first night in the Bay of Biscay, Spaniard Didac Costa having had to turn back to make repairs shortly after the start after suffering a leak. Posting a very fine start that enabled him to move up into the lead in the opening miles of the race, Sébastien Josse stuck to his start philosophy by sailing a careful race through the night in the leading pack. This morning, at the 08:00 GMT ranking, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild, is lying in 7th place in a fleet now led by Briton, Alex Thomson. This group is now approaching the north-west tip of Spain and the famous Cape Finisterre, which it's set to reach midway through today.
Review of Sébastien Josse's great start
Yesterday at 12:02pm, following intense emotion in the canal with nearly 350,000 people lining the quayside in the Vendée to bid the fleet farewell, then the long minutes spent waiting in a virtual race zone specially marked out for them offshore of Les Sables d'Olonne, the sailors in the 8th edition of the Vendée Globe were finally able to set off for the open ocean. The weather conditions were exceptional for a 6 November with glorious sunshine and a NNE'ly breeze of around fifteen knots. The whole scenario played out on relatively calm seas, save for the numerous spectator boats and support ribs escorting the solo sailors out to the open ocean. The spectacle was sublime and further highlights the public appeal for the unique race that is the Vendée Globe.
It's worth noting that it was HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco who fired the starting gun for this 8th edition, and the boat's owners Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild, together with Sébastien Josse, also welcomed him aboard the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild on Saturday for a private tour.
An unsettled first night
For the opening miles of the race, Sébastien Josse and his rivals had to deal with some very shifty conditions due to the remains of a low pressure front situated to the East of Europe. In this way, the wind was constantly yoyoing between 9 to 26 knots, resulting in a great deal of trimming and an active night under the cuddy and on the deck of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild.
Currently abeam of Cape Ortegal, Cape Finisterre is some 80 miles in front of Gitana 16 this morning. The front runners are expected there at midday, or even early afternoon; which is a little slower than that indicated yesterday after running the first routing. As the wind shifts round to the North it should reach around 20 knots and the strategy of the head of the fleet will then be to try to smoothly slip southwards.
Ranking on 7 November 2016 at 08:00 GMT
- Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss)
- Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel - Virbac) 2.3 miles astern of the leader
- Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire) 2.4 miles astern
- Morgan Lagravière (Safran) 14.6 miles astern
- Vincent Riou (PRB) 16.2 miles astern
- Jeremie Beyou (Maître CoQ) 16.8 miles astern
- Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) 18.2 miles astern
- Paul Meilhat (SMA) 18.3 miles astern
- Yann Eliès (Gueguiner Leucémie Espoir) 21.5 miles astern