In the teeth of the matter
Whilst the Nautic Paris boat show opened its doors yesterday at the Porte de Versailles, those leading the way in the Vendée Globe are continuing to race at speed across the Indian Ocean. Indeed, according to the latest estimates, the top duo may well pass the second cape of this round the world race, Cape Leeuwin, tomorrow after less than twenty-nine days at sea. Sébastien Josse is due to pass this landmark around 24 hours later and is currently still third some 586 miles behind the leader. For now though, what the skipper of Gitana Team is most focused on is the weather system that is forecast to catch up with Edmond de Rothschild in the coming hours.
Making headway as quickly as possible eastwards whilst keeping an eye on the tropical low that is dropping down from Madagascar behind him, such is the programme for Sébastien Josse this Sunday 4 December. Whilst yesterday involved light conditions on the southern fringes of a zone of high pressure, the skipper of Edmond de Rothschild was accelerating early today thanks to a N'ly breeze that is an omen of a deterioration in the upcoming conditions.
From this evening, and for the next thirty-six hours, the grib files are announcing winds of between 35 and 40 knots, gusting higher, and crucially, heavy seas with 5 to 6-metre waves. In these particularly boisterous conditions, Sébastien Josse will likely have to negotiation a rotation of the wind associated with the low pressure system rolling through. Indeed, the N'ly wind will back round to the W on Monday, shifting round to the SW on Tuesday, stirring up what will already be very big seas.
A night of destruction
The chasing pack in the Vendée Globe, which is currently making its way through the gateway into the Indian Ocean, certainly wasn't spared last night in the rough weather. Sadly, as morning dawned, a fresh retirement was announced, the fifth of this 8th edition. Spirit of Yukoh skippered by Kojiro Shiraishi dismasted last night and so the race loses its only Japanese sailor, a big-hearted man, whose poetic approach and tales of the sea will be greatly missed. Closer to Edmond de Rothschild, towards the head of the fleet, the skipper of Maître CoQ has also been having issues since his mainsail dropped to the deck in the storm due to a faulty hook. Jérémie Beyou has since put the race to one side whilst he attempts to find solutions to effect repairs.
Four weeks gone already
This Sunday at 12:00 GMT, the twenty-four sailors still racing in the Vendée Globe celebrated the end of their fourth week of racing. After twenty-eight days at sea, Sébastien Josse has actually covered 10,885.49 nautical miles at an average speed of 16.1 knots. Along the great circle route this represents 40.89% of the total round the world course.
Ranking on 4 December at 17:00 GMT
1. Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire VIII) 13,753.3 miles from the finish
2. Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) 48.5 miles behind the leader?
3. Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) 586.3 miles behind the leader
4. Paul Meilhat (SMA) 1,168.4 miles behind the leader
5. Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) 1,430.6 miles behind the leader ?
6. Yann Eliès (Queguiner Leucémie Espoir) 1,696.4 miles behind the leader
7. Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel - Virbac) 1,982.3 miles behind the leader
Gitana, entering into the legend at the Nautic de Paris
From this weekend and through till 11 December, the Paris International Boat Show is open at the Porte de Versailles. A key annual gathering of yachting professionals, the Nautic is an unmissable rendez-vous for offshore racing protagonists.
In 2016, Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild are celebrating the 140th anniversary of their family's passion for sailing through the legendary history of the Gitana fleet. In order to mark this anniversary date and honour what has been a truly exceptional season of sport, with the notable participation of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild in the prestigious Vendée Globe, the owners of Gitana Team were keen to share their maritime heritage with as many people as possible and present today's sailing as a challenge of tomorrow via a unique exhibition. Christened Gitana, entering into the legend, this creative and recreational installation spans 200m2 and is a genuine invitation to travel which is based around themes that are as accessible to adults as they are to children.
The Nautic is the final opportunity to view the exhibition in 2016. Don't hesitate to pay us a visit in Hall 1 stand L46.
And before your visit you can download the mobile application for the exhibition by visiting www.gitana-team.com/140ans