Thomson marks time with 60hrs sailing time left in race
With around 60hrs sailing left in the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race, British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader Armel Le Cleac’h in Banque Populaire V.
According to the latest positions (as of 0500FR or 0400UTC) the two competitors were almost on the latitude of the finish at Les Sables d’Olonne but the optimum route recommends the race leader sail almost to the Scilly Isles, before tacking to lay the finish at les Sables just north of La Rochelle on the western coast of France.
Yesterday at the 2200hrs report, Thomson sailing Hugo Boss was 85nm astern of Le Cleac’h and sailing at 2kts faster. He was expected to sail down his French rival but for much of the last 20 hours the margin has remained constant.
There was one consolation prize for Thomson – the news that the had set a new 24hour solo sailing record of up 536.8 miles improving the previous mark by 2nm.
While the course from Predictwind is radical, the shortest route to Les Sables is directly to windward going into an area of light winds, and with winds then expected to strengthen and be directly on the nose.
The race is still predicted to finish on Thursday evening local time.
The yachts are recommended to tack for Les Sables at around 1700hrs UTC and will close reach in winds averaging 23kts to the finish.
by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZ