VENDEE GLOBE – Current routings have the two leaders reaching Cape Horn at around 1800-1930hrs roughly on the night of Tuesday January 1st. To the advantage of Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and François Gabart (MACIF) is that the nights at these latitudes are short and so they should have a maximum amount of daylight on their approach and winds are not expected to be too fierce, so their ice watch should be helped.
Presently Jean-Pierre Dick is probably going to be around 18-20 hours behind, maybe slightly more but that will be quite encouraging for the Virbac-Paprec skipper.
By the same routings Alex Thomson is reckoned to be on a schedule which would have him three days behind and Jean Le Cam about 5 days behind the leader. These are of course theoretical routings based on weather files which are current but will change over coming days.
Four years ago Michel Desjoyeaux passed with Roland Jourdain eight hours and 50 minutes behind. About two days behind them were Le Cléac’h and Vincent Riou who dismasted just after Cape Horn. Marc Guillemot, rounding fifth, was about seven days behind Desjoyeaux. At Cape Horn Brian Thompson was sixth and about 10 days behind. Rich Wilson was 21 days and 10 hours behind at Cape Horn and Austrian Norbert Sedlacek rounding eight days or so after the American Wilson.
At present the leaders Banque Populaire and Macif are round about three days ahead of the record held by Michel Desjoyeaux. And so it is still looking like the winner might have a chance of breaking 80 days.