Acciona Atlantic comeback in the Vendee Globe





News from the Vendee Globe website:

News Flash:

Sansó makes up 350 miles in two days 

Fleet News:

Thomson opens Atlantic Workshop again

Golding crosses equator for 22nd time

News Flash:

Javier ‘Bubi’ Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) has scorched down the north Atlantic and through the Doldrums as if they were a myth and now has the top of the fleet in his sights. He has made up 350 miles in the last two days after being more than 700 miles off the lead.

On Thursday morning, still averaging 12 knots in the dreaded Doldrums, he caught Bertrand De Broc (Votre nom autour du monde) and poor Arnaud Bossières (Akena Verandas), who has been averaging around five knots for the last day and a half.

Both lie further to the west and whilst that proved successful for Mike Golding’s group of three, it has stalled Bossières even more completely than the way the top six were stalled in the east two days ago. One of the sayings of the Doldrums is that ‘west is best’, but Sansó, the 43-year-old from Majorca, has prospered even further east than the lead group. In his second Vendée Globe after being forced to retire from the 2000-01 edition, is making full use of having one of the six new boats – and the only new British one, by Owen-Clarke design – in the race.

Sansó has been flying south like swallow since he lost two days last week. He had to go up his mast last Saturday to retrieve his main halyard and fix the damage after taking shelter off the coast of Tenerife when his mainsail came down.

“It’s been pretty fast, everything in the Doldrums has been OK so far,  I’m in the middle of a squall right now, but it’s a nice one from an easterly direction, so I’m going pretty fast again.” Sansó said live to Vendée Globe TV in a message to make Boissières chew his mainsail.

“I am hoping it will continue to the other side. It looks like I’ve been a bit lucky this time. I saw at the beginning it look very good (east), I saw Akena was getting stuck and I downloaded some more (weather) models and it was showing a few different things, the European model was showing that this was the right option.

He is banking miles every hour and with the top six facing a potentially complex route east past the Cape of Good Hope, has the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and strike from the back again.

“Coming from the back is sometime a little bit easier, so I think I had a bit of luck and east was a little bit better. We’ll see. When I’m through I will be east of the Mike Golding group. It should be good.

“It’s great to be catching up and maybe I can catch up a bit with the guys in the front. The weather is looking good to gain a few more miles. This is a very fast boat, my position should be a bit more in the front but the problem with the mainsail made me lose a lot of time and miles.”

On Thursday Sansó explained his sleep strategy here.

The only thing that may temporarily halt Sansó is the two-hour penalty he is supposed to take before midnight on Thursday.

Bernard Bonneau, president of the Vendée Globe international jury, explained why the protests and penalties are necessary here.


 

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