Fotogalerie Teil 2|
Video Nandor Einlauf
News > The long way home
With Nandor Fa celebrating his first night on dry land, ten sailors are still dreaming of stepping ashore. Eric Bellion has less than a thousand miles to sail to get to Les Sables d’Olonne, where he is expected on Sunday. Less than 300 miles behind, Conrad Colman can also see the finish drawing near. Two skippers are still in the southern hemisphere (Pieter Heerema and Sébastien Destremau), but the Dutchman is expected to cross the Equator tonight.
An incredible spirit: Nandor Fa delighted with eighth
Storm for Eric Bellion and Conrad Colman
Eric Bellion (COMMEUNSEULHOMME)
© Jean-Marie Liot / C1SH
As forecast, Eric Bellion (CommeUnSeulHomme) is sailing in strong winds (30-35 knots) NE of the Azores, on his way towards Cape Finisterre. In the 0400 rankings, he had 935 miles left to sail, after already clocking up almost 27,000 since the start 95 days ago. Less than 300 miles behind, Conrad Colman (Foresight Natural Energy) also has to deal with this deep low-pressure system. The New Zealander talked last night about "the calm before the storm" and the "nervous anticipation" of what lies ahead. Bellion and Colman are at least making good headway towards the finish at around 14 or 15 knots.
At the latitude of the Canaries, Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline) and Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest-Matmut) are heading east to deal woith the very variable winds in the transition zone. Fabrice Amedeo: “I’ll be on a strange heading and it’s going to be frustrating over the coming days. After Friday evening, I should be able to head for home along the edge of the high and then sail upwind towards the Bay of Biscay.”
The routes taken by Alan Roura (La Fabrique) and Rich Wilson (Great American IV) are clearer. Both sailors are heading north in decent trade winds from the ENE. That should last for a few more days. Conditions are similar for Didac Costa (One Planet One Ocean) and Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys), who are only 25 miles apart this morning.
At 0400hrs UTC, Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) was just 230 miles from the Equator. The Dutch skipper should be back in the northern hemisphere tonight, but later today, he will have to deal with the effects of the Doldrums. It is looking hard for Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-faceOcean), who has to sail upwind in light conditions off the coast of Brazil. Some small consolation for him is that he now has less than 5000 miles left to sail before the finish…
?Rich Wilson (Great American IV): “The trade winds have been moderate so far, which is far easier on the boat and skipper. Nonetheless, there have been some tremendous crashes that rattle every corner and joint of the boat. I sleep flat on my back. If I roll onto either my left side or my right, I risk rolling forward or aft in one of the big crashes going over a big wave. So either my spine goes into the edge of the chart table, or my face. So I sleep, or doze, or rest, or whatever, on my back. I have a soft helmet. It’s way too hot for here in the tropics, but I wore it last night anyway, to try to protect my head while sleeping. The real helmet that I do have is too uncomfortable for sleeping.Going to either end of the boat in these conditions is frankly dangerous. Even if I’m in shorts for the heat, I put on foul weather gear pants, plus the helmet, with the full lexan visor.”
?Conrad Colman (Foresight Natural Energy): “The calm before the storm is quite a nice place to be, were it not for the nervous anticipation of what is yet to come! Blue skies and sparkly seas and a slowly building wind have made for ideal conditions to finish my jobs list and I have climbed the mast to increase the height of the jury rigged VHF antenna so I have more range and have also fixed the wind instruments (again!). I'm now on the tack that will take me into the southern edge of the big depression that is hurtling across the Atlantic and I should get a good shove without it getting too wild.”
© Pieter Heerema/ Vendée Globe
Pieter Heerema (No Way Back): “Clearly getting closer to the Equator and Doldrums: the air is getting much more moist. Wind is above expectations and also since yesterday evening turned more right. This has given the opportunity to go higher / more East and at same time maintain very good speed. The Doldrums look horrible on the gribs all over the Atlantic so I take a chance to stay a bit more east. Destremau will not catch up unless major technical issue, and the 2 boats ahead have had a good but much more West passing of the Doldrums. I reckon that going more East will give me a lateral advantage after and maybe depending what happens in a few days, I can also turn the inside corner if the wind shifts right. But the future is very unclear. The grib models completely disagree the last few days.”