9th Vendée Globe
After 16 days of racing, Boris Herrmann has reached the South Atlantic Ocean. Steady south-east trade winds and a stable Saint Helena High allowed fast sailing for several days. It was a real drag race to the south and Boris defended his 7th place very confidently since crossing the equator.
Thanks to his attentive navigation and good positioning while approaching a front extending off the Brazilian coast, Boris has been holding a strong 6th place for days now. He is currently racing at close quarters with competitor Yannick Bestaven (Maître Coq IV), who is no more than 2 nautical miles ahead in 5th place at today’s 12:00 position report.
The upcoming hours and days will be tactically highly challenging for the skippers. The usual low pressure “train”, that was supposed to take them all the way across the South Atlantic, didn’t show up. In fact, Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco and the other close IMOCAs, who are 1000 nautical miles south-east of Rio de Janeiro, have been left stranded in the desert of the South Atlantic, caught in shifting and very light winds. No low pressure in sight for now. “It’s a strange feeling”, admitted Boris, “imagine you are sitting on the side of the road and thinking if you are ever going to be picked up”.
Within the next 48 hours, the wind is expected to increase, and the fleet will start moving at a faster pace again. Up until then, Boris has to be patient with his current 13 knots boat speed and continue to sail focused as he has been doing so far. Sometimes the calmer the winds the more the mind rages – this is the real mental test for these ocean sailors.