Vendée Globe: update 19Nov20

Catch up with all the latest from the British skippers, plus news on the rest of the fleet.

Race leader Alex Thomson has passed the equator as previous race favourite Jérémie Beyou, Charal, attempts to catch-up.

“I’m not progressing very fast,” Beyou says. “I’m going between 8 and 20 knots, it’s very unstable. It’s a bit weird because I’m used to having other boats around not too far away from me, so I don’t know if you can call it racing, but it’s good to be back at sea.

“I always have one eye on the boat. But everything looks OK at the moment. I’m a bit on tenterhooks.”

Here’s some footage of the skippers in the Doldrums.

Alex Thomson is ‘trucking along very nicely’

“Great to cross the equator, great to be back in the trade winds and out of the Doldrums and great to be doing it in first place.” (21.13 18Nov20)

Sam Davies is using AIS to keep tabs on competitors

“In this region, the situation can change very quickly, and you are never safe from a bad surprise,” says Davies’ team.  “The anxiety is getting stuck under a cloud while only a few miles away, a competitor takes off. 

“In this little game, Sam has a major advantage: a pilot fish, since Louis Burton is undoubtedly within range of AIS, the system for detecting other boats. 

“Sam can therefore see in real time if Louis is still moving forward or if he is stopped under a squall that he would have to bypass. This type of information can be decisive at night, and no doubt Sam pays special attention to it. 

“A new race of speed will engage in the southern hemisphere with important decisions to be taken to negotiate the high pressure of Saint Helena.” (19.39 18Nov20)

No news from Pip Hare this morning

But, here’s Hare repairs. (18.06 17Nov20)

Miranda Merron supports Beyou rejoining the race

“I find it brave and at the same time quite logical that Jérémie Beyou is going racing again. The investment at all levels for the Vendée Globe is so huge.

“Managing to finish the race is also huge. Not one race looks like another.

“Until the finish line is crossed, the race is not over. And then if all the pretenders to win a race gave up as soon as they realise the victor will be someone else, I don’t know what image it would give to sailors and offshore racing.” (08.39 19Nov20)

Merron enjoying her last fresh yoghurt

Watch yesterday’s race round-up from organisers

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