The skippers might compare the current weather conditions in the Vendee Globe to a game of chance or Russian Roulette, but Josse’s tactics at the front of the sailing fleet seem more like a game of chess.

The BT skipper wrestled the lead off the masterful Loïck Peyron, only for Peyron to inch ahead in the rankings. But it looks like Josse has learned a few tricks from the grand master himself, as today’s Vendee Globe tactics saw Josse head first from the east of the pack towards the south-west, staying in the best of the breeze, then tack back to position himself at the front of the fleet, pulling directly ahead of Peyron and third-placed Armel Le Cléac’h sailing Brit Air.

These close-quarters tactics led some skippers to say, “It’s like racing in Quiberon Bay” today — after 19 days and almost 5,000 miles of sailing they are still neck and neck, to be expected during a coastal race maybe, but not an ocean marathon. The leading nine Vendee Globe boats remain within 50 miles as they dive dead south — all except Jean Le Cam, currently showing fourth in this evening’s rankings, who has taken a south-easterly course of 117 degrees. Whether this is a brief response to a squall, or a strategy to head straight for the Cape of Good Hope — currently some 1,600 miles away, we can only wait and see…

Behind the Vendee Globe front-runners the game appears simpler — climb as many miles on the boats in front as possible, with Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and Dee Caffari (Aviva, GBR) both gaining over 60 miles from yesterday, and Jonny Malbon (Artemis, GBR) taking over 100 miles out of the front runners’ lead. But the boat that’s clocked up the most miles since the last position report (at 1000hrs GMT)? Steve White (GBR) in the venerable Toe in the Water, who is also showing the current fastest  Vendee Globe VMG (position update at 1500hrs GMT).

Bringing up the rear of the Vendee Globe fleet, Jean-Baptiste Dejanty — who restarted from Les Sables d’Olonne after a week of repairs — crossed the Equator this morning, putting all 25 racing skippers in the southern hemisphere.


Vendée Globe Top 15 Rankings

See updated results here: Vendée Globe

  1. Sébastien Josse – BT
  2. Loick Peyron, Gitana Eighty
  3. Armel Le Cléac´h – Brit Air
  4. Jean Le Cam – VM Matériaux
  5. Roland Jourdain – Veolia Environnement
  6. Yann Eliès – Generali
  7. Vincent Riou, PRB
  8. Jean-Pierre Dick, Paprec Virbac 2
  9. Mike Golding, Ecover 3
  10. Marc Guillemont – Safran
  11. Brian ThompsonPindar
  12. Dominique Wavre – Temenos
  13. Samantha DaviesRoxy
  14. Michel DesjoyeauxFoncia
  15. Dee CaffariAviva
Vendee Globe

Vendee Globe

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Comments
  1. emilyboats says:

    Vendee Globe Rankings

    Updated December 4th 2008

    1. Sébastien Josse – BT
    2. Yann Eliès – Generali
    3. Loick Peyron, Gitana Eighty
    4. Jean-Pierre Dick, Paprec Virbac 2
    5. Roland Jourdain – Veolia Environnement
    6. Jean Le Cam – VM Matériaux
    7. Vincent Riou, PRB
    8. Mike Golding, Ecover 3
    9. Armel Le Cléac´h – Brit Air
    10. Michel Desjoyeaux – Foncia
    11. Marc Guillemont – Safran
    12. Dominique Wavre – Temenos
    13. Brian Thompson – Pindar
    14. Samantha Davies – Roxy
    15. Dee Caffari – Aviva
    16. Bernard Stamm – Cheminées Poujoulat
    17. Arnaud Boissières – Akena Vérandas
    18. Steve White – Toe in the Water (Spirit of Weymouth)
    19. Jonny Malbon – Artemis
    20. Rich Wilson – Great American III
    21. Unai Basurko – Pakea Bizkaia
    22. Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty – Maisonneuve
    23. Derek Hatfield – Algimouss Spirit of Canada
    24. Raphaël Dinelli – Fondation Océan Vital
    25. Norbert Sedlacek – Nauticsport-Kapsch

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