The British Empire maintains control of different archipelagos in the southern seas, one of them is Tristan da Cunha, which is nailed at the coordinates 37 ° 06 ′ South and 12 ° 16 West of the South Atlantic. A geographical point of reference for ocean sailors during round-the-world competitions.
The theoretical route of the Vendée Globe 2020-2021 takes you close to its waters, but it does not appear as a passing step, rather as a warning that they are approaching the roaring forty, of positioning before the storms that come to them by the west and still have more than 1,500 miles to enter the Indian Ocean.
In the 2016-2017 edition Alex Thomson went about 50 miles north of these islands with the «Hugo Boss»; At that time he was the leader of the fleet with an advantage of 84 miles over the «Edmond de Rothschild» skippered by Sébastien Josse in second position, and 91.3 miles over the third «Banque Populaire VIII» of Armel Le Cléac´h.
As is usual, Alex Thomson ends up breaking his boats, and in this Vendée Globe 2020-2021 he again has problems aboard his “super atomic ship”, in this case structural. In the last hours it could be seen how the speed of the British IMOCA dropped to 6.6 knots while its rivals sailed at twice their speed in the same weather system.
Thomson is 850 miles east of the Brazilian port of Rio de Janeiro. In contact via satellite with their ground team, the VPLP designers and the structural engineers have been all day yesterday, Saturday (November 21, 2020) discussing what is the technical solution, how to carry out the repair and schedule (this sounds more to conservation of the boat than to continue racing).
Hubert Lemonnier, deputy director of the regatta, sums up the situation: “We know that Alex is in contact with his technical team and the architects to assess the ‘internal damage. A review of the entire boat should be done from front to back. We were informed yesterday at 9 pm At the moment, its course is not disturbed by these concerns, but it is moving at low speed, around 6 knots since last night, which means that it has not decided to turn around ”.
Charlie Dalin, in second place with the «Apivia», has been busy throughout the night due to constant changes in the weather conditions, in wind intensity, direction and some showers. Respect for the problems of your rival Thomson: “I hope it is not so bad and that the extent of the damage is limited. Above all, I hope this does not mean the end of the Vendée Globe for him. We have a great race with him and the trio we form is very stimulating.”.
Jean Le Cam, who is still fourth with his IMOCA without “hydrofoils”, enjoys his position with respect to hunters who chase him with “foils”: “But what a wonderful demonstration, over and over again! The gap has narrowed slightly. The trio lost speed when entering the cold front (a dozen knots for the leader in the early hours of the morning) and because, further north, the hunters still have a little wind and we can advance at more than 14 knots ” .
The difference in miles between the leaders and the group led by Le Cam has been reduced from 300 miles to 274.7 miles at the 05:00 hours today Sunday (November 22, 2020).