master and commander

master and commander

It seemed Michel Desjoyeaux would have a long battle catching back up to the Barcelona World Race Fleet after his emergency pit stop in Brazil, but the past few days have shown Le Professeur to once again be schooling everyone else.  Mich and co-skipper Francois Gabard’s stop put them in the idea spot – the West – to take advantage of stronger breeze and a better angle to the first turning mark at Gough Island.  In the meantime, the tightly compressed Eastern fleet languished in 5 knots or less and squalls for the past three days, and now Desjoyeaux has ‘buffalo gal-ed‘ them all and regained the lead in amazing fashion. 

Foncia’s move is reminiscent of the big move Mich made in 2008 when he opened up a Vendee Globe lead he would keep until the finish.  There’s still ¾ of the world to go around, but if Foncia gets through the area before the growing high pressure system swallows up the rest of the fleet, we might be looking at game over before it’s begun.  Only Jean-Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron – just a few miles behind Foncia – could remain to challenge, and they lose miles with every sched.

Three’s A Crowd

There are two other ‘races’ about to begin this week; Banque Populaire V is on alert for a likely weekend departure to take on the Jules Verne (overall round-the-world) course.  Pascal Bidegorry and 24 others need to average almost 25 knots to beat Groupama’s amazing 50 day run, but the boat can certainly do it and the skipper is every bit the brilliant sailor that Cammas is.  Follow the latest news in the Ocean Racing Anarchy thread here.

At the same time, Thomas Coville is ready for his departure as well on Sodeb’O, the sexy singlehanded trimaran that is the sister ship to Majan, the boat that Sydney Gavignet was plucked from in November when her ama broke off during the Route Du Rhum.  Coville’s team has checked everything out as carefully as possible, and Thomas is confident in the boat and in his team’s preparation – but there’s gotta be a tiny doubt there somewhere, and beating Joyon’s incredible record is going to require near perfection or a leap forward in technology.  So Coville will go for perfection.  Thread has just started, click here to check it out.

If these guys go for it, we’ll set up a pool for the date and time when they pass the BWR leaders.  Might make for a nice change of scenery for everyone! The Barcelona World Race thread is still the most interesting thing on the SA forums right now.  Keep an eye on it here.