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November 30, 2008 @ 19:56:03   Foto Photos by © Benoit Stichelbaut / Algimouss

The sailors are not yet beyond the reach of the high-pressure area

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So it looks like a few gybes are in order to get through this tunnel, whilst the skippers choose their strategy — to keep going further east, or head south towards the bigger breezes. Those who are close to the high like Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) may find it difficult to avoid the calms above 38°S and has dropped three places in 24 hours, while those at the front — like Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) and the leader Sébastien Josse (BT) — are not certain of finding enough pressure to make their getaway.
Currently Mike Golding (Ecover, GBR) is heading the furthest south, whilst the distances between the leading group creeps up once again — Ecover is now in ninth place, 100 miles behind Seb Josse (BT), who has headed first east, now south-east. The skippers are likely to keep their movements under wraps or the next day or so — to reach the 20-knot NW'ly flow they will have to get down to between 39° and 40° S, just north of the latitude of the first ice gate.
Behind the nine frontrunners, the situation looks simpler: as the wind is more stable in strength and in direction.  That is proving advantageous for the hunters like Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia), who is speeding towards the leading group downwind, and has now overhauled Sam Davies on Roxy (GBR) to move into 13th place. Roxy seems to be entering the ridge of the high pressure, and should be exiting the anticyclone over the next 6-8 hours.


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