Choosing a Southern Route

While the leaders sail in the trade winds, the second part of the fleet still has to fight with the squalls and the light winds in the doldrums.

Vendee Globe
The leaders must now pick their route through the southern hemisphere towards the Cape of Good Hope and a low pressure system off Brazil.Vendee Globe

If Louis Burton should now have ended with the doldrums, it is not the same for the competitors behind. We see in this morning's analysis that the doldrums extend again in the South with a lot of activity (red and orange zones). Jean-Pierre Dick confirmed he had squalls with 35-40 knots of wind under the big cumulonimbus clouds present in this zone. The second part of the fleet will again have to fight for a few more hours with alternating squalls, thunderstorms and light winds.

For the leaders, the question is now to optimize their route towards the Cape of Good Hope. They need to position themselves between the low pressure which is off Brazil November 19th (cf 2nd chart). The wind is going to shift gradually north and increases during the coming two days. The routes are going to curve towards the south-east. We already see on the 1100hrs UTC rankings that all the skippers do not have the same

opinion. Some put the indicator on to move to the left more quickly (Edmond de Rothschild, SMA). It allows them to have a shorter route, but at a slower speed. Hugo Boss has chosen a little longer route, but at higher speed, with a better angle. Banque Populaire is following Hugo Boss's trajectory, but is probably temporarily slowed down by a line of squalls which we can spot east of PRB on the sat picture (the little white band). While the leaders sail in the trade winds, the second part of the fleet still has to fight with the squalls and the light winds in the doldrums. We shall see in a few days which was the best choice: a longer route at a higher speed or a shorter one at a slower speed.