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Vendee Globe leaders round Cape Horn and head for home

January 8, 2009

We have not reported on the Vendee Globe sine December 21st, a long time in the world of round the world ocean racing but now with little more than 6,000 miles to the winning tape the leaders can feel they are on the final leg.

Michel Desjoyeaux on board Foncia has slightly increased his lead over Roland Jourdain in Veolia Environment to approximately 100 miles and they have both now sailed into the Atlantic and are heading north east of Argentina before crossing the Atlantic from the Brazilian coast to the African coast, passing Cape Verde, the Canaries and finally north to France and the finishing line at Les Sables d’Olonne.

But behind them there has been drama – when we last reported Jean Le Cam in VM Materiaux was in third place but on Tuesday his boat capsized as he approached Cape Horn and Le Cam was stuck in the hull. Vincent Riou on board PRB turned to help and in a dramatic and daring rescue was able to throw a rope to Le Cam who on the fourth pass was able to grab hold.

The two skippers carried on round Cape Horn but in a cruel twist of fate PRB was dismasted having passed Cape Horn and is now under tow of a Chilean vessel on its way to port.

This has enabled Armel le Cleac’h in Brit Ait to take third position as he rounded Cape Horn quaffing champagne and he now lies approximately 750 miles behind the race leader.

In the video below from acvor you can watch some of the action from the 2006/07 Vendee Globe which has some frames from rounding Cape Horn – this has to be an extreme past time demanding extreme respect to those individuals who challenge themselves against such extreme elements.

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