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Vendée Globe 2016: Week 11

THE question
Last Thursday, Armel Le Cléac’h took first place in the 8th edition of the Vendée Globe and British sailor Alex Thomson taking 2nd place after an epic battle. Now that the 2 first boats have arrived, the question we hear the most is « When do you think Conrad will hit the dock/ ? ».And that is the one question that drives the Kiwi skipper a bit crazy. With more than 4 500 miles to go and weather files that change rapidly, it is impossible to have a accurate estimated time of arrival (the ETA). Once Conrad has passed the Equator, it will be easier to guess and we’ll keep you updated.

Upwind bound
With the  enthusiasm of passing Cape Horn wearing off, Conrad continues to head North where he is confronted by upwind conditions. While going up South America, boats always have the dreaded upwind stretch. The way the weather systems are established, one has to go upwind before catching the trade winds along the Brazilian coast and heading for the Equator. Last week, Conrad and Eric (just ahead in 9th place) have been struggling upwind in very light conditions, the least favourite conditions for him. Luckily he should enter the Tradewinds later today or tomorrow and benefit from stable winds to reach the Equator sometime next week.

Change
This week has seen many changes. Changes in the weather, from powerful storms to drifting calms. Change in the temperature, from the freezing cold ice-laden southern ocean to sweltering in the sun. Change also in the race as the leaders are home. And finally change in direction, from East to North after the Horn. Adjusting the sails from downwind to upwind positions. Let’s hope this week will bring more wind because seeing Foresight Natural Energy under 10 knots for more than a week is very tiring for everyone’s nerves, both at sea and on land!

This week's figures:
1280 nm
4 756 nm to go
Highest speed: 10 knots
Highest number of nm per day: 235 nm
Tracker: http://tracking2016.vendeeglobe.org/hp5ip0/