Day 3 of the Vendee Globe and Brit Alex Thomson has been pulled back into the pack after his gamble to the left of the course did not pay.

It is often true on an inshore course that taking a flyer to one side or other of the course can lead to a huge lead. I lucked out in a RYA Finn qualifier once where a bit of inland experience and a pun on the wrong end of the line put me 10 boat lengths ahead at the windward mark.
However trying this out on the ocean can lead to being in the wrong weather system. Or even on the other less favourable side. So maybe it is best to stay conservative when the stakes are so high.

In terms of a long ocean leg of the course the flyer could only go as far as the Portugease coast so it was impossible to get the other side of the weather system then ride it further down the track aft er gybing back the other way. But of course Boss had to gybe as there was land in the way.

The punt worked in the short term with Alex pulling ahead but as the last 24 hour have played out he has lost the wind more quickly and not had such a favourable angle.
A steady decent through the places to 8th is the result.

However, I suggest there may be a more long term strategy in play and that the gybe east was the first move in the game of being furhest east when the trade winds start nearer the Canaries. It is true also that if you look at the tracker Hugo Boss is pretty much level with Banque Populaire although the great circle nature of the route puts him 30.8nm behind.

As flyers go Pieter Heerma and Enda O’Coineen back in 25th and 26th are perfectly placed to take advantage of the wind on the left hand side of the track. The should move up a few places but that close to Africa could raise the spectre of pirates.

Time will only tell on this one.

Vendee Tracker day 3 morning

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