Day 4 of the Vendee Globe and Brit Alex Thomson is suffering from his gybe toward the Portugal.

Although at the time it looked like a good move, once the forecast changed the short term gains have turned into big losses. It was a surprise when Boss gybed away from the drag race to the Canaries and Alex ended up in the kind of no mans land where you just drift back into the same area of the rest of the fleet but behind the leader. If he had stuck at it he would be in far stronger winds with a great angle that would see boat speeds of 20kts +. Instead sadly he is playing catch up with proabbly the need to make a big race winning move later on.
This also means pushing harder which with these boats could end in breakages.

In the meantime the race leaders are getting into the better wind and starting to heat up the speed. The rich get richer.

I did consider who is Hugo Boss weather router. And then I thought “Hang on, are they even allowed routers”. And guess what. Weather routing is strictly prohibited.
So the skipper has to do it all by themselves with the information that is publicly available to everyone.

It reminds me of the time we had a router in the Middle Sea Race.
He was sending us emails via the sat phone with custom weather gribs attached. But I could not get them to load into our Nav package.
It was only when we finished and I had time and a stable platform to look at it and realised when I panned out that the gribs files worked. The were just for the wrong place by about 300 miles.

Our two men at the back of the fleet have taken some places and kept more left than any body else. They clearly are banking on leaving Madeira to port and sailing into the strong winds closer to the coast. Their gains will not be as big in the older previous generation boats as they don’t have the modern tech foils to help with the top speeds but they should quickly rise up the ranking as they pick up speeds. One Planet One Ocean is stin in les Sables d’Olonne where it sounds like all of its electronics are being replaced before a restart.

Update 12:30

As off 11:00UTC position report it is clear that Hugo Boss is now in the second group of boats (see second image below). It is going to take something very special to close the gap and get ahead but if any one can pull it out of the bag Alex Thomson can.

Vendee Tracker day 4 morning

©Vendee Globe 2016

Vendee Tracker day 4 1100UTC

©Vendee Globe 2016