Vendee Globe - Leaders navigate southerly route on Day 7

Javier Sanso - Vendee Globe 2012
On the seventh day of the Vendee Globe things are starting to shape up as the fleet of leaders take on a southerly route to further stretch their lead over the rest of the pack. Cheminées Poujoulat’s skipper Bernard Stamm has already overtaken Macif’s Francois Gabart for second place but yo-yo race is expected in the coming days.

Javier Sansó (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) was making 13 knots this morning and leaving the shelter of the Canary Islands and therefore seems likely to have successfully recovered his main halyard and hoisted his mainsail. We will hopefully hear from Sansó about the climb up his 100ft mast later on the live broadcast (1230-1315hrs French time, with the English audio available soon after).

Sansó reached the northeast side of Tenerife on Friday night and looked to have found a calm sport with the altitude of the island giving him plenty of shelter from the 6-10 knot winds from the northwest.
Sansó is 13th place over 500 miles the lead group.

He seems not to have anchored and was making 1 to 3 knots through the night. But Vendée Globe skippers can anchor in a bay to repair. The rules that govern this 60ft IMOCA class of boat are strict about anchorages: The total weight of the anchor, including the chain, must be greater than or equal to 75kg. The Anchor must be sealed (like the engine) and if used a penalty may be applied by the race jury. The skipper must not receive any assistance (except strictly limited medical support).

Meanwhile of the two boats out of the race: Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée) who abandoned yesterday morning after his collision with a fishing boat on Wednesday, arrived in La Coruña and Sam Davies (Savéol), out after dismasting on Thursday night, is approaching Madeira.

Fleet news: As the lead boats drag race south in 15 knot north easterly winds, Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) has taken second place from Francois Gabart. The seven boats at the head of the race have all converged on virtually the same route. But Vincent Riou (PRB) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3), still lie slightly west and they are the only two not to have lost significant miles to Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire). But a yo-yo effect may take place again, as it did with Gabart, as Cléac’h has hit a light patch of wind that the forecast suggests may strengthen by the time the other boats arrive.

One hundred miles east, but bearing southwest to converge with the pack, Mike Golding (Gamesa) was not joking when he said that he would rather be where the other boats were, as he and Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) lost around 70 miles overnight.

Vendee Globe website