Monday, January 16, 2017


16 January 2017: As this epic race around the world draws to a conclusion, the top spot is still undetermined. And interestingly, the top two contenders for top honors are English and French. And records are falling; Alex Thompson (British) sailing his slightly damaged HUGO BOSS, smashed the world record for the greatest distance sailed in a 24 hour period: 536.8 nautical miles at an average speed of 22.4 knots! And by the way, these boats are NOT catamarans. I am sure Captain Thompson was thrilled that the record he topped had been held by a Frenchman! 

The Frenchman Thompson is currently battling for the win is Armel Le Cleac'h aboard Banco Populaire VIII, and he has led the race since 2 December. 

Hugo Boss flying through Southern Ocean

Thompson is catching up despite losing his starboard daggerboard when he hit an unknown submerged object. And he is only 78 miles behind! The finish is expected on or about 19 January in the Vendee port of Les Sables d'Olonne. To put all of this in perspective, 9,000 nm separate the leader from the "tail end Charlie" in a race of some 24,000 miles non stop from Les Sables d'Oloone, south around Cape of Good Hope (Africa) then east around past Australia, through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn. Then up the Atlantic back to the starting point. Did I mention these 60' vessels are single handed?!

Here's a glimpse of what these amazing sailors and their vessels are capable of:  click here:Vendee Globe in the Southern Ocean.

When the race ends, we will try to remember to post the winner! 

Until next time, 
                                   Fair Winds,
                                         Old Salt

PS Maritime Maunder has now surpassed 40,000 readers! Stunned, I am! 

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