Places continue to trade in Vendée Globe race


Out in front, it was touch and go for Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats to break its own race record for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, but in the end it bettered it own time by 17 mns 8 secs to notch up a new time of 1d 18m 23min 12 sec. She also took line honours for being the first yacht to cross the finish for the sixth time, and was so far ahead that she could also win the whole race on handicap despite being, at 100 feet, one of the largest of the 77 starters in the race.

Though the entrance to the finish up the Derwent River can be notoriously tricky, with often light winds in Storm Bay, Oats had only minutes in hand entering the final phase. The final margin was 17 mins.

To the south, the two leaders in the Vendée Globe singlehanded, non-stop round the world race, Armel le Cléac’h and François Gabart continue to trade the number one place as they approach the big turn at Cape Horn. Jean-Pierre Dick holds on to third as Bernard Stamm slips down the fleet having sailed north from the Auckland Islands to anchor just north of Dunedin for a second attempt to repair his water-powered electricity generators. Dick was catchinh up as the front pair slowed, as was  Alex Thomson firmly in fourth place. Stamm’s demise has allowed Mile Golding to climb up to sixth.

Henry (always known as Mr Henri) Strzelecki, the Polish war hero decorated by both Britain and Poland in 1946, and who founded the Henri Lloyd sailing and sports clothing company in Manchester in 1963, died peacefully aged 87.