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You’ve been sailing so fast that we haven’t noticed that the Virtual Vendée Globe forerunners are now sailing in the West. 10,200 of you have nowadays crossed the antemeridian. This 180° longitude, opposite to the Greenwich Meridian, marks the coming back in the West; it means also that many of you are now getting closer to les sables D’olonne instead of getting further away from. But this navigation on the planet’s greatest ocean does not mean laxity.

It‘s been indeed more than 2 days that the leading pack has crossed the line where East meets West. Now the GPS is pointing West – and not Eastward anymore. This also means sailing back toward the Sable d’Olonne as the Half-race (12,310 NM) is already far behind. But the sailors won’t have any trouble with time or date change because there is no time lag in virtual sailing.

The top spot is still fiercely contested and in the morning of this race’s 39th day, Leszek2011 the Pole just seized back the lead ahead of Margael and Nougaro. In the South, Leszek2011 and Nougaro are sailing along the Ice Exclusion Zone, when Margael and Hurricane (4th) are more up North. But today’s news is the fleet forerunners’ huge slow down. Still heading Eastward, this armada is sailing in a 4 to 5 kts wind for 8 kts speeds. The gaps between the main pack of the fleet and the frontrunners should narrow in the next hours, as the slow conditions will last for the race’s leaders. Within 48 hours, a disturbed zone will provide easterly winds, which will mean upwind beating. It definitely will be the first time since the start that the boats will sail under this point of sail. Much further away, two big lows are still hitting some of you. The first one is in the South of New Zealand, and the second in the North of the Kerguelen Islands. With a good wind angle, the boat’s speeds are very nice, allowing fast headway and gaining ranks.

VR News in the race

Many of you know her. The VR News boat, currently ranked 17,625th is sailing in the East of the Campbell Islands, South of New Zealand. In the last 5 days, well positioned to the storm that hit this part of the race, VR News has won almost 11,000 places. She’s escorted on her route by many players who share this outstanding adventure amid rebellious highs and wild lows. Side to side with Jean Michel Bayle and right ahead of Camille (15 y.o.) who’s cruising with us since the Sable d’Olonne or joshuareibel, therequin, and many others, VR News is trying to make her course as you do and still hopes fiddle some ranks.

The messages that you post thru the boat’s mailbox are similar to VHF calls but there is no channel jamming here; you can keep on emitting as much as you want.

Sailors Words
Jimmy be Good
Hi VR News, I’m seriously irritated about some things I not understand? Last Night I sailed with 25Kts Boatspeed on optimal white Line…and lost 4500 Places…this game is sick.
Hell, does the simulation use orthodromic routes as the shortest distance between two points or is it a purely 2D chart ?? Thanks (Editor’s Note: Yes, it does use orthodromic routes as the shortest distance between two points)
Hi VR news. Finally close enough for the vhf .Vile night at sea. Time to retreat below with whiskey bottle. Virts get good deal on sea state
laser beam
going to beat you

Why no boat is moving in the past one hour or so?
If you happen to pass by the VR news boat, do not hesitate to leave a message; this vessel is the link between the players and the editors. As we already have told, the huge success of the boat does not allow us to answer all your questions. As news go by, we’ll bring you some solutions, advises, answers, and all this kind of things…

Source: Vendee Globe

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