Dominique has stepped up the pace over the last 48 hours to pass Jean Le Cam and catch up with Mike Golding, the leader of the chasing pack. The three pursuers are racing very tightly together now.
“We are currently sailing a very difficult stretch,” says Dominique. “We are skirting the southern edge of a high and the wind is very erratic and difficult to predict. I am very pleased with the progress I have made over the last three days though, my strategy paid off and the boat speed has been excellent.”
Could his light air and tactical experience from Lake Geneva be the reason? He laughs out loud: “No way, not at all! We are in the southern Indian Ocean in big seas; there is nothing similar in that. Over the last couple of days I have used every one of my big sails, I have done nothing but manoeuvre and peel sails. I am glad though because it has paid off!”
The current conditions are far from typical of the Southern Ocean: “Apart from the temperature, you could be in the Trades; the weather is fine and the sea is a sparkling blue. Last night the stars were spectacular, one of the advantages of a high pressure system in the Southern Ocean: the skies are extraordinary.”
The medium term forecast is hard to predict, although Dominique believes that the high pressure will move on and the westerly will eventually set in again.