Almost 14 days into the race, more than half of the Vendee Globe boats have crossed the Equator...
It's not all been plain sailing though... A great description from Steve White about his time in the Doldrums:
"I have been released from the Doldrums. I thought initially that perhaps I'd escaped punishment, but it was not so. At one point I was trapped under a cloud that filled a 24 mile range radar screen - and boy, did it rain! It was almost Biblical! We just sat in the midst of it with the sails banging and slatting back and forth, which is a sailor's Chinese water torture, with the rain bucketing down. That was the largest of many clouds, but there were very many equally frustrating ones, sometimes with wind in them, and sometimes only with wind at the edges, and nothing but torrential rain and no wind at all in the centre. There were gusts, but never that big, up to about 20 knots usually, but that's enough when you normally have a couple of reefs in and full ballast tanks by that point, and, you've guessed it, it can blow from any direction. It changes direction so frequently that I often had to look at the wind direction from the instruments and make funny angles with my hands to work out which tack I should be on to get me best to where I wanted to go! At some points I was going backwards faster than I'd been going forwards for the preceding few hours! It changed so often it can get confusing if you're tired. It has been really frustrating, and I am not keen to come back, but it is another experience to add to the list. I often imagined what it would be like to come through here in a square rigger. You can see how they got stuck here for weeks, sooner them than me....... When it rained for the first time,which was both a blessed relief from the heat and the chance for a shower for me..."
Rich Wilson, the only American in the race, has a very good website - check out the Saturday Updates Q&A section, and his description here of the traditions of crossing the Equator.
The other sailing story at the moment is that of Mike Perham, who set off last Sunday in an attempt to be the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed. He has stopped briefly in Portugal for some repairs to his boat, but is hoping to be off again soon. Follow his progress on his website here.