This menacing looking thing is a satellite photo and the red and white boats are Beyou and Meilhat, that have a good reason to sail as fast as they can, trying to go faster that monster of a front that is advancing towards them. But I believe it goes faster than what they can go. Beyou has sent a message regarding how things look viewed from his boat:
"Looks like the end of the world before the apocalypse. It's gray, we cannot distinguish the day from the night. Since many hours the crest of the waves smoke, sign that the wind has exceeded 35 knots. Strange feeling: I am afraid to make an error, to break something or to be eaten alive. And at the same time this adrenaline of being here to challenge the elements. What a crazy race this is. Only on the Vendée Globe you can experience these sensations!"
That front brings with it winds over 60k and huge seas. Well, they have to look it on the bright side, if all goes well, that big storm will make them win a lot of miles over the two first. Easy to say from my chair LOL.
Regarding the ones that were in trouble yesterday, they all managed to bring their boats intact out of the worst of the storm, being Le Cam the one that played better, losing less time, with his strategy of going slowly keeping the worst of the storm ahead. Jean-Pierre Dick decided to make a tour around Tasmania, losing a lot of miles with that but staying safe. He was filmed passing on the Bass strait.
Yann Ellies took the harder decision and slowed down the boat almost to a stop, heaving to and waiting the storm to pass. Jean-Pierre commented that psychologically he would not be able to do that and that's why he preferred keeping sailing, even if he lose more time.
Yann said about him and the storm:
"When I came out of the depression center, 36-48 hours ago, the wind was not too strong, but at some point, there was a large squall with winds over 50 knots. Then I started to became afraid and I chose to heave to. I stayed like that for a while but when I saw that Jean continued to advance, I told myself that I had to go on. Since then I sail with 40 knots average wind and violent squalls, on a big sea.
This morning, I got knocked down by a wave. It stressed me a bit because according to the files, I had not yet gone through the biggest seas and the worst of it. But I had a good surprise and recently the wind began to diminish and the seas stopped growing...
I even got scared, I admit, because when I saw the fury of nature unleashed like this around me and increasing in strength and power, I felt really small. I think the worst is behind now and I feel better, but it is not already over.