Jean Le Cam has a faultless passage through 'Le Pot Noir' although the gap astern of him has closed up.

The front runners are now in the Southern Hemisphere having had a relatively straightforward passage through the Doldrums or, as the French call them, ‘Le Pot Noir’. The fleet is still headed by Jean Le Cam in Bonduelle whose strategy so far has been flawless, closely followed by Vincent Riou sailing last Vendee winner PRB, proving that the earlier generation boats are still fast.

On his heels is Sebastien Josse’s VMI whilst a further 50 miles back is Sill Veoila, Bonduelle’s sistership sailed by Roland Jourdain. The first British sailor Mike Golding is up to 5th at the expense of Alex Thomson who has slipped back from being with the front runners to having a 97 mile deficit. Golding’s strategy of staying well to the west is starting to pay off and, as the St Helena High drifts eastward, he is likely to enjoy stronger and freer winds than those to the east, so his earlier westward gamble may, ultimately be a winner.

Australian Nick Moloney has been having a difficult time in the Doldrums and is back in 12th position whilst Conrad Humphreys has overcome his many early problems, including losing his best spinnaker, to notch up the second best 24 hour run in the fleet and is now within sight of Skandia.