Mike Golding and Brian Thompson are showing their class as they lead the charge in the TJV

Mike Golding and co-skipper Brian Thompson are showing their mettle – and the potential of Golding’s new Open 60 – by extending an impressive lead as they battle upwind in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Ecover is currently 12 miles and 15 miles respectively ahead of rivals Sill and PRB. Golding and Thompson have led since the first half-mile of the race.

They slowed this morning after a broken batten forced them to hand the mainsail, but they are back up to speed now, hard on the wind in 25 knots and a lumpy sea. This morning, Golding reported:

“It has been so bumpy and wet. Last night we had up to 42 knots and it was really rough. The waves are short, which are really painful for the boat. It has been a good test for the rig, so we are making sure we play it carefully and settle into it all, but it all seems OK.

“As we’ve been given such a good bashing, we’ve really decided to stay quite conservative – it would be stupid to smoke it.”

Vincent Riou and Jérémie Beyou on PRB made a pitstop at Ushant last night to pick up a new trinquette, or staysail, to replace their torn sail. An impressively quick turnaround means the pair, who are among the class favourites, are still lying 3rd.

The sailing instructions, incidentally, allow for any number of stops, provided they are authorised by the race committee, and there is no penalty for this kind of outside assistance.