Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois lose Transat Jacques Vabre lead but remain positive with 1,300 miles to go 16/11/07

Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois on Ecover have been gobbled up by the effects of the Doldrums and have lost lead in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Golding and Dubois who held a 40 mile lead over Groupe Bel (Kito Pavant and Sebastien Col) yesterday are now in fifth place in the IMOCA class, over 40 miles behind the new leader Foncia ( Michel Desjoyeaux and Emmanuel le Borgne).

Now 13 days into the race it’s quite remarkable however, that there are still only 56 miles between the top six boat which means that the chances of more dramatic position changes within the next few hours are fairly high.

A positive Golding chatting from the boat this morning about the the conditions said: “I think we are out of the worst of it. The breeze is building from the south-east which is good, but it has been a shocking 24 hours for us. We don’t have a huge amount of breeze now, 7 knots or so, but it is more consistent all the way up the rig so we are going along at 8-9 knots at the moment. It has just been slow, we had a couple of stoppages under clouds but that is all. What is good news is that we are pretty headed so that should be good in the context of it (the breeze) spreading across the course to the guys to the right of us. Hopefully the other guys will be headed as well and we take some advantage of our position.”

Meanwhile the Class 40s are making good progress towards the Cape Verde Islands with Telecom Italia (Giovanni Soldini and Pietro D’ali) still leading the fleet with just over 2,000 miles to go. The fleet remains in consistent pressure in the 15kt wind range.

Sopra (Antonie Koch and Gregory Gendron) was the fifth and final ORMA class yacht to cross the Salvador finish line in Brazil just after midnight this morning. The French duo completed the course in 11 days, 11 hours, 23 minutes and 30 seconds – a day and a half after the leading yacht Groupama (Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin) finished the race.

Although Franck Yves Escoffier and Karine Fauconnier on Crepes Whaou! are still leading the Class 50 fleet by over 100 miles they are struggling to find speed as they make their way through the Doldrums. Second placed Victorien Erussard and Frederic Dahirel on Laiterie de Saint Malo however, are sounding positive about their position. Erussard chatting about the tactics through the Doldrums said: “We decided to cross between 27 degrees and 28 degrees of western longitude, 120 miles more in the west than Whaou! rather than follow her through. After the Doldrums the last straight line towards El Salvador de Bahia should be should be windy which is the preferred pace of our trimaran.”