The leaders are fighting it out for the BPE Trophée, with Sam Davies on Skandia slipping back to fourth position

Only 32 miles separates the top ten boats in the BPE Trophée, making it one of the closest finishes ever seen in a transatlantic race. British sailor Sam Davies on Skandia has slipped back to fourth place, only four miles behind Bostik but with Atao Audio System tailing her by only .6 miles.

Race leader Credit Maritime-Zerotwo has pulled away and is 16 miles ahead of Cercle Vert in second.

At the 1900hrs position report last night, Skandia moved up to second. But with the five leading boats now within 22 miles of each other, a lot of position shuffling leaves Skandia back in fourth this morning. More place changing is expected today as the fleet continue to compress averaging speeds between five and seven knots.

Skandia was not alone on the water yesterday, after spending the afternoon sailing alongside Bostik with Cercle Vert just in front. Sam said: “It’s quite nice to gauge my speed against them, and it was good to have Gildas and Charles next to me because they’re really fast!”

Conditions are forecasted to improve today as the sea breeze fills in later on. The next 36 hours will see the fleet gybing downwind that should create easier sailing conditions.

With such a tight race, the skippers are feeling the heat and living on minimal sleep. Sam Davies comments on the conditions:

“I think I might melt if it gets any hotter! The thermometer registered 43 degrees C today (in the sunshine) the one in the cabin was 36. I think I drank at least five litres of water / isostar today!

“For me last night was the hardest night of the race. I was tired and stressed to see everyone behind catching up like that. It is so hard when you work hard and sail well to get ahead, then it is all for nothing as you get an unlucky break with the weather and everyone else catches up. Also there was little wind! ?

“Only 382 nm to go! But we are only doing 4.5 knots over the ground. There is one knot of current against us. So we could still be out here for four days! We are all checking we have enough water to last. I have more than 20 litres, so I will be OK – even if I drink five a day!”