The current estimated time of finish is Monday night

Although Ellen MacArthur’s lead over Francis Joyon’s record has dropped to 1 day 23 hours overnight it seems that she’s through the worst of the gale force winds and will now be able to concentrate on squeezing every inch of speed from B&Q as she heads for the Ushant finish line.

At 0700 this morning she had just 371 miles to go and was making 11.9kts in a lively 25kt breeze. Earlier this morning Commanders’ Weather sent this message to MacArthur explaining the weather situation: “The worst is probably over but winds will continue squally in nature as they diminish and shift right. Looks like you are thru the worst conditions and average wind speeds will continue to diminish next 6-12 hours. Breeze will continue squally in nature though so peaks and lulls will continue pending clouds and squalls. Direction will slowly shift right over 6-12 hours and will force you south of east for a time later today and tonight. You should run in to shift at 03z Monday at 7 west.”

Interestingly MacArthur is just a few miles away from two of the Vendee Globe boats – Temenos (Dominique Wavre) and Seb Josse (VMI) who are currently in fourth and fifth places respectively heading for their finish line at Les Sables d’Olonne in France.

To finish ahead of the record (before 0704 on Wednesday morning) MacArthur needs an average VMG of 5.2kts. The current estimated time of arrival is now Monday night.