Race leaders Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux are dismasted 1100nm from the finish

Whilst leading the IMOCA Open 60 Class of the Transat Jacques Vabre two handed race from Le Harvre to Itajai, Brasil MACIF was dismasted around 0000hrs UTC on Wednesday (into Thursday) night whilst sailing some 140 miles from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. French co-skippers Francois Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux immediately informed Race Direction so they could warn shipping in the area in order that could avoid colliding with MACIF. Both sailors are reported to be safe and sound and have secured the boat by cutting away the rig. They are headiing towards Salvador de Bahia.

The new race leaders are Vincent Riou and jean Le Cam aboard PRB who have a 62nm mile lead over second placed Marc Gullemot and Pascal Bidegorry as the fleet makes its way along the Brazilian coast to the finish in Itajai.

Meanwhile in the Class 40 fleet the nine leading boats in the 23 boat fleet are expected to squeeze up as they get into the Doldrums. Leaders Sebastien Rogues and Fabien Delahaye aboard GDF Suez are not expected to have it easy as they get into the difficult, changeable conditions. Mare, sailed by Jorg Riechers and Pierre Brasseur, are only about three hours behind while the Spanish duo Alex Pella and Pablo Santurde on Tales Santander 2014 are only another 10 hours or so behind them. They have been very quick since the Canary Islands, as have the Austrians Christof Petter and Andreas Hannakamp on Vaquita who are now up in fourth. But largely it should still be a first in-first out situation, emerging into the SE’ly trade winds.