Patrice Carpentier sailing his Open 40s VM Materiaux has retired from the OSTAR while Roger Langevin on Branec IV continues to lead the fleet

Things have clamed down on the OSTAR as the leading boats head for the halfway mark. Since the spate of retirements over the weekend only one skipper has reported turning round overnight, Patrice Carpentier on the last but one of the Open 40s VM Materiaux is heading back to France. He has given no reason a present but it would appear that he made the decision to quit on Saturday.

Roger Langevin on Branec IV continues to lead the fleet, still closely followed by the underwear boat Cotonella but, the other member of the trio, Pierre Antoine on Spirit has, overnight taken a course almost due south and has fallen back from the other two on distance to finish.

The leading British skipper at the moment is Steve White on the well used but trusty, Olympian Challenger. At nearly 50ft she is the longest of all the monohulls and is putting this advantage to good effect, Steve is only 180 miles behind the fastest multihulls and 213 miles ahead of the Echo Zulu who is heading the main bulk of the fleet where, ten boats have a mere 162 miles between all of them.

Another British skipper, Stephen Gratten on his 32ft Contessa, has steadily headed north and is now completely on his own nearly 250 miles above the main fleet. Not surprisingly, during his daily report he was asking if anyone else had spotted any whales yet, also, he said he was aiming to be the first skipper to spot an iceberg. He shouldn’t worry, there’s not a lot of competition up there at present.