Vincent Riou struggling to retain Calais Round Britain and Ireland Race lead in closing stages of race 12/6/07

Vincent Riou, leader of the Calais Round Britain and Ireland Race, is now just 70 miles from the finish line but in the extremely light winds off the Suffolk coast he could see his 40-mile diminish over the next few hours. He’s been struggling since the early hours in just 5kts of wind and now seems to have tacked inshore in an effort to seek out more wind.

Jérémie Beyou and team on Delta Dore are now in second place with Jean Le Cam on VM Matériaux 13 miles astern in third. The leading British boat – Artemis Ocean Racing – headed by Johnny Malbon remains consistently in fifth place and has only gain six miles on Temenos (Dominique Wavre) over the last 24 hours.

Dee Caffari and team on Aviva are still struggling at the back of fleet in 11th place but have pulled back nearly 100 miles since yesterday morning. Caffari in her latest log this morning said: “In the semi darkness of twilight that stayed with us all night we sailed amongst the ghost town of the North Sea. In and around the oil rigs, those in use and lit up like Christmas trees and also those left standing derelict, unpopulated for some time. The spinnaker was changed several times, when the wind changed strength or we changed our apparent angle to the wind. We were keen to maintain our speed in the hope of reducing our deficit behind the leaders by as much as possible.

“In just 24 hours we have made up close to 100 miles on the rest of the fleet but looking at the course and the distance to run we may just run out of time to continue making an impact. The other contributing factor is that as we close the gap our weather systems become more alike and if we are moving then it normally means that our rivals are moving towards the finish line as well.
We hope that today will continue to allow us to sail in good pressure whilst those ahead struggle so we can continue to close the gap.”