Franck Cammas extends lead over fleet, whilst Roland Jourdain makes small gains ahead of the IMOCA class

With rescued solo skipper Sidney Gavignet safely aboard a Turkish bulk carrier headed for Gibraltar (read previous story here), some 255 miles SSE of the Azores Franck Cammas’ leading margin in this ninth edition of the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale grows still more. Over the 24 hours to 0400hrs (CET) this morning Groupama 3 had banked another 70 miles on the second placed Ultime giant Gitana XI, skippered by Yvann Guichard.

In the IMOCA Open 60 class, the small gains have been to Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) and Vincent Riou (PRB). The last edition’s IMOCA winner, Jourdain, has profited from a more northerly course in better wind pressure, along with PRB, overhauling Brit Air’s Armel Le Cléac’h. Le Cléac’h is now 12 miles behind in third, about 25 miles to the SE of that leading duo, and closer to the centre of the high pressure which they are now sailing away from into strengthening breezes today.
It is still the main pack, the northern majority, which is prevailing in the Class 40 fleet where Thomas Ruyant, 2009 MiniTransat winner, leads Destination Dunkerque. Germany’s Jorg Riechers ( is back up in the podium poisitions again, lying third.

Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) has dropped to seventh after tacking early yesterday evening to go SW, skirting close to the centre of the high and suffering with slow speeds this morning, just 4.5 kts.
The two Class 40 groups are now divided on opposite sides of the NW-SE axis of the high, with 300 miles separating the lead group from the likes of Nicolas Troussel (Credit Mutuel Brretagne), best of the southerners, who is 12th.

On the NE flank of the main pack Kiwi Conrad Colman’s ascent continues on 40 Degrees, now placed 18th whilst Briton Pete Goss (DMS) chose the southerly routing, 30 miles NE of Troussel’s position, and has risen up the rankings to 24th making good speed this morning.

Up in the other NE group Richard Tolkien (ICAP Orca) admitted to have strayed too close to the light winds influence of the high and slowed to 27th.

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