60ft multihulls Sodebo and Gitana 11 make pitstops to carry out repairs while Sill et Veolia continues to lead 60ft monohulls
The first ORMA 60 trimarans were nearing Ushant at first light this morning with Orange Project (Steve and Yvan Ravussin), Groupama-2 (Franck Cammas and Franck Proffit), Foncia (Armel Le Cléac’h and Damian Foxall) and Géant (Michel Desjoyeaux and Hugues Destremau) passing between the island and the mainland of Brittany. Banque Populaire (Pascal Bidégorry and Lionel Lemonchois) has opted to stay offshore and pass Ushant to the west.
Thomas Coville and Jacques Vincent on Sodebo, who broke their main halyard last night and who had to make a pitstop in Cherbourg to carry out repairs, are now up and running again and already making up for lost miles.
Gitana 11 has also encountered problems and is currently heading towards Camaret in Brittany where Fred Le Peutrec and Yann Guichard will change their broken mainsheet. Hopefully this pitstop should only take an hour.
In the 50ft multihull class, the gaps are already significant since the leader, Crêpes Whaou! (Franck-Yves Escoffier and Kevin Escoffier) is a good 20 miles ahead of Acanthe Ingénierie (Anne Caseneuve and Christophe Houdet), in turn 22 miles ahead of third placed Gifi (Dominique Demachy and Philippe Langlois).
In the monohull fleet, the wind is shifting back to the south-west as the leader Sill et Veolia (Roland Jourdain and Ellen MacArthur) makes headway into the Bay of Biscay, the top boats now level with Bordeaux sailing between 6 and 7 degrees longitude. They will have to tack back onto port to negotiate the incoming low-pressure system as far offshore as possible from Cape Finisterre later this evening.
At the latest position reports, Skandia (Brian Thompson and Will Oxley) and Pro-Form (Marc Thiercelin and Eric Drouglazet) in 5th and 7th respectively, have already made the tack. Second placed Ecover (Mike Golding and Dominique Wavre), is positioned furthest in the west of the fleet with Virbac-Paprec (Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron) in third on the same track just four miles behind.
Bonduelle (Jean Le Cam and Kito de Pavant) is to the east of Sill et Veolia in fourth but has made more southing in her route than Ecover. UUDS (Hervé Laurent and Laurent Massot) has sailed an interesting route overnight, the only boat to pass inside Ushant and has remained positioned well over to the east, only now coming back over to align with the rest of the fleet in 9th place.
In the Open 50 monohull fleet, the Anglo-French team on Artforms (Kip Stone and Merfyn Owen) has managed to pull out a 16-mile lead now on rivals Gryphon Solo (Joe Harris and Josh Hall), as they sailed a route nearer to the Brittany coastline, rounding Ushant very closely, whereas their fellow competitors headed further out to the west before tacking to head south. Third placed Vedettes de Bréhat (Servane Escoffier and Bertrand de Broc) is 38 miles behind Artforms positioned further inshore with Adecco (Bob Escoffier and Gérard Faye) 30 miles behind on the same route.