Armel Le Cléac'h will be keeping an eye on Marc Guillemot even after the finish gun has sounded
Armel Le Cléac’h is into more favourable breeze this morning making direct course to pass Cape Finisterre late this evening, on track for second place.
But while the Brit Air skipper will be counting down the miles now to the finish, he will be keeping an eye on the buffer he has to Marc Guillemot (Safran, pictured), even after the finish gun as sounded in Les Sables d’Olonne.
Compared to Le Cléac’h Guillemot has a net 71 hours of redress – compensation for time lost when he stood by the injured Yann Eliès – and so Le Cléach needs to see Safran a safe 1300 miles behind when he crosses the finish to be sure.
With 1561 miles between them, Le Cléac’h with around a third of that distance to sail, the second placed skipper should be reasonably confident at the moment, but there is not a big margin for him to be slowed if Guillemot gets a westerly slingshot all the way to Les Sables d’Olonne.
Le Cléac’h has 11 hours of redress, Guillemot 82 hours and Sam Davies 11 hours.
The British skipper Sam Davies has continued to profit from her easterly option and was 218 miles ahead of Guillemot’s Safran this morning, as their speeds even out. Guillemot is starting to take his hit just now. He dropped to nine knots at 03:30 this morning as he sails many more miles to the west. The Roxy skipper is still making NW this morning but will be assessing her lay line to clear Cape Finisterre. The pair now have more than 400 miles of lateral separation and in the lighter breezes Safran will be hurting with her reduced mainsail area.
In the early part of the night, Guillemot was making the best part of 11-11.5 knots so he has slowed noticeably now, but Davies has felt the same effect at about the same time.
Speeds remain consistent for Brian Thompson on Bahrain Team Pindar, 169 miles behind Guillemot, as he slants slightly on a more NWly course he looks set to follow Guillemot to the west, although the high pressure system is tracking SE and so the Cowes skipper should be able to save some miles and cut the corner a little more. His margin on Dee Caffari is 210 miles, so Caffari has gained 115 miles in 48 hours and is still half a knot quicker this morning.