After six days behind BT, Yann Elies reclaims the race lead

Six days after he first led the Vendée, Yann Eliès (Generali) is back in first position after he passed his rival Seb Josse (BT) last night.

The leading pair crossed tracks during the night with Yann now 22 miles to the north and slightly east of BT, amounting to a lead of just two miles over the Farr designed boat.

After a challenging night of high speed sailing the winds look to have dropped, with quieter spells particularly to the south, nearer the centre of the depression which has provided the pack with up to 40 knots of northwesterly wind.

Jean-Pierre Dick’s investment in the south sees Paprec-Virbac 2 now 225 miles south of the track taken by Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) who is just less than 40 miles ahead of him in third place. Peyron has been quickest through the night, gaining 14.7 miles on leader Generali. Jean-Pierre’s course is 155 miles south of that of leader Yann.

Mike Golding (Ecover) also made his desire to go south known yesterday evening when he gybed just after tea-time (GMT) and his course has taken him to 78 miles north of the more extreme route of Paprec-Virbac 2. They have the Kerguelen security ice gate as their long-term waypoint to pull them back north, 590 miles ahead.

While Yann and Seb race as a ‘duo’, so do Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) and Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) in sister-ships. Roland spent his fourth place with his choice to move down to the south of Jean and now lies sixth, 12.9 miles behind.

15.3 knots is the highest average speed among the top 20 over the last 24 hours, a ‘score’ shared by both Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and Sam Davies (Roxy). Desjoyeaux has stuck to a more northerly course and is now only 30.4 miles behind Golding.