The remaining competitors in the Transat Jacques Vabre are still experiencing big winds but conditions should settle down a little with the wind shifting round to the north-west

After the horrendous winds that caused havoc in the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet on Monday night see previous news story here the wind had backed to the north-west yesterday afternoon and the leaders were enjoying the fast reaching conditions they have been looking forward to since leaving Le Havre last Saturday afternoon.

The update on the situation shows that there are six 60ft multihulls still racing in the ORMA class, and all 12 of the Open 60 Monohulls in the IMOCA fleet. Likewise all six 50ft multihulls and now six out of the seven monohulls in Class 2 are racing, albeit various teams are undergoing pitstops or have suffered damage. The most recent news from last night is that the Open 50 MonohullAdecco-Etoile Horizonhas suffered structural damage and has abandoned the race.

Chatting about the conditions yesterday eveningEcover’sDominique Wavre confirmed: “It is much better now, we have one reef in the main and a jib up and are making 17-18 knot averages and 20-25 knots of breeze. We have lost a few miles but that is mostly about the way we all lined up for the front, and we lost a little late last night with a small pilot problem, but I am sure we will regain them now.”

Lying in third placeEcoveris now 17 miles behind the Open 60 monohull class leaderVirbac-Paprec(JP Dick and Loick Peyron) and just five miles behindSill et Véolia(Roland Jourdain/Ellen MacArthur).

But Wavre and Golding haven’t been without problems aboardEcover. During Monday night, with the cold front producing gusts of over 45 knots, they suffered a power failure to the pilot when the top was knocked off the power unit in the violent seas. While Wavre had to hand steer for an hour and a half, Golding managed to fix the problem.

In the Multihull ORMA fleet Franck Camma and Franck Proffit are leading the way onGroupama 2withBanque Populaire(Pascal Bidegorry and Lionel Lemonchois) in second, 37 miles astern.

Jo Harris and Josh Hall on the Open 50Gryphoon Solohave control of the Class 2 Monohulls whileCrepes Whaou!(Franck-Yves and Kevin Escoffier) have a 100-mile lead in the Class 2 Multihulls.

The forecast for today shows a 20-30kt north-westerly establishing itself over the whole fleet providing direct, high speed, route south. For the multihulls, ahead of the monohulls, the wind will turn gradually to the north along the Portuguese coast. The Azores High will remain in its place over the Azores. This will generate following winds from the north, then north-east south of Portugal. These trade winds will be well established between 20-25 knots until at least Friday.