Arkema Capsize on the Route du Rhum

French skipper Lalou Roucayrol has capsized on his Multi50 Arkema at around 06:30hrs UTC this morning (Weds) while racing in fourth place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Gaudeloupe approximately 1000 miles east of Guadeloupe.

Roucayrol is safe and well inside his boat. He made immediate contact with his shore support team to tell them of his capsize in very sudden and violent squall.

A rescue plan is under way. He has access to food and water but has limited communication.

He is in the tradewinds belt with 20-25 knots of easterly wind.

Further information to follow during today.

The current runaway Multi50 leader, Armel Tripon on Réauté Chocolat, is expected to cross the finish line Wednesday around mid-day (local time, 15:00hrs CET).

Just 137 miles behind Tripon and expected to finish a few hours after him is Britain’s Alex Thomson.

The skipper of Hugo Boss has been ahead in the IMOCA fleet since five hours after the start on Sunday 4 November and is on course to smash the course record for the IMOCA fleet set in 2014 by François Gabart of 12 days, four hours and 38 minutes.

Thomson reported that he is in “fine fettle” despite very little sleep. He is doing all he can to reduce the number of energy-consuming gybes in the final downwind 775-mile sprint to Guadeloupe.

The Class40 leader Yoann Richomme on his brand new boat, Veedol-AIC, has a lead of 113 miles this morning.

Phil Sharp the British skipper on Imerys Clean Energy has moved back into second place, 10 nm ahead of Aymeric Chappellier on Aina Enfance Et Avenir.

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