Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII is leading Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss by just over 180 miles as the New Year continues to favour the French skipper.
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Le Cléac’h is sailing in a well established NNE’ly breeze along the length of Brazil. He is set to hit the E’ly tradewinds early in the week.
At that point it’ll be a long drag race towards the northern hemisphere.
Hugo Boss is set to follow on behind along the tradewind expressway.
He may have a slight advantage since the tradewinds are shifting slightly southwards and are hence dropping down to meet him.
Behind them, Jean-Pierre Dick is battening down the hatches for a storm that is due to roll in from South America this evening with violent gusts.
He is currently positioned to the North of this depression so as to be able to exploit it as best he can.
Jérémie Beyou should also benefit from this steady W’ly breeze from Sunday.
At the tail end of the fleet, both Pieter Heerema (No Way Back) and Sébastien Destremau (TechnoFirst-Face Ocean) are now angled more to the SE and therefore set to pass to the south of Tasmania.
LEADING POSITIONS at 12:00 hrs UTC Monday:
1. Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire VIII - DTG 4,562 nm - sailing at 10 knots
2. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss - DTL 151 nm - sailing at 10 knots
3. Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq - DTL 804 nm
4. Jean-Pierre Dick on StMichel-Virbac - DTL 1548 nm
5. Yann Elies on Quigunnier - DTL 1621 nm
6. Jean Le Cam on Finistere Mer Vent - DTL 1635 nm
7. Louis Burton on Bureau Vallee - DTL 3029 nm
Fleet spread is now 7,865 nm back to Pieter Heerama in 18th.
Eleven have now retired from the race.
Gerald New - Sailweb
1 January 2017 10:38 GMT