Charal of Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt is powering away at the front of the Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA fleet.
Charal has a 50 nm lead ahead of Apivia of Charlie Dullin and Yann Ellis, while the six IMOCA who had attempted the western option were left in the ridge of high pressure last night.
When they leave this (Sat) afternoon or in the evening, the entire fleet will finally be sailing in the same weather system after the huge gap during the first six days.
Beyou and Pratt are not sparing their foils or their energy, with multiple manoeuvres helping them angle to the southwest, well aware that the order of entry into the Doldrums next week is decided by each shift.
For the Class40s, this weekend also see the end of a stretch of upwind sailing that has lasted more than five days.
They can put their tee-shirts on, watch the stars and be pushed by the elements; act 2 of this 14th Route de Café begins.
One westerner was celebrating this morning. The northern and western gap that had seen Crédit Mutuelbetween fifth and tenth place in recent days is now paying off.
Friday, Ian Lipinski and Adrien Hardy were in overdrive on their brand new rounded bow Class40. They were exactly one knot faster (10%!) than Aïna Enfance and Avenir, and took the lead this morning, much to their enjoyment.
Like everyone at the front of the Class40 fleet, Crédit Mutuel will start to slow down at the end of the day as they approach the high-pressure system, but should be back in the tradewinds probably Sunday night.
Satuday 2 November – Leaders at 12:00 hrs FRA
1 – Credit Mutuel (Ian Lepinski / Adrien Hardy)
2 – Aïna Enfance and Avenir (Aymeric Chappellier / Pierre Leboucher)
3 – Leyton (Sam Goodchild and Fabien Delahaye)
4 – CrossCall (Louis Duc / Aurelien Ducroz)
1 – Charal (Jérémie Beyou / Christopher Pratt)
2 – Apivia ( Charlie Dullin / Yann Ellis)
3 – 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright / Pascal Bidgorry)
8 – Initiatives-Cœur (Samantha Davies / Paul Meilhat)
15 – Malizia II (Boris Herrmann / Will Harris)
16 – Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson / Neal MacDonald)
22 – Campagne de France (Miranda Merron / Halvard Mabire)
27 – Pip Hare Ocean racing (Pip Hare / Ysbrand Endt)
1 – GROUPE GCA – MILLE ET UN SOURIRES (Gilles Lamire / Antoine Carpentier)
2 – PRIMONIAL (Sebastien Rogues / Mattieu Souben)
3 – Solidarias en Peloton – Arsep ( hibaut Vauchel-Camus and Fred Duthil)