Sam Goodchild leads as positioning for the low pressure rides starts with record speeds on the cards.
The leaders of the Retour à La Base solo IMOCA race from Martinique to Lorient, France are now completing their curve around the north Atlantic high pressure system and starting to head towards the east.
Seeking to find the best entry point to catch a ride on the train of fast moving low pressure systems set to carry them rapidly towards Europe.
Late afternoon Goodchild (For The Planet) took the lead as Jéremie Beyou (Charal) gybed north.
Goodchild was very much in the wake of Beyou on the inside of the curve whilst Yoann Richomme (Arkéa-Paprec) and Seb Simon (Groupe Deubril) are more on the outside.
Speeds Monday and Tuesday could be high enough to threaten the solo 24 hours record which has been held for five years by Alex Thomson at 539.71 miles.
At four days into the 3,500 miles passage from Fort-de-France, the pace is already telling on boats and skippers.
Goodchild warned Sunday that he hoped to get some much needed rest before a week’s onslaught with successive, deeper and more malicious low pressure systems due through to the finish, which should be Saturday according to latest estimates.
The daggerboard boats will also start to accelerate and turn to the right.
Louis Duc (Fives Group – Lantana Environnement) is positioned slightly further East than his competitors.
Often happy to do his own thing, Duc says he is liking passing through the South-East of Bermuda – “I would have liked to stay round here to see how it is.”
Pip Hare (Medallia) discovered a fairly significant leak from the hydraulic system of her keel.
“I have discovered a pretty bad leak in the hydraulics on my keel. So I have been trying to sort that out. I have lost about 3 litres of oil. Cleaning that up was a major mission and trying to find out where it is coming from.”
So too DMG MORI Global One skipper Shiraishi reported a water ingress from the keel ram pin. On top of that his PC screen wouldn’t turn on so he was sailing blind for a while.