* The front of the fleet gets the trade winds
* The further north the competitors are, the better of they are
* Tickets for the podium still available
The situation is terrible. Whereas frontrunners Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian) and Benoît Marie (benoitmarie.com) are making speeds greater than 10 knots, the further towards the middle of the fleet we go, the more speed drops. Some are completely becalmed. At this rate, the ranking can still be affected by major changes.
In ocean racing, the fat lady never sings until the boats reach the finish line . But the men (and woman) at the front are gaining a big advantage over the rest of the fleet. Prototypes Giancarlo Pedote and Marie Benoît are neck and neck like warring brothers. Behind them, Rémi Fermin (Boreal) is only making 6 knots while his closest competitors, Bruno Garcia (Sampaquita) and Bertrand Delesne (TeamWork), are approaching 9 knots and have less than twenty miles to gain to climb on to the podium. In the series boats, Justine Mettraux (TeamWork) has consolidated her position behind crown prince Aymeric Belloir (Tout le Monde Chante contre le Cancer). And while Jean- Baptiste Lemaire (L’œuvre du Marin Breton) is a little less than a hundred miles ahead of Tanguy Le Turquais ( Terreal Dream Childhood ), he lacks speed at about 4 knots. As long as the imbalance between north and south continues, it can take less than twenty-four hours to fill such a gap . Other competitors are threatened : Eric Cochet (Abers & Co) long time sixth place holder, risks being overtaken by Damien Audrain (Gerinter) and Alberto Bona (Onelinesim.it ) as they pass under his bow.
Get your backside into gear to avoid rain on your parade
This area of low pressure which has moved over the trade winds has sewn a holy mess in the fleet. At the front and to the north, those who manage to hold onto decent speeds are divided between the thrill of escaping the trap and the fear of premature celebration. For now, it’s all about simply sailing the boat, this is definitely not the end of the affair. Some times are more important than others. In the prototypes, both Julien Pulvé (MEXT -ICA) and Annabelle Boudinot (Agro 650) can begin to hope, even if they are still on a knife edge. It will be more difficult however for Nicolas Boidevezi (Nature Addicts) and Louis Segre (Roll my Chicken) who must fear the return of Alan Roura (Navman). For these navigators, this is the time to stay focused, to ensure they continue pushing the boat, even in their isolated bubble … Several soloists are risking it all in the series boats, including Arnaud Chaigne (LMS), Arnaud Daval (Techneau) or even Florian Mausy (Foksaglisse).
Further back, for Federico Fornaro (Raw News Jolie Rouge) to the north and Raphael Marchant (Soréal Ilou) to the south, the trap seems to have closed. For them, the only solution is to be fatalistic, to cling to simple things on the boat and keep moving, forget the rankings and try to make the best of the situation and keep the boat sailing. It is in such moments that the thoughtful words hidden away on board by relatives, or a tempting piece of candy prove valuable. Sometimes just a few hours sleep, a hearty meal you have been keeping for a special occasion, a favourite piece of music is all that’s needed to help get your priorities in the right order. After all, the bigger the adventure, the stronger the memories, once you overcome the current difficulties.
Yslab Ranking (series boats) at 16.00 (GMT +1)
1. Aymeric Belloir (810 – Tout le Monde chante contre le Cancer) with 1119.7 nm to finish
2. Justine Mettraux (824 – TeamWork) + 108.1 nm
3. Simon Koster (819 – Go 4 it) + 174.8 nm
4. Jean-Baptiste Lemaire (607 – Œuvre du Marin Breton) + 259.1 nm
5. Tanguy Le Turquais (599 – Terréal Rêve d’enfance) + 345.7 nm
Cegelec / Eurovia Ranking (prototypes) at 16.00 (GMT +1)
1. Giancarlo Pedote (747 – Prysmian) with 970.3 nm to finish
2. Benoit Marie (667 – benoitmarie.com) + 14.8 nm
3. Rémi Fermin (741 – Boréal) + 97.1 nm
4. Bruno Garcia (240 – Sampaquita) + 112.8 nm
5. Bertrand Delesne (754 – TeamWork Proto) + 1296 nm