After the tactical cunning the crews have been displaying over the last few days, making the maximum use of the depression to their south that has helped propel their boats out into the Atlantic, today the sailing has been purely about hanging on and going fast.
At 15:30 UTC the boats are still making impressive speeds as they blast away the depression at ‘warp speed’ with leader Safran recording 17.7 knots and second placed Hugo Boss 21 knots – and note these are average speeds over the previous hour, peak speeds will be much higher.
Despite sailing into slightly decreasing conditions, Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière on Safran have so far managed to maintain their 40 mile lead over Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes’ silver flyer. But because Hugo Boss is behind, she may be able to remain in the stiffer breeze for longer enabling her to make some in-roads into the French overnight.
At 10:00 UTC this morning Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz aboard Team Neutrogena recovered third place, overhauling GAES Centros Auditivos. While the three other boats are all on a similar track out of the depression, Neutrogena alone has taken a route some 20 miles off to port (to the north) of the others.
At 15:30 UTC Safran was sailing a course directly aiming for the southwesterly end of the most southerly edge of the ice box that the competitors are obliged to avoid. She had 350 miles to sail to reach that point.
Overnight the wind is set to remain at a stiff 20-25 knots, but is forecast to veer round into the south or the SSW as the depression the boats passed through last night finally moves away to the north.