The lead of Hugo Boss is at 90 miles and seems to have stabilised on the early evening rankings. Alex Thomson is slightly slower on the 30 minutes speed poll, but is 80 miles further to the south and about 45 miles to the east of the chasing pack. The British skipper looked tantalisingly close to the new SE'ly breezes but was polled making 5.5kts on the 1700hrs UTC ranking.
Vincent Riou is up to third again on PRB but the chasing trio are within seven miles of each other.
Paul Meilhat, in fifth place on SMA said today
“I had my first squalls late last night. I had 20-25 knots of wind, which allowed me to advance quite well. I’m getting ready for another complicated area of squalls later. It’s not always easy to see what is happening. I think it’s going to be a tricky night, but by the end of the night, we should be getting out of this zone. After that we should have a week or so on one tack.”
Meantime there are many other races within the race.
Jean Le Cam (Finistère Mer Vent) v Thomas Ruyant (Le Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine) sees Le Cam up into ninth, nearly 20 miles ahead of Ruyant. Arnaud Boissières (La Mie Câline) is chasing Bertrand de Broc (MACSF) and Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée). And Rich Wilson (Great American IV), Kojiro Shiraishi (Spirit of Yukoh) and Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys), within 20 miles of each other off the Cape Verdes.
Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée): “The start of this race has been incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. Four years ago, a lot of boats suffered damage, as was the case in 2008, but this time there has been a lot of preparation and we’ve had excellent conditions. I couldn’t have imagined a better start. I’m just passing the Cape Verdes. Even if I’m some way off, you can feel the effect. The seas are calmer now. I’m doing a bit of DIY as after three days of speed, the boat needs taking care of. One of the ropes holding the hydro-generator in place gave up the ghost when we hit our peak speed. There’s a little leak around the water intake in the ballast tank. I met up with Bertrand (de Broc) in the trade winds and we’ve been together ever since. We were even within sight of each other for 10-15 hours. We had a few chats on the VHF and had a bit of a laugh.”