The skipper of Maître CoQ IV who is in fourth this morning at 156 miles behind the leader suffered technical damage at Cape Horn but says he has now regained practically all his potential, at least downwind, which is good news as there will be a lot of downwind sailing into Les Sables d’Olonne.
"I am in easterly trade winds between 17 and 18 knots. I am coming up quite quickly towards the Azores. That is not bad at all especially since I'm lacking a bit in sail power fore and aft because I'm having problems with my J2. So I am a bit unbalanced. Normally the wind will gradually ease and I will have some sail changes during the day. I could probably lift a bit to the right because the high pressure is shifting east.
I'm going to pass near the Azores archipelago, islands that I like because I won Class40 races there! They are amazing, I remember climbing the volcano on Pico, a cone which rises to more than 2350 meters. But this time there is one objective getting to Les Sables d'Olonne.
And there will be a lot of maneuvers to get there! Gybes, frontal crossings. This race is not won by anyone yet, especially since I have all my downwind sails. I was able to repair my furlers a little and I have, apart from my large spinnaker, masthead and one fractional. I have nothing to lose as I am currently in fifth place and some have technical issues to resolve. That makes you want to try different options… ”