Foncia regains lead

Ellen and Alain Gautier back in front of Challenge Mondial Assistance fleet

Sunday May 13th 2001, Author: Isabelle Musy, Location: United Kingdom

After being overhauled last night by Yvan Bourgnon on board Bayer en France, Alain Gautier and Ellen MacArthur were back into the lead this morning aboard Foncia-Kingfisher. The eight trimarans left Cherbourg yesterday at 1300 local time and are now out into the Atlantic.
Foncia-Kingfisher has a 13 miles lead over Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas with Jean le Cam's new Bonduelle in third. The wind is light but is expected to pick up during the day as a depression is forecast.

This morning at the 0500 position report , Alain Gautier's trimaran was back in the front. He had already sailed 183 miles since the start at a 12 knots average speed. It took less than 24 hours for these Formula 1 trimaran to leave Channel behind and reach out into the Atlantic. They¹re now heading towards Sao Miguel island in the Azores, the next course mark where they are expected on Tuesday.

The mutlihulls have been sailing in an easterly breeze and have had to gybe many times. As a result of this and different strategic choices the fleet
is spread out. Franck Cammas (Groupama), Marc Guillemot (La Trinitaine-Team Ethypharm) and Jean-Luc Nélias (Belgacom) are taking a northern route.
The leader is 30 miles to the south while further south still are Lalou Roucayrol (Banque Populaire) and Yvan Bourgnon (Bayer). During the day we will see if they stick to their choices.

Before the start, all the skippers insisted that it would be very important to position their boat in anticipation of the forthcoming depression bringing with it 35-40 knot winds on Monday. They should start to see the first effects of the depression this afternoon.

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