Peyron holds on to lead
in northwest France. However Peyron, the defending champion and a six time winner of this event, is being threatened by Michel Desjoyeaux, winner of the event in 2001. Loïck Peyron is still leading the leader board but by only a small margin while Ellen MacArthur is third.
Loïck Peyron won the first two races of the day, despite starting slowly. How does he manage to get back in the front? "Because I know the boat very well and because we read the wind pretty well," says the multihull expert.
Michel Desjoyeaux also had a great day as he won the third offshore race of the day from Houat Island to La Trinité-sur-Mer and also snatched victory in the fourth race of the day.
Ellen MacArthur has proved that she can now capably helm a SailingOne, the powerful 25-footer catamaran designed especially for the Clairefontaine Trophy. Ellen has sailed consistently coming home in second place in the second offshore race of the day.
Laurent Bourgnon, winner in 1993, still feels comfortable. The double Route du Rhum winner was leading in the second race until he got passed by Peyron and MacArthur after a poor spinnaker hoist. "That's life. We're waiting for the breeze to build up as we like stronger wind," said Bourgnon at lunchtime on Houat island's beach. True enough, for in the next race in stronger breeze, Bourgnon came home in third though he had to cross the starting line twice after he was OCS.
Former Team New Zealand tactician, Bertrand Pacé started well with a third place in the first race of the day. He then unfortunately abandoned in the third one after capsizing. But the talented helmsman bounced back on his feet finishing second in the last race.
Open 60 skipper Roland Jourdain sailed quite consistently except in the last race. He now stand in 6th place overall. Ernesto Bertarelli has improved throughout the day. As the breeze filled in, the boss of Team Alinghi found better speed and came home in first in the third offshore race from Houat back to La Trinité-sur-Mer.
Switzerland's Bernard Stamm has very good starts and is leading the Challenge Quo Vadis that awards the first three at the first mark. The Around Alone winner is learning fast but still suffers his lack of multihulls experience.
There are still five legs to be sailed on Sunday before to find out who will the Champion of the Champions 2003.
Provisional results after four races:
1-Loïck Peyron (1,1,2,4), 33 pts,
2-Michel Desjoyeaux, 32 pts (2,5,1,1)
3-Ellen MacArthur 20 pts (5,2,7,3)
4-Laurent Bourgnon, 19 pts (6,3,3,5)
5-Bertrand Pacé, 17 pts (3,6,AB,2)
6-Roland Jourdain 15 pts (4,4,5,8)
7-Ernesto Bertarelli, 11 pts (7,8,4,6)
8-Bernard Stamm, 8 pts (8,7,6,7)