The doublehanded Class 40s in the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables race set sail on their outbound leg last night at 1900 local.
On their first night at sea heading out across the Bay of Biscay, the 14 boats had idyllic conditions - a light swell, moderate downwind conditions and a starry sky.
Already early on in this 1300 mile leg, some decidedly different options have become apparent with the fleet dividing into three groups - the north, including many of the favorites to win, who are heading due west as fast as they can to be first to the new breeze, while the southerly group is being led by Bureau Veritas and Groupe Picoty and is benefitting from strong gradient breeze. A smaller group remain between these two. At the latest sched Jacques Fournier and Jean Criquioche lead on Groupe Picoty.
Of course the weather over the forthcoming days will dictate which option is best with transition due overnight tonight.
Positions at 1600
1 Groupe Picoty (J Fournier – JE Criquioche) - 1092.5 miles DTF
2 Bureau Véritas (S Le Diraison – V Barnaud) - 0.4 DTF
3 L’Express Sapmer (D Lazat – R Aubrun) - 3.8 DTF
4 Techneau (A Daval – G Dutoit) - 10.0 DTF
5 Tales (G Botin – P Santurdo) - 18.7 DTF
6 Grassi Bateaux (O Grassi – JB Glin) - 21.8 DTF
7 Wanted Partner (L Régnier – PY Cavan) - 22.0 DTF
8 Hip Eco Blue (A Fantini – S Merolla) - 26.3 DTF
9 Aquarelle.com (Y Bestaven – C Bouvet) - 26.4 DTF
10 Mare.de2 (J Riechers – E David) - 27.4 DTF
11 Matetmat.com (M Galland – M Prochasson) - 28.5 DTF
12 Velevent (S Alran – C Olagne-Vieille) - 30.4 DTF
13 Exedra (P Bougard – G Dadou) - 30.8 DTF
14 Spliff (A Dawson – J Mac Coll) - 35.1 DTF