IMOCA 60 positions at 1030 GMT
Class40 positions at 1030 GMT
Okay, we may have misled readers. In the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Multi50s are heading for St Barts and must then round Barbados before heading for the finish line at Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. For the IMOCA60s and Class40s, the course this time is solely to leave the Dominican Republic to starboard en route to the finish.
The complex weather the IMOCA 60s had to cross this weekend is now past, and with the high to their north, so northeasterlies have filled in across the race course. Virbac Paprec 3 continue to lead and Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill on Hugo Boss have continued to do a great job hanging on to the newer generation boat. They have lost just four miles over the last 48 hours, now 51 miles astern. What is slightly surprising is that the two leaders haven't piled on more miles over the boats behind them, since on Saturday they were first into the favourable northeasterlies. The third placed boat was 210 miles astern of the leaders on Saturday morning and the new third placed boat is 247 miles behind them at the latest sched.
The various plays over the weekend in the IMOCA 60s have now worked their course and the northerly group which followed the lead duo have won out with Francois Gabart and Seb Col on MACIF now up to third, followed by their sistership Banque Populaire in fifth, with impressively the unknown Burton brothers from Paris, on the former Delta Dore (now called Bureau Vallee) up to fourth. These three are currently making the best boat speed in the IMOCA 60 fleet. So we have two old generation Farr designs in the top four...
Groupe Bel's southerly route has worked okay in that she has lost no more ground that the other boats chasing the lead duo, however Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois on Gamesa have plummeted from third place to seventh, or from 210 miles behind the leader to 346, having been nailed by light winds to the south of the front on Saturday. Both Gamesa and Groupe Bel have yet to gybe south to lay the east coast of the Dominican Republic.
Meanwhile Yves le Blevec and Sam Manuard on the Multi50 leader Actual at the latest sched were just about to pass the St Barts turning mark and head for Barbados.
Behind in the Class 40s the situation is more interesting. The area of high pressure that was due to pass over the fleet has done so, but the majority of the fleet are still suffering in light winds with the exception of those at the extremities of the course. While Yannick Bestaven and Eric Drouglazet continue to hold a solid lead aboard their Verdier-designed Aquarelle.com, to the south Damien Seguin and Yoann Richomme aboard ERDF Des pieds et des mains appear to be in more stable easterly breeze and have taken the opportunity to gybe west. But in particular conditions have finally come good for Hannah Jenner and Jesse Naiwark-Rowse on Peter Harding's 40 Degrees, who along with the Norwegian crew on Solo, are enjoying blasting downwind in 20+ knot northeasterlies to the southeast of the same giant area of high pressure that the IMOCA 60s are to the southwest of. 40 Degrees and Solo are now decidedly in the fast lane of the motorway and have the opportunity to eat up the miles on the leaders and already at the latest sched 40 Degrees is some 4 knots faster than Aquarelle.com. The northeasterlies are due to hold throughout the week, although come Thursday the high is forecast to become a monster, straddling the entire breadth of the north Atlantic. Hopefully the northerly duo will have made it south by then...