Transat Jacques Vabre leader due in tonight
Class40 positions at 1030 GMT (click on image to enlarge)
There's just 200 miles left to sail for Transat Jacques Vabre race leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Jeremie Beyou aboard Virbac Paprec 3, their ETA into Puerto Limon, Costa Rica at 0230 UTC tomorrow morning, or mid-evening local time. At around 0230 this morning, the blue VPLP-Verdier designed IMOCA 60 gybed west and will have to put in another before she can finally lay the finish line. Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill on Hugo Boss continue to hold a comfortable second with a lead of more than 100 miles over Banque Populaire, which finally overhauled her newer sistership Francois Gabart's MACIF at 0400 this morning. But we're not going to wax lyrical about Hugo Boss' performance until she actually crosses the finish line...which now looks to be around lunchtime tomorrow UTC.
Meanwhile Yves le Blevec and Sam Manuard aboard the Multi50 Actual are converging with the IMOCA 60 and at the latest sched have around 80 miles to sail before they gybe for Puerto Limon. They have sailed a longer course and it will be interesting to see how many 60s the 50ft Verdier-designed trimaran can pick off before reaching the finish. At the latest sched Actual has the same number of miles to get to the finish as Mike Golding and Bruno Dubois in last placed Gamesa have in the 60s.
In the Class40s there hasn't been a lot of change with Yannick Bestaven and Eric Drouglazet on Aquarelle.com still holding a commanding lead of 139 miles over second placed Damien Seguin and Yoann Richomme on ERDF Des pieds et des mains, with third placed Hannah Jenner and her American co-skipper Jesse Naimark Rowse on Peter Harding's 40 Degrees another 100 miles astern. The leaders are still enjoying brisking running conditions. Aquarelle.com still has 727 miles to sail until she passes the eastern end of the Dominican Republic. Aside from a light patch on Saturday, the lead 40s look set to continue enjoying fast sailing conditions all the way to the Caribbean.