Solidaire du Chocolate: Tricky 48 hours ahead
Positions at 0830 UTC:
|4 hr aver|
|1||Mare||Jörg Riechers - Marc Lepesqueux||40°19.06'N||017°00.92'W||5.2||260||4275.2||0.0|
|2||Agir Recouvrement - Bureau Veritas||Stéphane Le Diraison - Adrien Hardy||38°32.48'N||016°23.24'W||8||253||4276.0||0.8|
|3||Aquarelle.com||Yannick Bestaven - Eric Drouglazet||38°50.36'N||016°27.74'W||7.5||251||4276.9||1.7|
|4||Jack in the box||Aloys Claquin - Ludovic Aglaor||38°49.06'N||016°17.87'W||7.8||246||4284.0||8.8|
|5||Geodis||Fabrice Amedeo - Armel Tripon||39°48.14'N||016°36.27'W||5.9||251||4285.1||9.9|
|6||Initiatives - Alex Olivier||Tanguy de Lamotte - Jean Galfione||38°20.11'N||015°55.11'W||8.7||233||4294.5||19.3|
|7||Eole Generation - GDF Suez||Sébastien Rogues - Bertrand Delesne||38°56.95'N||016°00.26'W||7.9||240||4299.2||24.0|
|8||Looking for a sponsor||Jean Edouard Criquioche - Anna Maria Renken||39°47.21'N||015°59.33'W||6.4||239||4312.3||37.1|
|9||Poëmes Bleus - Planète Insuline||Mathis Prochasson - Matthieu Galland||41°30.74'N||016°25.83'W||4.4||256||4320.8||45.6|
|10||Transport Cohérence||Benoît Parnaudeau - Benoît Jouandet||39°14.84'N||015°20.94'W||8.4||231||4333.1||57.9|
|11||Groupe Picoty||Jacques Fournier - Jean-Christophe Caso||38°55.83'N||013°16.66'W||10.2||243||4423.1||147.9|
Jorg Riechers and Marc Lepesqueux aboard mare have managed to hold on to their lead in the Class40's Solidaire du Chocolat race although as they head into the northern sector of the zone of high pressure to their southwest they have slowed and two boats are now poised to overtake, both positioned to mare's south.
Prior to the start Riechers predicted that this next 24 hours could be the crunch moment in this lengthy transatlantic race. Critical will be the north-south divide. While it might look as though the boats in the south will be taking a more favourable route around the high as it is positioned at present, in fact this high is forecast to merge with a second area of high presure coming in from the northwest in the next 24 hours.
As a result while the crew on mare will find themselves upwind in light conditions today, they should be the first into the new NNWerly breeze, when it arrives in the early hours of tomorrow morning. But the outcome will ultimately depend on how the high ends up positioning itself. While mare should be first to the new breeze, longer term there will be more pressure in the south, favouring boats such as Tanguy de LaMotte's 2009 winner Initiatives-Alex Olivier, so we can expect 48 hours of snakes and ladders.