French sailor Loïc Lepage has pulled into Cape Town to replenish water supplies and make repairs, leaving just 10 skippers left in the main race

There are now just 10 skippers left in the main Golden Globe Race after Loïc Lepage was forced to stop in Cape Town for repairs and supplies.

The French skipper has been struggling to maintain his water supplies aboard his Nicholson 32, Laaland. He is also having to repair his SB Radio, which he relies on to pick up weather forecasts.

Lepage is expected to restart the race tomorrow (12 September 2018), although he will now be in the Chichester Class for sailors who make one stop during the race.

Meanwhile fellow Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is continuing to extend his lead as he sets the pace across the  South Indian Ocean.

Gregor McGuckin in a green t-shirt and a lifejacket

All smiles for Gregor Mcguckin as he chases down Mark Slats. Credit: Tim Bishop/PPL/GGR

He is now 7-days ahead of his nearest rival, Dutchman Mark Slats, who seems to be paying the price for choosing to sail with hanked headsails rather than furling gear.

Slats is also facing pressure from Gregor McGuckin of Ireland, who is now just one day behind him.

Another big winner this week is Indian naval officer Abhilash Tomy, who is sailing Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili.

He has now moved into fourth place, having overtaken Uku Randmaa’s Estonian Rustler 36 One and All at the weekend. Tomy, has already completed a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation of the world, is now a day away from McGuckin’s Biscay 36, Hanley Energy Endurance.

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It has been a tough week for Igor Zaretskiy after the Russian was thrown across the cockpit of his Endurance 35, Esmeralda. He requested medical assistance, concerned he might have broken a rib or two, and has decided to continue the race.

‘It’s blowing 25 knots for the third day in row, sometimes 30, and the waves are now 4m high. At times an abnormal wave hits us on the beam sending everything flying across the saloon. It’s a total mess inside. I’m tidying up every evening just to start it all over again in the morning,’ Zaretskiy reported to Race HQ last week.

One of the yachts in the Golden Globe Race, Esmeralda

Igor Zaretskiy has requested medical assistance after being thrown around in rough seas. Credit: Group V team/PPL/GGR

He has now just passed the Cape of Good Hope

Weather could also cause problems for those towards the back of the fleet, with forecasters predicting a big storm around the Cape.

Australian Mark Sinclair is planning an unscheduled film drop off Cape Town, but this could be scrapped if the weather worsens.

Susie Goodall, whose Rustler 36 DHL Starlight is in 6th place, has the problem, like those astern, of being a complete weather system behind those in mid-fleet.

But, this could all change if those ahead of her make mistakes.

Latest positions at 08:00 UTC 10 September 2018

1 Jean- Luc VDH (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut
2 Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
3 Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
4 Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
5 Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
6 Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
7 Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
8 Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
9 Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
10 Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut

Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland

Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna

Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007