Frenchman Guillemot's loss is Englishwoman Davies' gain
Since losing his keel Marc Guillemot has had to nurse his boat along thereby forcing him to accede third place to Sam Davies.
But Guillemot has over two days net time compensation over the British skipper and so with 853 miles to sail should be able to hang on to share third with Vincent Riou.
The battle over the final days between Brian Thompson, GBR, (Bahrain Team Pindar) and Dee Caffari, GBR, (Aviva) promises to engage to the end with Caffari now within striking distance, around 20 miles behind.
After losing his keel yesterday Marc Guillemot will be satisfied to settle for a slow finish in lighter winds which will be kinder to his predicament on Safran. The skipper from La Trinité has, as he predicted yesterday, given up third place on the water to Sam Davies on Roxy, but has still been moving well, averaging 9.2 knots overnight, and slowed this morning by the lighter winds to 7.5 knots as the new Azores high pressure system just catches up with Safran. Guillemot had 520 miles to sail to Cape Finisterre this morning.
Now lying third on the water Sam Davies noted last night:
” I am, however incredibly glad of the forecast for Marco’s sake, as the light winds will hopefully enable Safran to get to the finish safely. After all Marco has done, he deserves to get there and I am keeping everything crossed for a safe passage for him and Safran.”
She has had a good night, managing to stave off the effects of the high for slightly longer, making 12-12.5 knots for much of the night, with bursts to 14 and 15 knots at times. Even in such brisk conditions Davies will not be pushing too hard. She has 460 miles to sail to pass Cape Finisterre and admits that, due to the prominent high pressure which will settle over the Bay of Biscay, her hopes of being back in Les Sables d’Olonne for Valentine’s Day are not looking so hot.
Brian Thompson has had the chance to whip Bahrain Team Pindar on a little more last night, making over 15 knots for spells as he fought to stay out of the high. Yesterday he was slowed for long periods but during the night and this morning he looks to be making decent speeds in 20 knots of SE’ly, whilst Deee Caffari on Aviva has a little less breeze but is still making nearly 12 knots this morning. Distance to Cape Finisterre for Brian is 1138 miles for Brian and 1148 for Dee this morning and straight line direct to the finish there was less than 20 miles in it.
Arnaud Boissières has just light airs this morning, just less than 10 knots from the SE and was making less than 5 knots of boat speed on Akena Véranda. In contrast Steve White will be pulling a few miles back on Boissières, for what its worth, he is in the regular NE’ly trade winds, 750 miles to the west of the Cape Verde islands and is metronome regular at 11.6 knots.
Rich Wilson, USA, (Great American III) is 150 miles off the coast of Brasil, 380 miles SEE of Salvador de Bahia still but still in light headwinds and making around 10 knots.
Speeds remain matched between 10th placed Raphael Dinelli (Fondation Océan Vital) and Norbert Sedlacek, AUT, (Nauticsport-Kapsch) who are emerging out of the low pressure they were in for four difficult days and should be in to the next high pressure system.