Leading boat's skipper stays tight-lipped

Mystery surrounds Vendee leader Michel Desjoyeaux’s ‘near disaster’ as the Frenchman remains tight lipped about the problems he faced prior to entering the Doldrums.
He reportedly told the French press: that he came ‘close to disaster, I have had problems which could have put an end to my race. I had a lucky escape.’ But has said little else.
Desjoyeaux’s lead has increased to 400 miles over Roland Jourdain – in second place.
With less than 50 miles to go to the Equator the skipper of Veolia Environnement will become the second competitor to return to the North Atlantic.
Behind the leading duo there is all to play for. Marc Guillemot, positioned 75 miles off the coast of Brazil (at the latitude of Rio) has Samantha Davies, further out to sea, trying to make good the miles she lost.
Although slowed down she says she prefers her position to Marc Guillemot’s. For the Thompson/Caffari/Boissières trio, level with Uruguay now, the die is cast.
The Cowes skipper has slowed to just 4.8 knots and has the South Atlantic branch of ‘Caffari Solo Sail Repairs’ in full swing behind him, just 20 miles away, making. She is more than 1.5 knots quicker than Bahrain Team Pindar.
Aboard his evergreen Akena Vérandas (the former VMI), which is certainly less powerful than his British rivals, Arnaud Boissières had no other choice but to attempt an option to the west to get out of an area of light winds and thundery squalls.
From Steve White, currently passing the Falklands to Norber Sedlacek in the middle of the Pacific, only Rich Wilson, heading towards the Horn was sailing above ten knots.

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