Vemdée Globe update!

François Gabart has increased his lead in the Vendée Globe solo round the world race to over 23 miles as the young French skipper continues to sail an astute descent of the Atlantic, first to pass the latitude of the Gibraltar Straits last night. While Gabart on Macif has not only sailed quickly he has banked a useful gain by keeping to a more southerly course before gybing in the early hours of the morning to the SW to match the course of his pursuers, Armel Le Cléac’h on Banque Populaire in second and Bernard Stamm, the Swiss skipper in third on Cheminées Poujoulat. After his slow burning start Jean-Pierre Dick, double winner of the Barcelona World Race, is now up to fourth place on Virbac-Paprec 3.

It is the investment to get to the west, where a new low pressure system will bring stronger winds by Wednesday afternoon, which has meant a significant loss for the Vincent Riou. The wily PRB skipper who is the only past winner of the Vendée Globe and one of the most accomplished strategists in the race has lost 60 miles to Gabart since yesterday morning and now lies fifth. There is the best part of 150 miles of separation between Macif and PRB with Riou still sailing west. His strategy is very much a longer term one and may still lose miles against the leader.

Taking the more easterly route to hold the stronger NE’ly tradewinds for longer has also given a useful gain to Mike Golding. The British skipper of Gamesa has elevated himself to seventh, ready to challenge compatriot Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss for sixth. The duo were more than 70 miles apart on the water but one tenth of a mile separated them in terms to distance to finish with Golding sailing slightly quicker.

From Louis Burton in the NW to Gabart in the SE there is now 215 miles of lateral distance and more than 550 miles from the leader to Bertrand de Broc, the skipper of Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets. De Broc started late after having to repair a last minute hull damage but his spirits will be finall lifted now as he was back into double digit boat speeds this morning after struggling yesterday with very light winds on a circuitous route to the west. Getting into some breeze will allow De Broc to lengthen his stride in pursuit of Poland’s Zbigniew Gutkowski  on Energa, some 130 miles ahead.

Other International :
11 Acciona 100% Eco Powered, Javier Sanso, ESP, +119.1 miles to leader
12 Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre, SUI +135.4 miles to leader
14 Savéol, Samantha Davies, GBR, +212.5 miles to leader
17 Team Plastique, Alessandro Di Benedetto, ITA, +396.1 miles to leader
18 Energa, Zbigniew Gutkowski, POL, +422.5 miles to leader

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