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An End in Sight?

Published on 25/08/2021

With just over 140 nautical miles to go to the finish line in Lorient, sailing upwind on starboard tack in 18-20kts of breeze, race leader Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF) is doggedly holding on to his lead of 2.6 nautical miles ahead of Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Macif 2019) who has managed to get himself up into second place chasing on almost the same line as the leader Macaire who has been in front since early morning yesterday when the fleet turned at La Coruna.

Right now, around 0830hrs this Wednesday morning, it is all about picking the best, shortest laylines through the three exclusion zones which lie on the rhumb line into the famous Breton sailing mecca.

Macaire, who was the winner of the first stage last year, is doing a good job of keeping the fleet covered as best he can. Tom Laperche (Bretagne CMB Performance) is third and has a lane about three miles to windward of that of Macaire, Pierre Leboucher (Guyot Environnement) is absolutely in the match too in third at the same delta behind the leader.
Ireland’s Tom Dolan is going very well on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan with very good upwind speed which has helped get him up to 12th position at just over four miles behind the leader.
Alan Roberts (Seacat Services) is 17th at 7.1 miles from Macaire. The leaders are expected to break the finish line just before breakfast time tomorrow morning perhaps seeing the breeze hold out to give a more straight forwards finish.

Meantime British rookie David Paul (Just a drop) has been cleared out of the fishing nets which he had become entangled in late last night. After receiving outside assistance from the guard boat L’Express he has to retire from the leg and so receives the elapsed time of the last boat to finish the leg plus two hours.

Alexis Courcoux
Alexis Courcoux

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