Fleet on the home straight to La Rochelle
After a long 24 hours battling light and tricky winds around the BXA mark at the most southerly point of the course, the Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro fleet are finally on the home straight towards La Rochelle.
With just 5 miles to the finish line, Xavier Macaire racing Chemins d’Oceans has the lead after climbing his way from 13th to second on the penultimate day of racing, with Charlie Dalin board Skipper Macif 2015 just 02 miles behind.
Redshift skipper Nick Cherry still leads the British contingent in 13th. After a complicated ridge shut down and compacted the fleet on the way to the BXA mark, Cherry is now just 3.4 miles behind the leader. Alan Roberts sailing Alan Roberts Racing is next in the rankings, 16th and just 3.6 miles behind the leader. Robin Elsey racing aboard Artemis 43 is in 18th position.
In the ‘Bizuth’ division, Artemis 77 skipper Will Harris is 20th and second Rookie, just 5.3 miles behind the leader and two miles behind Pierre Quiroga aboard Skipper Espoir CEM, who currently leads the first timer pack. Pierre is just 30 minutes behind Harris in the overall Rookie rankings, so the pressure is on for Harris to close the gap on the final stretch and maintain his lead going into Leg 4.
Playing a risky inshore move this morning, Sam Matson racing Chatham moved from 20th at midnight to 11th then 5th at 0900am this morning. Unfortunately the gamble east didn’t play out for Matson, now in 22nd and 5.8 miles from the lead boat.
Some 17 miles behind the leader, Andrew Baker racing #SeaChange is 30th and British Rookie Mary Rookie is 34th. After having to retire from Leg 3 due to a broken forestay, the third of the three British Rookies Hugh Brayshaw arrived in La Rochelle last night, delivering his Figaro Artemis 23 from Paimpol ready for the final leg.
Leg 3 has been a tricky leg, the skippers were tired going into it and the front runners will be frustrated coming out of it. The most offshore course of four, Leg 3 saw a long run across the Bay of Biscay before the fleet compacted, the leaders losing hard earned miles between them and the back of the pack. The final leaderboard won’t be decided until the boats cross the line today.
The first British skipper is expected across the line around 1300 BST.