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Oceanic duel

This lunchtime, less than a mile separated MACIF and PRB! A battle of the giants on an Atlantic scale.

Copyright : Jean-Marie LIOT / DPPI
Copyright : Jean-Marie LIOT / DPPI

You, me! Both clear of the Doldrums, the MACIF / PRB duel is taking on the airs of a close-contact inshore race joked Jean Le Cam at the noon radio session. Just think, after 11 days of racing and over 3,000 miles under our belts, the two IMOCA 60s are sailing within sight of each other! Just half a mile separated them at the 1230 GMT ranking, with the advantage going to François Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux. With an identical heading (199°), it’s all about speed at the moment, on a reach, in 16 knots of breeze. Meticulous trimming, constant attention, optimisation of the trajectory, exploitation of the slightest waves that may favour a good surf... we can well imagine that the sailors are flat-out. The collective experience racked up by these four sailors is massive and their battle truly fabulous. The duel to the finish promises to be of a rare intensity when you realise how hard these fierce competitors can fight! They’ve even managed to outpace their rivals.

Maître CoQ, in third position is nearly 60 miles astern, Safran about 100 miles back and Cheminées Poujoulat 140. Stalling in the Doldrums, Bureau Vallée has seen Votre Nom Autour du Monde catching up to within thirty miles or so, some 420 miles shy of the leaders. Behind them, Team Plastique’s very westerly position enabled the crew to overtake Energa last night, the latter about a hundred miles further to the east and struggling in the less regular winds. Initiatives-Coeur is bringing up the rear of the fleet of IMOCA 60s but nothing seems to be able to dent the spirits of Tanguy Delamotte and François Damiens. The reason for this is that with a little over 37,000 clicks on the association’s website, a third child has been able to have a new heart.

Christophe Favreau

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