Having managed to steal a bit of a march on PRB this morning, MACIF is now just 1,500 miles from Itajaï. The tense finish is planned this weekend!
Making half a knot of additional boat speed over the past 24 hours, this was all that was needed for MACIF (Gabart/Desjoyeaux) to get around fifteen miles ahead of her pursuers on PRB (Riou/Le Cam). The finish is now taking shape for the top five boats, which yesterday entered the southern hemisphere. The winner of the IMOCA class is likely to moor its 18-metre monohull in the Brazilian port on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Before reaching Itajaï though, the front runners will have to carefully negotiate the passage of a front linked to a depression slightly further to the south. The meteorological hurdle is set to put in an appearance level with Cabo Frio, the final headland before Rio. At this pace,Macif is likely to have enough of a lead to hold onto first place, but the approach towards Brazilian shores very often has a few surprises in store. Watch this space!
Still in the northern hemisphere, the five pursuers have now escaped the Doldrums with mixed fortunes. Team Plastique (Di Benedetto/Monaco) deserves a special mention as their westerly option is paying off so far. The only IMOCA 60 with a fixed keel was only slowed very slightly and is in 8th place tonight, just fifty miles shy of Bertrand de Broc and Arnaud Boissières (Votre Nom Autour du Monde).