Whilst PRB seems to have made a clean break for the finish line, the battle is continuing to rage for second place between Safran and Maître CoQ, in what are rather unsettled conditions.
Whilst PRB (Vincent Riou & Jean Le Cam), polled at 18 knots, seems to have passed through this morning’s stormy front (0600 GMT ranking), the final significant weather hurdle before Itajaï, which is less than 450 miles away, their two closest pursuers, Safran (Guillemot & Bidegorry) and Maître CoQ (Beyou & Pratt), are embroiled in a bitter battle for second place within the clutches of some violent gusts intersected by fast wind shifts and windless zones some 80 miles stray of the leaders. The two duos are treating themselves to a high tension final. By opting to gain a little westerly separation, Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt, have virtually made up all the ground they’d lost and are now just 3 miles astern of Safran!
Meantime, Cheminées Poujoulat (Stamm & Legros) is going for broke by opting to take a relatively offshore route, nearly 200 miles off Cabo Frio to shin up the western edge of the most disturbed zones of the front and make good speed along the way.
Behind, the rest of the fleet has bunched up again slightly (strewn across 150 miles of ocean) and is led by Bureau Vallée (Burton and Le Brec), which is 700 miles shy of the leaders. They’re sailing in a moderate east to north-easterly breeze.