Special envoy to Fort-de-France
Early Sunday morning, at a time when some were starting to dip their croissants in coffee, the Maxi Banque Populaire continued to dominate the debates in the premier category, that of the sea giants of more than thirty meters who fly above water thanks to their foils. The Le Cléac'h-Josse tandem, in the lead almost since the departure from Le Havre on October 29, continued again and again to increase its lead over its pursuer and only rival for victory, SVR Lazartigue, clocked in at 5:00 a.m. at 185 .6 miles from the leader. He is expected at the finish line at the end of the afternoon in the bay of Fort-de-France, around 6:00 p.m., when the sun will set in the Antilles.
Despite all their efforts and brief leadership when rounding Ascension Island lost in the Atlantic before the sprint towards Martinique, François Gabart and Tom Laperche should be content with second place in this Coffee Route which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. Unless there is an incident on the boat with the leading men disrupting the end of the race...
The podium seems decided with third place promised to Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Charles Caudrelier/Erwan Israel), victim of helm damage on Friday and who is more than 763 nautical miles behind the first. Slowly, the giant of the seas should resist the return of Sodebo (Thomas Coville-Thomas Rouxel), 928 miles behind the leader. Actual Ultim by Anthony Marchand and Thierry Chabagny brings up the rear of the Ultim class (at 1059.8 miles).
In Imoca, the monohulls of the Vendée Globe, the battle of strategies currently favors Teamwork.net (Justine Mettraux/Julien Villon) which occupies the lead in the ranking with 7.1 miles ahead of Groupe Dubreuil (Sébastien Simon/Iker Martinez). Both crews are taking advantage of their due west option while the big favorites have continued their descent due south off the coast of Madeira.
Charal (Jérémie Beyou-Franck Cammas, 10th at 223 miles), who dominated the debates until Friday, is biding his time with the hope that the southern route option is indeed the right one in the medium and long term. Paprec-Arkéa (Yoann Richomme-Yann Eliès) finds himself in an identical situation, just ahead, 9th at 220 miles.
The three Ocean Fifties still in the race have passed Cape Verde and headed west. Nothing seems to disturb Solidaire in the peloton, no longer at the head of the hierarchy. Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Quentin Vlamynck have a 125.7 mile lead over their pursuer, Realités, helmed by Fabrice Cahierc and Aymerick Chappellier. Finally, Class40, that of small 12 meter monohulls, is still dominated by Amarris (Achille Nebout/ Gildas Mahe) while the fleet has overtaken the Canaries.