The five Ultims of the Transat Jacques-Vabre, led by Maxi Banque Populaire, were sailing west of Cape Verde early Friday evening and heading towards the Doldrums, while the Imocas are still waiting to leave Le Havre after the passage of storm Ciaran. Maxi Banque Populaire of the duo of Armel Le Cléac'h-Sébastien Josse, who took the lead on Thursday morning during the passage to Madeira, increased his lead thanks to ideal weather conditions, far from the French coasts swept by storm.
At the last check-in at 7:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. GMT), Maxi Banque Populaire is ahead of Maxi Edmond de Rothschild of Charles Caudrelier and Erwan Israel by 55.4 miles, and SVR-Lazartigue of François Gabart and Tom Laperche by 82 miles. The passage of the Doldrums (intertropical convergence zone) is planned for Saturday towards the Sao Pedro and São Paulo islands. While the Ultims continue their high-speed descent of the North Atlantic, the 40 Imoca are still docked in Le Havre and waiting for a weather window to set off.
After gusts of more than 110 km/h in the Normandy city during Ciaran's passage, the wind should remain strong and the sea very rough this weekend. “The possibility mentioned (Wednesday) of seeing the Imocas set off on Sunday is now excluded, in particular because of the strengthening of the westerly wind, very impactful off Le Havre,” race director Francis Le Goff explained on Thursday, counting on on a Tuesday morning departure. The Ocean Fifty and the Class 40 are waiting to leave from Lorient, probably on Monday, after their forced stopover to let the beating pass.
Rankings of the top three in each class Friday at 18:00 GMT:
Last (32 m)
1. Maxi Banque Populaire (Armel Le Cléac'h, Sébastien Josse) 5,030.9 miles from the finish in Fort-de-France (Martinique)
2. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (Charles Caudrelier, Erwan Israel) 55.4 miles from the first
3. SVR-Lazartigue (François Gabart, Tom Laperche) at 82 miles
Ocean Fifty (15 m)
1. Solidarity in a platoon, arrived in Lorient in 20 hours 44 min
(Thibaut Vauchel-Camus, Quentin Vlamynck)
2. Le Rire Médecin 45 minutes away
(Luke Berry, Antoine Joubert)
(Sébastien Rogues, Jean-Baptiste Gellée) at 1 hour 46
Class 40 (12 m)
1. Alla Grande Pirelli, arrived in Lorient in 1 day 10 hours and 5 minutes
(Ambrogio Beccaria, Nicolas Andrieu)
2. SNEF Group, 1 hour and 15 minutes
(Xavier Macaire, Pierre Leboucher)
3. Inter Invest, 1 hour and 20 minutes
(Matthieu Perraut, Kevin Bloch)