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11/18 - 08h40

Alessandro, Tanguy due today

Alessandro di Benedetto (Team Plastique-AFM Telethon) and Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Coeur) are now expected in Pointe-a-Pitre this Tueaday during the day. The Italian skipper has around 65 miles of margin on De Lamotte. Meantime Alex Pella increases his lead again very slightly in Class 40 and he could still just about catch the last of the IMOCAs. For the others right now the course does start to feel its full distance, there are the joys of sailing fast but there are also the rollercoaster emotions which seem to affect some skippers.

Miranda Merron this morning on Campagne de France: "All day yesterday heading west, hand-steering with the spinnaker up. Sea state built throughout the day, and attempts with the autopilot before sunset proved rather too exciting, so I changed to the gennaker which doesn't mind large variations in course as the waves pick up the back of the boat.
Occasional squall packing 30 + knots - again the gennaker can cope, or has so far.
Being freed up from steering meant that I could have a wash - there is a luxury on this boat - there is a watermaker, and when the hydrogenerator is down for charging the batteries, the watermaker goes on, and that means 100 percent fresh water washing, rather than buckets of salt water rinsed off with  1/2 litre fresh water at the end.
That little treat was followed by a cup of tea and some of my mother's delicious Christmas cake.
Middle of the night. There has been a significant wind shift in the past few minutes. I'm waiting to see whether it is temporary or whether I get back to my favourite activity - gybing. A decision soon though, because not only is the boat pointing in the wrong direction, but is also now beam on to the waves and the motion is horrible! And the wind has disappeared. Smells like the work of an evil cloud.
Miranda/ Campagne de France


Paul Hignard - Bruneau (Class40 -race Benajamin, youngest skipper):
"It's a bit complicated right now as my lightweight spinnaker is jammed. The sock tore when there was 23kts of wind. I want to get the kite down but I have never done it with no sock. I am looking for a lull to be able to do it. The difficulties are not what I expected, but its good, it is nice. I am about four days from finishing. There are lows, no one to cheer you up. When things are going well I like being alone, but not so much when its not going well. But in the end I love it anyway. I really only thought about the finish yesterday for the first time."


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