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11/06 - 07h42

Mr Ten Per Cent

While his main rivals found themselves snared in a bubble of high pressure behind him Loick Peyron has made good his escape on Maxi Solo Banque Populaire VII and this morning has a leading margin of over 200 miles, equivalent to 10 per cent of his distance remaining to the finish line in Gaudeloupe. Peyron has made it into the trade winds, albeit relatively light ones.

The other classes on La Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe fall under the influence of a new low pressure which has compressed the spread at the front of some of the classes. Bad weather is on the cards, especially for Class 40 and the Rhum class tailenders off the Iberian peninsula.
Since yesterday morning off Madeira Peyron wriggled out of a mouse hole in a corridor of breeze while the chasing pack became slowed in the high pressure's light winds. He was making 20-odd knots whilst sometimes those chasing were struggling to make 10 knots. Hence the gap has opened with Yann Guichard (Spindrift 2) at just on 200 miles behind this morning and Lionel Lemonchois third at +320 miles on Prince de Bretagne. The three way battle of the Multi70s sees Sidney Gavignet – who slightly injured his hand yesterday – catching up miles to Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild), just 13 miles behind on Musandam-Oman Sail when last night it was 36 miles.

Hard at the Front
A regime change for the IMOCA Open 60s as Francois Gabart (Macif) leads into the new low pressure, 170 miles east of the Azores this morning. They have winds of around 20kts from the SW and will get the new front in the middle of the day. Gabart is 36 miles ahead of Jeremie Beyou on Maitre Coq who has extended away from Marc Guillemot (Safran) who is a further 34 miles behind.
In the Multi50s Yves Le Blevec finally restarted from Cascais yesterday night around 1900hrs but he is now last and more than 300 miles off the lead. Lalou Roucayrol (Arkema Aquitaine) still profits from his westerly choice, getting into the low and the front first.
For the Class 40s which are lead this morning by Thibault Vauchel-Camus on Solidaires en Peloton the W'ly winds of 12 knots they have this morning will give way to more than 20kts from the SW as the new low arrives. Kito de Pavant (Otio-Bastide Medical) has suffered slightly from his westerly position dropping to second while Alex Pella, the only Spanish skipper in the fleet, is the fastest by one knot reaching. Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) holds ninth, Italy's Ginacarlo Pedote on Fantastica is 14th and  Conrad Humphreys (Cat Phones) is up to 17th.  The class 40s will end up pointing more to the west of Madeira where the breezes will become more random as they get into the expanding high pressure.
In the Rhum Class Anne Caseneuve (ANEO) takes over the lead by virtue of Andrea Mura (Vento di Sardegna) having had to point much more to the south as the heading breeze arrived last night. IN the SWly he was pointing closer to Caseneuve's stern last night and this morning and is 2.5 miles behind in terms of DTF. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston makes steady progress in seventh on Grey Power, Finland's Ari Huusela (Neste Oil) is in tenth.
They said:
Sébastien Josse - Edmond de Rothschild (Ultime) Fifth at 0400hrs: "It's going well. We Multi 70s are together again: it's funny. We are trying to catch the trade winds, the two big parties are already (Maxi Banque Populaire VII Solo and Spindrift 2). We will get out of this bubble but at the moment we are struggling for wind, making about 10kts. In our group there is nothing in it and it will be like that to the finish but I think we have seen the last of Banque Populaire and Spindrift 2. The boat is now more unstable under gennaker than it was in the big stuff.”

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