Transat Jacques Vabre, boat damage and bad weather hits fleet
The winner of the last edition of the race in the Class 40 has sustained keel damage, whilst bad weather off Martinique may delay the finish for the leading Imocas.
Late last night Ian Lipinski's Crédit Mutuel hit an object that damaged her keel. The winner of the 2019 race and co-skipper Julien Pulvé were unhurt and will continue to Martinique but at reduced speed. This will be a particularly bitter blow for the pair as they were in second place when the accident happened and their brand-new boat had been a favourite from the start.
Meanwhile the leading bunch have just over 1,000 miles to go to the finish line in Martinique. Redman is still leading the fleet but only by 30 miles'. Despite enjoying the trade winds, the skippers are finding the conditions more capricious than the weather forecast suggest.
Imoca race building to a climax
The finish line is just a few hours away for leaders Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière on LinkedOut. They're expected mid-afternoon CET but are currently dodging the squalls off Martinique so could be delayed.
The battle for second and third continues unabated between Apivia and Charal. Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat have just 40 miles advantage over Charal. With 300 miles still to go, co-skippers Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt have been much faster than Apivia in the last 24 hours so the finish will be nailbiting.
Further back, 11th Hour Racing Malama(USA) is doing well to hold 10th place considering the damage they sustained almost a week ago. The boat suffered damage to the non-structural fairing of its keel fin. The alloy keel is a one-design component, the same on every IMOCA, and the composite fairings fore and aft allow water to flow smoothly around the structure. This fairing damage is causing a vibration when sailing at high speed and so to manage it, they are sailing around 70% of full speed.