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Cleared and Tacked, 20 miles to Needles Fairway

Published on 11/06/2019

Between nine and ten this morning, local time, the strong winds and heavy rain abated abruptly for the leaders of the second stage of La Solitaire and with it the expected wind shift into the northeast

Between nine and ten this morning, local time, the strong winds and heavy rain abated abruptly for the leaders of the second stage of La Solitaire and with it the expected wind shift into the northeastAfter a brutal night, battling winds of 30 to 35 knots, the clouds cleared a bit as the leaders tacked.

At around 1100hrs local time this morning Yoann Richomme (Hellowork-Groupe Telegramme) leads Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) by 3.8 miles on starboard tack, the stage one winner having built a nice cushion to windward of his rival. The top five, Richomme, Le Cléa’ch, Adrien Hardy (Sans nature pas de future), Gildas Mahé (Breizh Cola) and Morgan Lagravière (Voile d’engagment) were all on the same tack, less than four miles behind the leader and all slanted towards the Dorset coast, heading in to the east of Weymouth Bay. The gap back to sixth is another two miles.

Alan Roberts (Sea Cat Services) has done well for staying closer to the English coast and has worked up to eighth but has ended up out of phase with the boats ahead of him. Will Harris (Hive Energy) continues to hold 11th to windward now of a big pack of boats at around 14 miles behind the leaders who still had about 20 miles to sail to the Needles Fairway turning mark.

Three skippers retired during the night with problems with the seals around the foil aperture Cécile Laguette (Eclisse), Martin Le Pape (Skipper Macif 2017) and Thomas Ruyant (Advens-Fondation de la maer). Reports to the Race Direction boat are that Arthur Le Vaillant (Leyton) and Damien Cloarec (@Damien Cloarec Skipper) have had similar problems but are managing to carry on. But after the night that has just passed, how many will still be at 100%?

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