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Day 18

At the back, Mark and Arnaud are finally moving, going 5 knots towards the gate of Lanzarote, with Coconut due to arrive later this evening. Damien got through this morning close reaching under spinnaker, tired but satisfied with his performance and competitive. He will enjoy a downwind ride in a NNW flow for the next three days and should cross the path of the low-pressure system in front of Dakhla on Sunday when most of his rivals will be upwind.

Mid-fleet, South Africans Kirsten Neuschäfer and Jeremy Bagshaw are taking off, with the best 24-hours distance of the fleet, and Minnehaha taking on Bayanat (Abhilash Tomy) for 4th, as she gained 50 miles over him since yesterday. Pat Lawless, solidly in 3rd place, and whose knee is reacting well to antibiotics, will be the first upwind tomorrow, a point of sail he excels in as we saw in the first week.

In front, Simon and Tapio are heading west of the low pressure in order to get on the side of it, with the downwind conditions enabling them to escape to the west of Cape Verde, towards the intertropical convergence zone, the (in)famous doldrums.


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