Exiting the Bay of Biscay has been arduous, but after a tough week, 13 of the 15 skippers are now heading down the Atlantic. There’s only 900 miles (1667 kms) from Cape Finisterre where Mark Sinclair is, to the photo gate of Lanzarote where Don, Jane and Aïda are waiting! Damien Guillou, halfway to La Coruña will deal with unstable winds over the next two days, he is only 175 miles from Arnaud Gaist at the back of the fleet, who is leaving Biscay later today.
We thought that Tapio Lehtinen, committed to his westerly option, had created a gap to cross the remains of the Danielle low-pressure system, and hit the downwind conditions west of it, but he tacked back towards the rest of the fleet over the weekend. He remains close 2nd at 8:00 UTC behind Simon Curwen leading the fleet, but ahead of Pat Lawless solidly in the lead pack.
Behind, a compact group composed of Abhilash Tomy, Ertan Beskardes, Guy deBoer, Guy Waites, Captain Gugg, Jeremy Bagshaw, are keeping close to the leaders, whereas Kirsten Neuschäfer, west of the fleet taken is followed by Elliott Smith and Ian Herbert Jones. All of them are now able to get north around the low pressure system, before getting a slingshot effect downwind to its west.
The next 24 hours will shed some light on the strategies of each of them, but after a week of sailing, the game remains very open!