23 days into this epic single handed round the world sailing race the first two boats are less than 20 miles apart. English skipper Alex Thomson, on HUGO BOSS, led the race down the Atlantic but Frenchman Armel LeCleach sailing BANC POPULAIRE VIII took the lead as they approached Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean.
Currently LeCleach is sailing at 21 knots and has covered over 8000 nautical miles. He has 15, 570 miles to go. The third placed boat is 510 miles behind the leader. The first six boats are all east of Capetown in the Southern Ocean. The last boat is still off the coast of Brazil 400o miles behind the leader. Three vessels have retired due to damage.
Thomson’s boat hit something at night a week or so ago which caused damage to one of the ‘foils’ on the hull but he has still managed speeds over over 20 knots.
The trek across the Southern Ocean passing south of Australia can be wild and perilous. Stay tuned.