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Gaston Morvan shows the way at Chaussée du Sein

After a night tacking upwind in moderate 12kts winds, passing around the tip of Brittany the leader Gaston Morvan (Région Bretagne-CMB Performance) passed the Chaussée du Sein mark this morning at 0808hrs local time this morning, three minutes up on Alexis Loison (Groupe RÉEL) and Elodie Bonafous (Quéguiner-La Vie en Rose).

The night has not been easy. With a very small crescent moon and swirling sea mist from time to time, everything is damp on board. Timing the tacks has been key in the heading, dropping breeze. And there have been many tacks.

The leaders passed out of the Channel and around the Pointe du Raz – the western tip of Brittany- at around 0100hrs local time, working south across the Iroise Sea. All passed through between Fromveur and the Molène islands. Only Piers Copham (Voile des Anges), followed by the young Ben Beasely (Ocean Attitude) chose to stay out in the Chenal du Fours.

So this morning Morvan leads, coming back strong after jumping the start gun yesterday and having to re-cross the line. Ireland’s Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) is sixth 1,5 miles behind the leader.

Jules Delpech (ORCOM), contacted at 6 a.m.: “I don't know how many tacks we made but it is a good number. It was very nice, I had a lot of fun and it worked out pretty well for me. What is good in this tacking battle is to find the rhythm between the current and the wind to optimize them. So as not to lose a little boat length each time because in adds up to lot of distance. And there was the timing to manage with the change of tide. In fact, there was no wind close to the land and with the current coming against us, I thought I would still have to go there to get relief. It didn't work for me. I lost a lot in a very short time. So I'm a little disappointed to lose so much distance with the leading group. But there are still a lot of possibilities to come back. At times we have big banks of fog hanging low; and it’s quite amazing because we always see the stars. You can hardly see the headsails and it is more complicated to trimthem. Everything is soaked and it's raining inside because of the condensation.”

Gaston Morvan (Région Bretagne-CMB Performance), contacted at 6:25 a.m.: “At the start, I was a little too pushy on the line. I was called back by the race committee. I went around the line, and came back, it's not that bad. Especially since I then had the pleasure of going along the coast where I come from. With a beautiful sunset, dolphins, it was really pretty. And then it invigorating, intense and physical, the wind was changing all the time. In the Iroise Sea it was quite tactical. There is not much wind. I didn't really have in mind to make a solid option, but more of a small shift. We will really see at the Occidentale de Sein who was wrong, who was right, are there gaps or no gaps. Here I am at 6 knots of speed in 8 knots of wind. We have a few hours before arriving in the calm. It is expected to go soft again at any time.”