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Rookie Tuduri's return on final climb

Since the Intermediate Sprint turning mark last night, the southernmost turn of Stage 3 of La Solitaire du Figaro Paprec, there has been a new leader. Rookie Benoît Tuduri (CAPSO en Cavale) Iis setting the pace as as the fleet climbs upwind along the Charente coast towards the finish line off Piriac-sur-Mer

Tuduri hit the front yesterday evening after a bold move staying closer to the land, to the east, along with Jules Delpech (ORCOM). This morning they lead the 31 strong fleet with around 130 miles to the final finish line. And although they have a decent 10-12kts on NNE’ly wind passing the island of Oléron this looks like there will be options until the finish gun.

Yann Chateau, race director, said this morning: “After we had to move the turning buoy 12 miles to the south because there were a lot of fishing nets and boats in the area, the racers have turned to the north and after they passed the entrance to the Gironde they have had a flow from the NE and NNE. Now there is the option to go offshore and search for a left hand shift or to stay closer to the coast and stay in the thermal acceleration zone. The match is wide open”

Charlotte Yven (Skipper Macif 2023) and Alexis Thomas (La Charente Maritime) are the first push to the west Between the wind which heads as it threatens to drop, and the currents the final miles of this leg are typically technical with nothing straightforward.

In the race for the overall title Laurent Bourgnon (Edenred) is upwind of his main rival Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire) but Horeau is slightly advanced, but there is no more than half a mile between them.

Ireland’s Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) has stayed inshore before tacking and lies seventh but has a good position to windward of the pack.

On the VHF this morning:

Jules Delpech (ORCOM): “Two of my routings went along the coast. They were going to look for what we call the thermal pressure on the coast, that is to say that when the air heats up on land, this generates an acceleration of the westerly wind, along the coast. It was interesting, we were in a situation try it even if it was a bit limited because we had clouds before we arrived. But I saw the sun behind me and the wind coming with it. I was a down at the bottom of the rankings, I had gotten really stuck in the Bay of Audierne. So I didn't hesitate too much to go for it and look for this option. On the descent towards the mark, it felt good because the wind stayed in. On the other hand, the mark was shifted it was a bit nerve racking. But in all cases, I was confident because we were going fast with a strong breeze.”

Alexis Loison (REEL Group): “A lot of things happened when we passed the intermediate mark. Already, I thought I was second behind Élodie and then we saw two smart guys coming downhill fast. ORCOM and CAPSO en Cavale. So I was fourth. A few miles before the mark, it was a bit of a stress because it was in the middle of a fishing zone. I'm going to try to do better than the chocolate medal on this stage. We have never been so close to the finish as they say. But the road is still long and strewn with pitfalls with a wind currently established but it should turn and drop. Afterwards, we will be in thermal wind conditions during the day and the synoptic breeze at night. There can therefore be reversals of situation between the open sea and the land, we will have to find where to position ourselves.”