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Upwind, and more upwind to the Scillies.

With just over 100 nautical miles to climb NW to the Scilly Isles at 0700hrs this Tuesday morning, the duel is very much between Guillaume Pirouelle (Région Normandie) and Basile Bourgnon (Edenred). The duo rounded the mark off Bréhat almost side by side after Pirouelle lost about seven minutes around 2100hrs last night when he became snared in a crab pot off Guernsey. This morning he is no more than a 500 metres ahead of the race’s youngest skipper Bourgnon.

Indeed the top four are all within one mile, Lois Berrehar (Skipper MACIF) is up to third at 0.8 of a mile behind, Corentin Horeau (Groupe REEL) is fourth alongside Berrehar, winner of this years Transat Parpec double handed race to Saint Barth’s with Charlotte Yven.

Racing in a gentle, shifty 9-10 kts from the west, the leaders have west flowing tidal flow with them this morning and should make steady progress. But a high pressure ridge is set to block their route at the latitude of Lizard Point early tomorrow morning and so there is likely to be a slowdown and some compression.

The wind will go right, heading the leaders, over the course of the day. Top international skipper is still Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan) who took the option to stay west after the mark off Paimpol which resulted in a short term loss relative to the rhumb line, but he is in good shape in ninth.

On the VHF:

Corentin Horeau (Banque Populaire): “Last night we arrived under spinnaker at Héaux de Bréhat. When I went with the first boats, there was no current yet, so it was fine. But we saw boats and courses in all directions. It was funny, even if I did not smile until the Sept Isles. But there, it got better, I pulled back a place. It's not raining, it's not too cold and I was able to take short naps. Let's go for the big crossing, first Land's End and then Fastnet. Upwind, upwind, upwind…. Now that we have touched the wind in the West, we have a small rotation to the right to pick up from our English friends. For the moment, we are rather ahead on the routings, it's not bad. After Land's End, you will have to choose your side to go up to Ireland. That is quite technical, I hope we will have good weather info from the organisation as the info we have from before the start is well out of date now. There will be options in the Irish Sea. I'm in good company with the rest of the fleet to leeward and behind. I'm not sailing very well, but I'm happy to be in the right group. It comes and goes, and this race is far from over.”