Over 500 miles off the pace, it's all change once again for the quintet of Hervé LAURENT (UUDS), Joé SEETEN (Arcelor Dunkerque) out west, and Marc THIERCELIN (Pro-Form), Nick MOLONEY (Skandia) and Conrad HUMPHREYS (Hellomoto) out east. For now the west is paying off the latter three within 0.1 or 0.2 of a mile of each other, all five on a parallel course.
The most radical choice of the day clearly has to go to English sailor, Alex THOMSON, who has opted to hang a wide westerly option. Such a choice will send him closer to the high pressure zone located to his south-west which will generate a little wind. At the end of this he will have to sail close-hauled into light headwind to move south (the anticyclones turn anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere). Ultimately his goal must be to remain the furthest west so as to be one of the first, or indeed the first, to benefit from the effects of the depressions sweeping the south. If Thomson manages to pull it off, it may well be a chance to get back in contact with the leaders who, seemingly, may well go off on a flyer in the coming 48 hours.
Other preoccupations for Jean Pierre DICK (Virbac Paprec) behind Alex in seventh, who has lost his pulpit as a lashing gave way on the bow sprit yesterday afternoon, and Norbert SEDLACEK (Brother) who is on the final approaches to the equator.