This final sprint home hasn't proven easy for any of the competitors to date and PARNAUDEAU is the latest to suffer damage from the vagaries of the North Atlantic in the depths of winter. 'Hard, hard...and how on earth am I supposed to give an ETA in this?! I'll be going as quickly as possible that's for sure!' wrote a tired and frustrated PARNAUDEAU this morning.
In the blustery conditions he has suffered a breakage of his lazy jacks and has had to drop his mainsail temporarily to fix the end fitting to one of his battens. He will also need to repair his staysail halyard which has some considerable wear after over 23,000 miles of use.
Around 400 miles back Anne LIARDET (FRA) is also exhausted as she battles with the strong winds and heavy seas off the Iberian Peninsula. Conditions have been such that she has been forced onto a negative VMG for a large amount of the day, LIARDET is really feeling for the boat as it jars its way up and down the steep waves. 'These aren't the hardest conditions we've had but they're certainly the most difficult for the boat… Conditions look set to remain like this until the end of the day at which point they should ease. I may then see the wind lift me a little up to Cape Finisterre before another depression makes its presence felt under the same static anticyclone. The closer we get to the goal, the longer it seems...' Unable to tighten up her loose rig anymore and with a continuing leak in her daggerboard casing, she has no option other than to simply weather out the storm.
In twelfth place Raphaël DINELLI (FRA) on Akena Vérandas is a little less than 1780 miles from the finish now, set to remain in a windless zone between two depressions until tonight. The future for tail ender Karen LEIBOVICI (FRA) aboard Benefic is less optimistic. Her voice said it all at today's radio session. 2150 miles from the finish she has been stuck fast in a ridge of high pressure north of the Cape Verde Islands for the past four days, with the no change expected for another four days. Given the latest position report though, things may be on the up aboard Benefic this afternoon with an average speed of 7.5 knots over the past fourth hours.