Between 04:00 GMT on Friday 30 November to 04:00 GMT on Saturday 1 December Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) travelled from point to point, 498.80 miles in twenty-four hours, averaging speeds of 20.8 knots.
This breaks the record held previously by Alex Thomson in 2003 and, also the record set the day before, subject to ratification, by François Gabart (MACIF), of 482.91 miles in 24hrs. Confirmation of the record is subject to validation by the WSSRC (World Speed Sailing Record Council).
Last night, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) lost his race leader title, which he has held for two weeks. But for how long? Although Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) is now leading the charge, there is very little separation between all of the first five IMOCAs in the fleet, who are sailing head-to-head, very fast and with only a hundred miles between them. It is only a matter of time until they all turn 90 ° to the same heading as the infamous Cape of Good Hope.
Last night the pace was quick, with the leaders clocking average speeds over 24 hours between 19.6 and 20.8 knots. The fleet of sailors are rocketing down the South Atlantic
The numbers speak for themselves about their crazy night. Non validated record breakers aside, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) unleashed, clocked 429.5 miles over the last 24-hours (3am GMT between 3am GMT) as displayed in the first ranking of the day. Racking up speeds of 19 knots, over the past few hours, confirms that he has lost none of his potential to take back his crown. It is winds of 18-22 knots from the northwest, which are creating these record-breaking conditions for the frontrunners.
Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) and Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) are neck and neck. Thomson is hurtling along at 20 knots and Stamm at almost 19 knots. A hundred miles behind them is the trio of Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel), Mike Golding (Gamesa) and Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) who had a busy night last night, with a quick gybe and some sail changes. They are facing lighter more complicated conditions and so have to work harder to make the pace. Jean Le Cam is leading the three and he is keen to join the rankings with the first five. Golding and Wavre are head-to-head just behind him.
For the pack at the back, lead by Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered) the conditions are light and fickle and the gap between them and the lead posse widens. Yesterday, Bertrand De Broc (Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM) lost 300 miles on the leaders. Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur) and Arnaud Boissières (Akena Verandas), with average speeds between 7 and 15 knots, are using the time to prepare their boats to enter the southern ocean. Last night Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) crossed the 20th parallel.
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